My Puppy is Not Eating…What Do I Do?

puppy not eating
Image by jagdprinzessin from Pixabay 

Getting a new puppy is arguably one of the most exciting moments for an individual. While this may be extremely exciting, it can also be a bit nerve-racking. Puppies may have a difficult time adjusting to their new homes, especially if they’ve moved from a different one. As owners, we want our new pups to be as comfortable as possible when they first arrive. This is why it can be slightly concerning when your puppy doesn’t acknowledge their food. When our pups aren’t eating, we instinctively worry about their health.

However, the situation may not be as dramatic as you think. There can be many reasons as to why your puppy isn’t touching their food. It’s crucial to do research before forcing an issue on your pup. This issue may be serious for some puppies. On the other hand, sometimes the reasoning for your pup’s refusal to eat is much less severe.

puppy not eating
Image by user2014 from Pixabay 

1. Stress

One of the most common reasons your puppy is not eating is due to stress. Bringing a puppy to a new home can be induce a lot of feelings. While some puppies are able to handle moving pretty smoothly, some puppies struggle adjusting to their new home. Maybe your puppy is shy, nervous, or even scared. A new environment surrounded with new people can be quite stressful for new dogs. Your puppy might need a few days to adjust to their new house. This is why it’s preferred to allow your puppy to roam around your house. By doing this, they’ll become more familiar with their new home.

Stress can sometimes be contagious. Maybe you or your family are stressed out. It’s possible that your stressful problems could be interfering with your dog. Think about times that become particular stressful for you (I.e. holidays, exams, work deadlines…). It’s important to take your pup into consideration when you’re going through these stressful moments. A puppy that is introduced to a stressful environment will obviously struggle a lot more than your average puppy. It’s best to buy or adopt a puppy when you’re not as busy as usual. This will allow you to spend more time with your new friend while also giving them a calm home to adjust to.

2. Your Pup Hates The Food

Yes, dogs can be picky as well! Certain puppies may be very selective on the kind of food they eat. Sometimes its not necessarily the taste but the size of the food. It may even be the type of food. Some dogs like canned dog food better than dry and vice versa. This may also happen if you’re frequently changing the kind of food your dog eats. You need to find a food your pup eats and stick with that food until other physical/health changes suggest otherwise. Allow your puppy to try different foods to see which one they like the best. Giving them food from the table may also alter the way they see their own food. Avoid giving them any of your leftovers as this may also cause stomach issues.

3. Pain

You’re puppy might just be in physical or stomach pain. Dogs are naturally curious creatures – especially puppies. Moving into a new house gives them all the more reason to snoop and possibly digest things they shouldn’t. Your puppy might’ve ingested something with bacteria, or something that could be blocking their stomach. If this is the case, it’s best to see a vet.

You’re puppy (depending on their age) might also go be going through their teething stage. Your puppy’s teeth will start falling out around 3 to 4 months. This experience isn’t a painless one. Your puppy will suffer through sore and bleeding gums. Often times, they’ll neglect their food simply because they’re unable to eat. Although this may be a tough stage in your pup’s growth, it’s also very necessary. All you can do is be there for them!

4. Health Issues

It is extremely likely that your puppy is not eating due to an illness they may be suffering. (I.e. canine influenza, kennel cough, gastrointestinal parasites, etc…). Your puppy could catch a respiratory illness or even be dealing with an organ disease. Organ diseases are typically caused by infections or just problems they were born with. It’s important to provide your puppy with the correct vaccinations in order to prevent these issues.

puppy not eating
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay 

How Can I Help My Puppy?

Obviously we never want to see our puppies suffer through any sort of pain or discomfort. There are actually a lot of things we can do to help our puppies when they decide not to eat. Even though these tips may not solve the problem, they’ll aid in your dog’s improvement and possibly even motivate them.

  • Spice up their meals! It’s pretty common for your dog to get bored with the same meal he/she eats everyday. Try adding some rice or even some shredded chicken to their bowl. This will make them more excited to eat their meal.
  • Mix toys with food. If you turn your dog’s meal into a game, they might feel more obligated to eat it. By making meal time more playful, your puppy will have a reason to eat. This might even make them more excited to eat their food!
  • You might even try switching the location or the type of food bowl. Puppies may be more attracted to a certain color of a bowl or a certain location in your house. For example, puppies tend to be more drawn to bright yellow or blue bowls. Try to place their food in an area that catches their attention or seems to be their “go to spot.”
  • Go to the vet immediately! Sometimes the issue isn’t as simple as you want it to be. There are some problems that only your veterinarian can figure out. This is probably the safest bet. After all, you want your pup to remain healthy and happy!
puppy not eating

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