When a puppy quits eating temporarily, it is natural for a puppy owner to worry, even while it may be nothing more than a natural drop in appetite. This is because puppies need to eat to stay healthy and grow.
Puppies, characteristically vary their appetite. It happens every week. Sometimes, their appetite varies by the day. So, one should not worry too much over appetite changes, while it does not form a pattern. Instead, one should be vigilant holistically towards the puppy. See if your puppy plays and runs around happily as usual. It should be fine.
But the puppy not eating could be a matter to look into if the symptom comes with some other signs, such as the puppy taking rest for 12 hours at a stretch. It then becomes a matter that calls for action on the puppy owner’s part.
The top five reasons why a puppy may not want to eat are:
- As a side effect of vaccinations or medications
Why does my puppy not eat?
If your puppy does not eat, it may be due to one of the aforementioned reasons. A highly probable reason is that the puppy may have an upset tummy. Puppies are sometimes unsure about what they should be eating and what they should not be eating. As a result, they sometimes consume inedible stuff which is not good for their tummies. This sometimes leads to illness, and they temporarily stop eating.
The problem that arises, in this case, is that it is difficult to know what is going on, to devise the future course of treatment or action. The puppy owner may have to make the decisions by himself, as the puppy won’t reveal information.
So, the first thing to consider is whether the puppy appears to be sick. If a puppy does not eat well, it could be the symptom that indicates the onset of a health condition. A few of them could be serious, or even fatal.
A few of the other symptoms, indicative of a health condition include vomiting, lethargy, and exhaustion. So, in case you come to discover that your puppy does not eat and displays any of these symptoms, it may be the time to visit a veterinarian.
Overall, being vigilant delivers rich dividends as far as puppy health is concerned. One should see what the puppy is up to, and act accordingly.
Just as an instance, let us consider that a puppy has diarrhea, and refuses to eat. It goes to show that the puppy has consumed something he shouldn’t have eaten, but it wasn’t toxic. It isn’t eating because it doesn’t feel all that great.
But there is nevertheless a possibility that these are early signs of some potentially serious disorders such as Giardia, Coccidia, or Parvovirus. The puppy is at the risk of contracting these disorders.
Another common reason why your puppy refuses to eat is that he may suffer from intestinal or bowel obstruction. Signs of bowel or intestinal blockage are not always very clear. But a few of the tell-tale signs include
- Straining to poop, sometimes unsuccessfully
- Swollen belly
- Shaking, whining, pacing, or panting – signs indicative of fear or pain
- Behavioral changes, such as being exceptionally aggressive or defensive
A blockage of this nature is a veterinarian emergency. In case you come to feel that your puppy is experiencing the same, take him to a veterinarian as soon as possible. In case it is after hours, 24/7 vet care might be at your resource.
The underlying cause of the condition is your puppy consuming everything while he otherwise discovers it to be inedible. If your puppy is afflicted by this condition, it is because something is stuck in his digestive tract. This blocks the food from passing through the body, like it routinely does.
Another telltale sign that a puppy owner should look out for is that the puppy curls up more than it generally does, and attempts to hide because it does not feel all that good. In this case, the puppy should receive veterinary care as soon as possible.
Puppies lose their appetite in the face of anxiousness or stress. Just as an instance, when you shift to a new home, it may be possible that the puppy does not eat for the initial 12, 24, or 48 hours because it feels anxious and stressed out.
Similarly, when the puppy leaves its pen and moves to your home with you after you buy it, it may not eat for some time as it will take time to accustom itself to the change. The puppy might miss its companions at the pen, or the breeders. It puts the puppy’s body under some stress. The normal response to such circumstances is not eating and pooping, or sleeping excessively.
These could alternately be signs of stress, so, having a puppy checked by a veterinarian soon after it arrives at home with you should be a nice idea.
Why is my puppy stressed out?
Habit means a lot, for many animals, and dog breeds near me are no different. Routine will give confidence to your little live pet puppy. Any changes from routine will induce anxiety for your puppy.
Just as an instance, when your puppy starts visiting daycare for pooches or you bring a new pet home, it will initially stress out the puppy, before he gets used to the change and starts eating again.
It may take a few days or a few weeks before the puppy will normalize. Overall, if the puppy is healthy, it won’t starve itself.
A homeowner should look out for some telltale signs that indicate why the puppy doesn’t eat. If the puppy is playful, doesn’t vomit, and drinks water and pees as it routinely does, stress, anxiety, or homesickness might be causing him to not eat.
In case you have any concerns, you should take your puppy to a vet. He’d be in a better position to decide upon what’s wrong.
Introducing a change in the puppy’s diet might induce it to eat. Consider if the puppy is allergic to some foods, and change its diet. Home-cooked food may be swapped for packaged puppy food, and vice-versa. It is however recommendable to keep the change gradual, which will, in turn, keep the puppy’s diet balanced. Some sort of variety should work nicely for a puppy’s diet, such as home-cooked food in some instances and packaged food in others. Changing the food served will tempt the puppy to eat.
A puppy will characteristically be teething at some time between three months to seven months of age. During this time, the puppy’s mouth will be tenderer than it usually is, and it may refrain from eating on certain occasions, and not eat much on others.
To figure out if a puppy is teething, look at the puppy’s mouth, which will give you a decent idea. There could be some swelling under the gums, where new teeth are about to grow, and a little bit of blood as well.
In case there is a matter of concern, such as two teeth fighting for the same spot, there could be some inflammation, caused by infection. In such cases, the puppy should visit a vet. The same should be the case in case there is a chipped or a broken tooth.
So a puppy owner should be on the lookout for the duration for which the puppy doesn’t eat. If it extends 12 hours, it may be due to teething troubles wherein the puppy finds it difficult to chew. This may call for veterinary attention, which should be arranged as soon as possible.
Puppy teething toys or giving frozen fruits, such as a carrot to the puppy could alternately help in such circumstances.
- The side effect of vaccinations or medications
Puppy shots sometimes have side effects, and refusal to eat is one of them. The same effect is caused by any deworming medications or any other medications that a puppy consumes.
Diarrhea and vomiting are other possible side effects of the medications administered to the puppy. The side effects are mild in most cases, and the puppy should resume its normal eating patterns soon. A puppy owner should observe if the puppy consumes a sufficient amount of water, is not disoriented, and shows no signs of inflammation, difficulty in breathing, or weakness. Similarly, the duration for which the puppy does not eat should also be observed.
If the puppy does not experience these additional side effects, it should be fine. But if the puppy’s appetite or condition does not improve soon, it is better to take it to the vet.
Apart from eating, drinking sufficient water is also an important indicator of the puppy’s good health. It prevents dehydration.
A fine indicator of dehydration is the puppy’s gums. If the gums appear rubbery, the puppy may be dehydrated.
If the puppy does not consume sufficient water, it should be taken to a vet anyway. It may require IV fluids.
Puppies tend to eat well to keep themselves strong. But a mid-to-large breed puppy can frequently go one for 36-48 hours without eating. While the condition calls for attention, it is unlikely to be fatal.
Small breed puppies, on the other hand, are more vulnerable to hyperglycemia, which is a low blood sugar level. In case your toy breed puppy does not eat for more than 6-8 hours, it may require veterinary administration, which should be arranged for as soon as possible.