My Puppy Isnt Eating What Should I Do
While most puppies will rapidly scoff down whatever food you give them, some can be very fussy eaters. Not eating regularly, or at all, can be the symptom of a larger health problem, so you should see your vet and rectify this before turning to the food and your puppys eating habits.
Failing to eat due to illness is normally accompanied by lethargy and a change in behaviour, but not always. You may be able to check for bad teeth, growths, sores or foreign objects in the mouth or throat, but your vet has the tools and know-how to find and diagnose these things faster, as well as take the necessary actions or prescribe the essential medication to help your puppy recover. Furthermore, if your dog is not showing any external symptoms, but is still refusing to eat, vomiting up their food, or suffering from prolonged diarrhoea, then it could be something internal. Dont try to solve the problem yourself go to your vet to give your puppy the best chance of a speedy recovery.
Assuming your vet has given your puppy a clean bill of health, the next thing to examine is the atmosphere in your home, especially the area where your puppy eats. Try to keep this a quiet space and relatively free of too much foot traffic. While most dogs dont mind other people being near them while they eat, if your puppy isnt eating, this could be the reason.
What Food Is Best For A Puppy
So long as the food is nutritious and suitable for puppies, it should be sufficient to help your puppy grow properly. There are a whole host of different types of dog food available to choose from: wet dry grain-free food with fish, rice and vegetables and food for small, medium and large breeds. James Wellbeloved offer a whole host of different puppy foods which will encourage your puppy to build a healthy appetite and to grow up fit and strong.
Is Your Puppy Teething
Many puppies eat less when theyre teething, which usually takes place when a puppy is between three and six months old. Tender gums and loose teeth can make dry food unappetizing, so if your teething puppy wont eat dry food, you may try moistening it with warm water or mixing it with wet food to make it easier to chew. If you do decide to add wet food to his regular meal, remember to scale back the amount of dry food you give him to make sure youre not overfeeding him.
Read Also: Royal Canine Hypoallergenic Dog Food
An Important Note About Bottle Feeding & Nursing
You are only allowed to bottle feed the young pups in emergency cases. You should never attempt to feed the newborns through a bottle if their mother is perfectly able to do so herself. You dont want them to miss out on all the nutrients the mother can give.
You should provide the mom with a nice, comfortable little corner for her to stay in while she nurses the newborns. Give her enough water and nutritious dog food to eat so she can produce more milk and recuperate.
When Is The Right Time To Switch To Adult Dog Food
Determining when to make the switch from puppy to adult dog food depends on your puppys size and breed, as well as his metabolism. Simply put, small and large breed puppies develop at different rates, meaning that some dogs will make the switch to adult food at different life stages. At Bil-Jac, we agree with our friends at VetInfo.com and recommend the following guidelines:
- Smaller breeds mature more quickly and can be switched at about 9 months to 1 year
- Medium breeds can be switched at around 1 year of age
- Large and giant breed dogs can transition anywhere from 1 year to 18 months
Of course, one to two years is quite a wide range of time. Every dog is different, so keep an eye on how much food your dog eats. Skipping meals or leaving some food behind is one notable sign that your furry friend is ready for a switch. If you notice that your best friend is regularly leaving some of her puppy food behind in the bowl, its probably time to make the jump to an adult formula.
Your dogs body condition can also help you figure out when its time to switch to adult food. Since puppy formulas are designed to support rapid growth, once a puppy is first weaned, splitting up meals info three feeding a day si recommended.
Don’t Miss: Where To Get Dog Food Samples
Does Your Dog Eat Treats But Not Food
If your dog is refusing dinner but saying yes to treats or table scraps, they may be filling up on junk food rather than their own dog food. However, if your dog has other symptoms of not feeling well, a medical condition could be to blame for their altered appetite.
For example, if your dog is happy, energetic, drinking water, playing, and not having any vomiting or diarrhea, it may be that they are simply getting too many calories per day in treats and arent hungry for their meal. They may also have outsmarted you, knowing that if they refuse to eat their food, theyll get tasty chicken and dog treats instead.
However, if your dog is lethargic, having any vomiting or diarrhea, starting to eat a bit then stopping, or drooling or licking their lips, they may not be feeling 100% well. Treats are higher rewards, so many dogs will be more likely to eat those rather than their food, even if they arent feeling the best. Think of a time when youve had an upset stomach but powered through to have your favorite treat while passing up the salad bar.
It is always best to be on the safe side and have any possible medical conditions ruled out if getting your dog to eat is becoming a frequent challenge.
When And How Often Should I Feed My Puppy
From when you bring your puppy home at eight weeks until they are four months old, its best to feed them four meals a day. At four months, reduce this to three meals a day and when they turn six months, reduce to two meals. Continue a morning and evening meal for your pups life.
When you choose to feed your pup their meals is up to you, but we recommend spacing out meals evenly throughout the day. Remaining consistent will help get them into a routine, which will make life easier for you and them. We also recommend avoiding strenuous exercise after eating, which can lead to vomiting and potentially bloat.
You may have read that people should always eat their dinner before the family pet gets theirs this comes from a very outdated concept of dog behaviour and is based on the now-debunked idea that you need to show your dog who is boss . While it is important to teach your dog good manners around food so they are well-behaved and dont eat things that could cause them harm, your puppy isnt planning a household takeover! Whats more important to a puppy is routine and consistency, as this will ensure they understand what you expect of them and grow into a confident dog who trusts you. Feeding your pet at the same time each day will help get them into a routine, and ensuring everyone in the family consistently sticks to any doggy rules you decide upon will help your pup to understand what youre asking of them more quickly.
Also Check: What Foods Are Harmful To Dogs
Watch Their Eating Habits
As puppies enter new growth stages, their calorie needs will automatically adjust and you should see this showing up in their appetite levels.
If your once-ravenous four-bowl-a-day pupper is almost three months old but has lost momentum in the clean bowl club, their body may be ready to transition to three meals a day.
Is Your Dog Not Eating Loss Of Appetite In Dogs
Most dogs love eating. In fact, theyll eat anything they can get their paws on. Whether its dry kibble, wet food, dog treats, or human food, its not easy to find a dog who is a picky eater. But sometimes, a dog will go through a lack of appetite, worrying their owners.
There are many explanations as to why your puppy isnt eating. But eating small amounts or refusing to eat altogether isnt always a sign of a deadly condition.
Stress, an upset stomach, or other environmental factors could be one of the possible explanations. But if your dog refuses to eat for more than 24 hours, it could be one of the telltale symptoms that your puppy is sick.
In any way, you should be attentive to any changes in your dogs diet. If theyre not eating as much as they used to, you should call your vet and ask for their opinion. In doing so, you could be preventing your doggo from becoming even sicker.
You May Like: Who Carries Mighty Dog Food
When Should A Puppy Transition To Adult Food
The age at which a puppy reaches adulthood can vary by breed and other factors. Typically, dogs will be fully grown by age 1, but large breed puppies may continue growing until age 2. Its important to stop feeding puppy food when the time is right and transition to an adult diet and decrease the amount of food so your dog does not become overweight.
Many dog foods are nutritionally formulated to meet the needs of both puppies and adult dogs so always refer to the label for the AAFCO nutritional statement!
Stella & Chewys offers a variety of raw and kibble diets that are formulated to meet your puppys needs. Learn more about choosing a diet for your puppy.
What To Do When Your Puppy Isnt Eating
Remember, puppies dont have the same fat reserves as adult dogs. Therefore missing a meal or two can be problematic and be a cause for concern.
Always err on the side of caution and call your veterinarian for advice in these situations.
Below are some things you can do to try and tempt your puppys appetite at home.
Recommended Reading: Nutro Weight Management Dog Food
How Long Should A Puppy Eat Puppy Food
Raising a puppy can be so much fun. Your cute, little fur baby is all over the place playing, wagging his tail, and bringing joy to your home. But as he grows, you eventually find yourself wondering how long your puppy should keep eating puppy food. Depending on your dogs breed and size, you typically want to switch from puppy food to dog food sometime between seven and 14 months of age, although there are outliers.
% Of Large Breed Dog Owners Unsure Of When To Stop Feeding Puppy Food Purina Reports
ST. LOUIS Nestlé Purina PetCare highlighted discrepancies and misunderstandings among pet owners when it comes to purchasing and feeding puppy formulas in a survey released Aug. 24, showing many pet owners are unaware that dog maturity varies by breed size.
According to Purina, toy and small dog breeds that weigh less than 30 lbs take between nine and 12 months to fully mature, while medium-sized dogs weighing between 30 and 80 lbs can take up to 16 months to fully mature, and large and giant breeds weighing more than 80 lbs can take up to two years to reach full maturity.
“Puppies have specific nutritional requirements to help support their rapid growth and development, said Callie Harris, DVM, veterinarian at Purina. Similar to babies, puppies’ bodies are fast-growing, but unlike babies, puppies pack all their growth into one to two short years. It’s important to feed a high-quality puppy food formula for at least the first 12 months and up to 24 months for large breeds.
The survey, which included 1,000 puppy owners in the United States, revealed 92% of large breed dog owners were unaware that they should feed puppy food for up to two years, while 47% of small breed dog owners did not realize their dog should be fed puppy food for up to one year.
Pet owners are more likely to determine an appropriate diet based off their dogs size , but do not account for breed differences and their effects on size and development.
You May Like: What Dog Food Do Vets Recommend For Small Dogs
Read Dr Kristy Conns Advice:
Congratulations on your newest four-legged addition to your family. I understand the excitement and trepidation that comes with bringing home a furry ball of joy. You want to do right by her and that includes making sure she is getting the correct amount of nutrition. This is a popular time of year for bringing home puppies so Id like to take the opportunity to review basic puppy feeding guidelines for the first year of life while covering your question which may also answer any future questions you or other readers may have.
Can Puppies Eat Adult Dog Food
Puppies and adult dogs have different nutrient needs. To help puppies grow into adult dogs, they require more protein, micronutrients, and carbs. Puppies also require a high amount of calories to help them grow, so its essential to purchase a high-quality food brand for your puppy.
A puppys mouth is smaller than an adult dogs mouth, which helps explain why their food is not as big as adult kibble. Feeding puppies adult dog food can be dangerous because the kibble is larger and the texture is harder to chew. Giving a puppy adult dog food, it can cause damage to their teeth, jaws, and overall health.
Read Also: How To Switch Dog Food Safely
Is Puppy Food Different To Adult Dog Food
While puppy food should have many of the same ingredients as adult dog food, puppy meals tend to have higher concentrations of essential nutrients. This is because puppies have different requirements to older dogs just as human babies have different diets to adult humans. Puppies have a lot of growing and developing to do and building these tissues requires lots of protein, calcium and numerous other nutrients, as well as lot of energy.
Feeding a puppy adult dog food means you will need to feed them more often to ensure they get the nutrients they need, or risk stunting their development. One interesting example to illustrate this is that smaller dogs, including puppies, have a higher surface-to-volume ratio than larger dogs, which means that, relative to the amount of body heat they can create, smaller dogs have a larger area through which to lose heat. It is for this reason that puppies dont only need to eat and exercise more to keep their body temperature at normal levels, but why many tend to love a nice heated dog bed.
Equally, feeding an adult dog puppy food can also be dangerous, as it can lead to an overload of nutrients which can lead to problems later in life. For example, large dogs are already prone to skeletal issues, which the extra calcium in puppy food can exacerbate.
Is Your Dog Not Eating Dry Food
Does your dog turn up their nose at dry food, only to wolf down canned food the minute you set it down? This is a common complaint from pet parents, and it can mean a few different things.
It may be that your dog has dental or oral pain. Many pet parents believe that if their pet is eating, they must not have oral pain, but thats not the case. They have to eat, so many dog struggle silently with oral pain for months or years until a dental procedure is done to extract any rotten or infected teeth.
While some dogs will still eat dry food even with severe oral pain, many prefer canned food, as its easier to chew. If your dog is no longer wanting to eat dry food but will eat canned, they should be seen by their veterinarian for an oral examination.
It may also be that your dog prefers canned food to dry food, as it often smells stronger and may be seen as more of a treat. Try mixing canned food with the dry kibble to encourage your dog to eat, and gradually transitioning to a higher ratio of dry food, until your dog is back to eating dry kibble.
Some dogs simply refuse to eat kibble in favor of canned food. While this can have some negative consequences, such as worse dental disease or a higher food bill, it may not be a problem to have your dog on canned food long-term. Talk to your veterinarian to see if feeding your dog an all-canned diet may be the best option for them.
You May Like: Homemade Dog Food For Upset Stomach
Going Slow And Steady
Weaning is the term used to depict the process of introducing pups to food while withdrawing their supply of milk. Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to this process. Mother dogs are not just milk factories there is much more into their parenthood role, and rushing through the process is not good. While the puppies may at a certain point not nurse much anymore, they still need guidance from their mother and littermates on how to inhibit their bite and develop good canine social skills. Weaning gradually is also preferable because it’s best to dry up momma dog’s milk supply at a slow pace.