Puppy not eating and why you should worry

Puppy not eating, or loss of appetite is a rare but serious medical red flag. Simply put, a growing puppy cannot afford to miss many meals during this crucial stage. A puppy not eating well for even a day is a cause for great concern and a visit to the vet should be in order.


In fact, it is common for puppies to have an excessive appetite during this phase although the amount to feed must always be moderated in relation to her age and weight.



New puppies are particularly prone to stress and one of the most common factor for the loss in appetite. New environment, meeting strangers, boredom, abrupt change in diet and separating from your puppy’s litter are just some examples of stress inducing adjustment she must cope.


Stress not only impact digestion, it also hinders production of red blood cells, cause diarrhoea, vomiting and gastric ulcers. Increase demand for protein and vitamins to cope with anxiety leads to possible deficiencies for vitamins A, C, E and minerals including calcium, magnesium and iron.


Stress prevention and treatment primarily means consideration for your puppy. Understand that new/loud sound, pulling or yanking from excitable kids and being awoke abruptly constantly while sleeping is very stress inducing for her. Be calm and quiet around your puppy. Try not to scream or yell at each other (family members) or at your puppy. That goes for abrupt movement such as running or sudden hand gestures that might startled her too.


Understandably not easy especially with young kids around but the reward for a healthier mental and physical well-being that will last your puppy’s lifetime is well worth the effort. An interesting byproduct thou is having to finding creative and gentler ways to communicate with your kids.


Medical term for difficulty in swallowing. Common ailment for dogs and a symptom for many reasons.


Dysphagia comes with various degree of severity, some mild with little to no effect on your puppy’s appetite while in more serious cases, your puppy might refuse or rather find herself unable to consume her meals.


Notable symptoms for dysphagia are excessive drooling (sometime with blood mix with saliva) and a sudden lost in appetite. Some causes include:

  • Nasal infection
  • Foreign object obstruction
  • Nerve disorder of the head and mouth
  • Inflammation of pharynx or tonsillitis

As a rule of thumb, arrange a thorough examination with your vet without delay if your puppy show any signs of dysphagia, mild or otherwise.



Term for inflammation of colon or large intestine usually cause by infection through food poisoning or swallowing of foreign objects.


Visible pain and discomfort are apparent as with a sudden loss of appetite. Immediate examination and treatment are required.



Teething is a natural phase for puppies around between 3 to 8 months when their adult teeth pushes to replace milk teeth. Your puppy’s gum might be painful and sensitive during this period often resulting in her being picky when it comes to food. Do your best to provide her with reliefs and monitor what she prefers to eat.


While this is all part of growing, it is important to note teething could still lead to potential behavior and health issues if go unchecked.

Other causes for puppy not eating

  • Fever
  • Throat or mouth infection
  • Gastritis
  • Parasite

Skipping a meal is already a cause for concern, puppy not eating for more than 2 meals require professional examination without delay.

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