Having a puppy is like having a friend or a companion on a daily basis. Not only is it great fun, but most importantly, it’s a parental responsibility. When everything is alright, then you don’t have to worry too much, but sometimes it happens that your puppy refuses to eat. What then? Many people don’t know whether their puppies are just finicky or they have some serious problems. And unfortunately, most pet owners don’t know how to help their tetrapods. Although such a situation may be stressful both for people and their pets, don’t panic, but acquire some knowledge and help your puppy to recover.
You should know that puppies have smaller fat reserves than adult dogs, and they can’t bear without food longer than 12 hours. Moreover, if they skip a meal or two, they have a predisposition to hypoglycemia, which is the decrease in blood sugar. To overcome such difficulties on your way, you need to follow some steps.
Find the reasons why your puppy isn’t eating
According to Pet Place experts, the first thing you can do is to find out why your puppy isn’t eating. There are many reasons behind such deviant behaviour. At first, think whether your puppy isn’t finicky. Maybe you gave it something it doesn’t like. However, when you’re sure that’s not the case, then consider other causes. Perhaps your pet has been recently exposed to sudden stress connected with the move to a new place, or it discovered a nearby trash heap and ate spoiled food, which might impair its digestive system. Even if your kitten or doggy stayed most of the time at home, they could find some indigestible object, like a sock, toy, or pants that they ate and can’t digest now. Consider different options before you take further steps to help your puppy.
Recognize other symptoms
To better recognise the direct reason for your pet’s lack of appetite, observe it very carefully to find other symptoms. Have you noticed some strange behaviour in your puppy, like vomiting or diarrhea? Maybe it has worms in the stool or fleas or ticks in the fur? Other suspicious signs will be coughing and trouble breathing. All these things may indicate that something wrong is happening to your pet.
Try to increase his appetite
Before visiting a vet, you can always try to help your puppy on your own. What can you do? There are many ways to stimulate the pet’s appetite. For example, if you normally give it only dry food, you can add some canned food to it or moisten it with either water or chicken broth. It’ll make the food more palatable.
You can also introduce a bland diet, usually made from boiled lean meat, such as chicken, hamburger, or turkey mixed with boiled rice, but without any additives. It’s recommended to serve it to your pet, especially after vomiting.
Another common technique is adding a little bit of plain yogurt or plain cottage cheese to its regular food, but only after prior checking whether it doesn’t contain xylitol- a sugar substitute that is extremely dangerous for dogs.
Among other everyday things to tempt your puppy to eat is hand-feeding, warming the food in the microwave so that your reluctant eater could feel the food’s aroma or just taking it for a walk and putting its feed into a new interactive toy. Some of these methods should finally work out.
Except for encouraging your puppies to eat, don’t forget about watering them. Drinking liquids is equally as important as eating. So, for example, you can add an ice cube to their water bowl or offer them to lick water from your hand.
Visit a vet
However, if all these methods fail and your puppy is still reluctant to eat anything, then you must use the last resort, which is the visit to a vet. You shouldn’t wait with that too long, though. Otherwise, your puppy’s condition may only go from bad to worse. Be prepared to give feedback to your vet on your pet’s exposure to trash and toxins, vaccine history, and all other symptoms you’ve recently observed. The veterinarian will probably check your pet’s body temperature and blood glucose level, as well as take fecal examination to check whether your tetrapod has some worms, such as roundworms, hookworms, or whipworms. Finally, depending on the test result, the vet will introduce a proper medical treatment, which you should immediately follow.
As has been demonstrated, you can help your puppy in many ways, when it isn’t eating. Don’t always blame yourself or the pet for its lack of appetite. Sometimes, some external factors make them get sick. The faster you notice some symptoms and recognise the problem, the quicker you can help them to recover.