When Your Puppy Won’t Eat – How To Get Your Puppy To Eat Food!

When Your Puppy Won’t Eat…

It is pertinent for a growing puppy to get adequate nutrition.  Fast growth experienced by young dogs applies to bother the mental and physical aspects of development.  Problems can arise when your puppy, or even your full grown dog, refuses to eat.  There are products and tactics available to help you get your puppy back on track.

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When Your Puppy Won’t Eat!
When Your Puppy Won’t Eat!

How to get your puppy to eat their food!

Don’t Waste Time

Your puppy’s health can go downhill fast when nutrition is held back.  Make sure to take action immediately when you notice a lack of appetite.  Within the first 24 to 48 hours of a hunger strike, you need to be looking in to other feeding options and possibly contacting your local veterinarian.

Dogs, especially puppies, can lose weight very quickly, compromising their overall health and even resulting in death of very young animals.  Pay close attention to you puppy’s eating habits on a daily basis.

Trying New Foods

There are many good dog food choices on the market that offer complete nutrition for your puppy.  Young puppies have very specific nutritional and calorie needs, puppy food is not the same as adult food.  A change in dog food should not be taken lightly, either.

Dogs have very sensitive digestive systems.  A sudden dog food change can cause stomach upset and diarrhea, resulting in further weight loss.  The best option is to talk to your vet as soon as you acquire a puppy to decide on an appropriate food choice from the very beginning.

However, if your puppy is refusing to eat, or not thriving on the original food, you may have to make a change.  It is important to do this properly when trying to avoid any further problems.

Even if your dog seems to love the new food, it must not be given as a full meal until the adjustment has been made.  Be sure to research or read the package on how to properly mix food when making a change to a new brand.  It is standard to mix a small amount of the new with the old, increasing the new food over a few days to allow the stomach to prepare for the new ingredients.

Food choice very well could be the only problem keeping your puppy from eating a healthy meal.  Many dogs are picky, just like humans.  They may prefer a certain taste, and not like others. Some dogs may also like to have wet dog food instead of dry dog food.

These can also be mixed to form a desirable consistency. Blue Buffalo dry dog food offers a variety of flavors and formulas for different dietary needs, including allergies.

Natural Balance canned dog food is a nutritionally complete option for toes dogs that prefer wet dog food.  It is, however, difficult to ascertain when you are having a standoff from stubborn dog or a true health problem.  Sometimes a little trial and error is in order.

Do not Assume a Physical Problem

Puppies can be very sensitive to change, and react in many different ways.  Take care to ascertain the mental state of your puppy.  If there are any major changes going on around the house, your dog may simply be reacting to the environmental climate.

Many dogs know when their owners are leaving for the day, moving to a new home, or experiencing an illness.  Your puppy is more competent than you think at analyzing its surroundings.  What they can’t do, is understand that everything is going to be okay.

There are ways, however, to reassure your dog.  Take a little extra time at the end of the day to provide a snuggle or a nice walk.  You can also arrange for a neighbor or friend to come over and help out with a little extra exercise.

The more physical activity your dog gets, the less stressed it will be. Physical activity also works to increase appetite.  You can add a little activity to meal time, as well, by adding some interesting toys to mealtime.

Toys like the Star Mark Bob A Lot can help to make eating more fun and interactive.  Things like this play on the puppy’s natural instant to hunt for their food.  Boredom can be an inhibitor to eating and good behavior alike.

However, it’s important to have your dog eating at a proper height. Dogs will often not eat their food if they find it to be rather inaccessible. An elevated dog feeder may be a great idea!

Early crate training is a good way to prepare for future anxiety provoking situations.  Anxious puppies often feel much safer in their crates, especially if you are not home and they must be left alone.  Security and safety can also increase the desire to eat.

Work early on to establish the crate as a safe and happy place by placing treats, toys, and favorite blankets inside.  Do not use the crate as a place of punishment when dealing with an anxious dog.

Use our research of the best dog crates available for your specific size and breed of dog.  Some anxious dogs need highly reinforced crates for their own safety.   The correct size is also important.

A crate that is too large can be a problem just like one that is too small.   There are many resources for crate training tips available on our website or from your vet.  Crate training can also help to prepare your puppy for any future boarding experiences.  Many dogs refuse to eat in boarding, as well.

There are medications available for dogs with severe separation anxiety that must be prescribed by a veterinarian.  Other remedies include special pressure vests and training exercises.

Some dogs may like to have the television or radio left on when alone, as well.  If something is interfering with your puppy’s mental state, they will not be as motivated to eat because they will not be feeling well.

Be Careful with the People Food

Human food can seem like a tempting thing to offer when your puppy won’t eat dog food.  There are, however, many foods that are dangerous for dogs to consume.

At times of illness or picky eating, some veterinarians will suggest certain human foods to be offered alone or mixed with your puppy’s food to encourage appetite.  This should be done only when necessary, as it can be hard to get your puppy to return to regular dog food after enjoying special dishes long term.

While it can be fun to cook for your puppy, this option can cause quite the inconvenience in the long run if not done properly.  There are also many homemade dog food recipes available for those with dogs that need special foods, however.  It is important to make sure to include the proper vitamins and supplements if this is going to be their regular feeding option.


When your puppy won’t eat, it can be a stressful time and cause many worries.  Pets are a part of the family and having one that becomes ill can cause a great sadness.  It is important to act quickly and consider all of your options when helping your puppy recover from an eating problem.


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Laura Norwood
Laura Norwoodhttps://howdogcare.com
The ultimate founder and enthusiast who investigates every piece of pet news.

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