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Help, My Puppy is Not Eating!

by Iyhene

Hi there just picked up our puppy 8 weeks old a couple days ago. He was eating well then suddenly changed. He doesn't have any appetite to eat the same food. I'm just a bit worried that he may starve himself.

Greetings from Miracle Shih Tzu...

An eight week old puppy refusing to eat can be very distressing to a new owner and it is a reason to be concerned.

Normal Shih Tzu puppies of this age are about 2 to 3 pounds and eat four times a day, even though the meals are very small. If a puppy refuses food all together, it is time to seek veterinary care.

There are reasons why a puppy might not eat, both medical and behavioral, but it is important to first rule out any medical issues.

1. Did your puppy have shots within the last 24 hours? Sometimes puppy vaccinations will cause a puppy to refuse food for a short period of time.

2. Has the puppy been checked for worms? Internal parasites are often a cause of a puppy's anorexia. Anorexia is a medical term for refusing to eat. To determine whether a puppy has worms, you must first obtain a fecal sample and take it to your vet. They will be able to determine if this is the problem and give you medicine.

3. Is the puppy sick? Again, only a veterinarian can determine this. Signs of illness in puppies this small include fatigue or listlessness, vomiting, diarrhea, failure to eat. They may or may not have a fever.

4. Sometimes stress plays a role. If the puppy is in a new environment, he may feel uncomfortable at first. This is his first experience being away from his mama and littermates and the felling can be overwhelming.

Additionally small puppies at about eight weeks of age go through a short fear period, which can affect their desire to eat.

Recommendations:
1. The first thing to do is to make an appointment to see the vet. Obtain a fecal sample to take with you. Follow the vet's recommendations for feeding. He may prescribe a special diet or add probiotics to your regular puppy food.

2. Provide a stress free, quiet environment for the puppy with a place he can call his own. (Bed, crate) with plenty of time to sleep or nap. Young puppies spend much of their time napping so it is important to assure your puppy has adequate rest.

3. Make the food as palatable as possible. If you are feeding a kibble, you might want to add hot water to the food and allow it to become mushy. This takes about 5-10 minutes to get the food to the soft consistency. Then add a little cool water because puppies don't like their food too hot.

See if he will eat any of this "mushy" food. The addition of added water to the kibble will also provide some hydration. If the puppy is also refusing to drink water, he may get dehydrated quickly. This would not be good.

4. Always provide cool fresh water at all times.

Good Luck with your new puppy. Add a comment to let us know how he's doing.

Comments for Help, My Puppy is Not Eating!

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Jul 19, 2018
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by: Janice

Congratulations on your new Chiweeni puppy. It sounds like you have not only adopted a new puppy, but also one with some rather questionable eating habits.

Puppies do best when fed a high-quality puppy food that is designed for small breed dogs.

Finding a food like that will assure that your puppy is getting all the necessary nutrients she needs to thrive. Unless you are very skilled in dog nutrition, feeding a homemade diet is not a good idea.

You don't mention how old she is, but many puppies don't need additional snacks and treats to supplement their diet.

With that said, treats are a very important part of a training program, but treats should also be of high quality. You can use homemade treats but they should be tiny bits of chicken or other meats that you cook. Very desirable treats like these help the training program along and can achieve results faster.

As far as rawhide bones are concerned, I'm not a big fan of them because they do pose a choking risk. Hard nylon or rubber chew toys work just as well to provide puppies with chewing experience or as a teething toy. Dogs love the rawhide, but if you do decide to use them, please supervise and then take away when the puppy is done chewing. Hope this helps

Jul 16, 2018
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My baby girl isn't eating much.
by: Mahlea

We just got a chiweeni and she eats very little. When we first got her our friend had picked her up for us because he lives over 3 hrs away so he paid for her and when she was with him she had thr..own up and in it was that nasty cheap lunch meat. Obviously the women we had got her from had been feeding hef human food and often. She goes straight for us and our food trying to get some and is very persistent about it. We won't give her human food until she is old enough and even then it will be meats and vegetables no food with preservatives or any crap thats isn't good for her or us for that matter. Oh and my fiancee has been giving her raw hide bones and snacks shaped like bones with this meat sauce crap on them. I think he shouldn't give her any of that stuff and keep trying to get her to eat her food.

Aug 25, 2016
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Puppy that Won't Eat
by: Miracle Shih Tzu

There is nothing more discouraging than a puppy that refuses to eat. It is especially hard because we often have a wide range of emotions including worry, frustration, anger, and guilt.

Is the puppy sick?

Maybe the puppy is being stubborn?

Perhaps the puppy is just holding out for a yummy treat? More satisfying diet? Maybe just a little more of what you are eating?

I've done some research and have added some additional suggestions for your puppy that refuses to eat.

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