A puppy that won't eat their food.

Here’s How to Help a Puppy That Won’t Eat

Having a puppy that won’t eat can be an emergency. Puppies less than three months old, especially the small and toy-breed dogs, are predisposed to juvenile hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) when they don’t eat an adequate amount.

Here are 5 steps to follow if your puppy isn’t eating:

Step 1. Find Out Why Your Puppy Isn’t Eating

The first thing to do is to try to figure out why your puppy isn’t eating. Some reasons a puppy won’t eat may be minor, while others can be serious and even life-threatening.

Here are some causes for inappetence:

Step 2. Evaluate Your Puppy for Symptoms

Carefully look at your puppy for additional symptoms besides the inappetence. Look for any underlying causes and evaluate your puppy for additional abnormal symptoms. Specifically, look for:

Step 3. Seek Medical Attention

Once puppies get sick, things can go downhill pretty quickly. Don’t wait too long to seek medical help for a puppy that will not eat. If you see any of the signs above, please consult your veterinarian.

Your veterinarian may ask you about exposure to trash or toxins, history of deworming, vaccine history, and additional symptoms, such as vomiting or diarrhea. They may check your puppy’s body temperature, check a blood glucose level, perform a fecal examination, as well as other tests depending on your puppy’s examination and clinical signs.

Step 4. Try These Tips for Feeding Puppies

Below are tips that can encourage puppies to eat:

If you try these tips and your puppy still won’t eat, the best and safest thing is to take your puppy to the veterinarian. If your pet seems weak, becomes unable to stand, and/or you notice any additional muscle twitching, this is an emergency. This can be a sign of low blood sugar. Call your veterinarian immediately or contact the closest emergency clinic. To help low blood sugar, rub Karo® syrup on your puppy’s gums.

Step 5. Remember Things to Avoid

If you’ve figured out why your puppy isn’t eating, avoid similar situations in the future. For example, if your puppy got into the trash, avoid exposure to the trash. If your puppy has worms, make sure you follow the prescribed treatment and ensure that you follow all instructions from your veterinarian.