Puppy won’t eat his food – what should I do?

Our question this week was:

Hi sorry to bother you – I have recently got a 8 week old border collie, from a farm that is roughly 35 miles away although he was bought from my local pet shop. I have no idea what he has been eating and he seems a bit reluctant to eat dry puppy food although he will jump at the chance to eat a small piece of chicken. I have even tried putting chicken stock in his dry food, but he still is uncertain about eating it. He is very active and will need to start eating to keep his energy up and for growing at such a young age , any advice would be very helpful many thanks


Cliff from the UK.


Hi Cliff– thanks for your email. If you just got him, I’d recommend calling the farm where he came from and asking what he was eating there. If they don’t respond, ask the pet store what they were feeding. I think it is a good idea to feed the same food with a new puppy for a few days just to make one less change in their transition. Then you can gradually change them to the food you want to feed over a few days as they adjust to their new homes.

Make sure that you are feeding a good quality food formulated for puppies. Also, make sure he is active and not having any problems such as vomiting or diarrhea. If you are at all concerned about his overall health, I’d recommend having him examined by your veterinarian.

Also, look to see how much food he should be eating based on his body weight. I had a client the other day tell me their puppy was not eating much. She came in and the puppy looked great! When we got down to the details, it was not eating as much as SHE thought it should eat but was eating as much as it should based on its body weight and caloric requirements. She thought he should be eating 3 or 3 ½ cups per day and the pup was eating 1 cup – which was all it wanted or needed based on its size! It was just a little thing.