Puppies are cute and a lot of fun to be around. After purchasing a puppy, you must take excellent care of it. Puppies are delicate and susceptible to several health hazards. For instance, they can quit eating if they get sick. So, why is your puppy not eating and sleeping a lot?
You might want to pay close attention to your puppy’s hunger, whether he is just getting older, or is finicky. Your dog may not be eating much or could be sleeping a lot for a variety of reasons.
A puppy not eating or sleeping too much could be brought on by respiratory infections, digestive issues, organ conditions, teething pains, stress, or anxiety. You must take your puppy to the vet as soon as possible if he doesn’t appear to be eating or is lethargic.
Keep reading below as we take you through these causes in detail.
Causes of Your Puppy’s Lethargy and Lack of Eating
Lethargy might be brought on by a number of factors. Your dog might be overweight or overly thin, or it could be afflicted with an illness like a fever. Based on the symptoms, your veterinarian can suggest a suitable diet and assist you in identifying the root of the issue.
Here are various explanations for your puppy’s low appetite and excessive slumber.
Puppies who are fussy eaters may quit eating. Calling your veterinarian should be your first course of action if your puppy hasn’t been eating enough. Your dog may simply not want to consume the food you are providing them, but there could also be a health issue.
The best course of action is to rule out any underlying medical concerns first — a dog seldom goes without food for several days. If the issue continues, you must take the dog to the vet, who could recommend medication to encourage your puppy to eat.
Anxiety and Stress
There are various reasons why your dog can be acting sleepy and lethargic. Drowsiness in puppies is frequently brought on by stress and anxiety. The impulse to eat may be stifled by these feelings. A lack of appetite might also be brought on by a change in habit or surroundings.
If the food bowl is too high or too low, your puppy might not want to eat. Stress might also be brought on by a new baby or a recent move to a new home or apartment.
Contact your veterinarian straight away if your puppy is exhibiting signs of depression or isn’t eating. Boredom is yet another factor in dog depression. When kept in crates or cages, dogs tend to lie around much more. Even if it’s only a short-term issue, it can still be detrimental.
When summer is at its hottest, dogs must be confined indoors. If at all feasible, bring them indoors. It’s also essential to maintain their hydration. Hyperthermia, a condition wherein pets’ bodies are not able to control body temperature, can result from high heat.
While simple home remedies can be used to treat minor heat exhaustion, severe heat stroke can make your puppy pass out, develop a high temperature, or even experience organ damage.
High temperatures might also stifle a puppy’s appetite. When it’s hot outside, even the healthiest cuisine may not be the best option. Keep the temperature comfortable since high temperatures might make your puppy not want to eat as much.
GI Discomfort or Blockage
If your puppy doesn’t seem to be eating much or has a little appetite, it might be an indication of a more serious condition. Your dog’s digestive system could be obstructed or irritated.
You can try administering subcutaneous fluids at a veterinarian’s office, even if it is lethargic and not eating much. You may also provide him with soft white rice and bland meals.
Additionally, he could need a special diet. Your dog may have an underlying condition if you notice diarrhea that lasts longer than three weeks and is followed by vomiting and appetite loss. Chronic enteropathy, another name for inflammatory bowel disease, is an infection of the gastrointestinal system that prevents food from being properly digested and absorbed.
Your puppy may have a digestive issue — such as an infection — if they are not eating much or seem sluggish. Dogs frequently skip meals for six to 12 hours after experiencing diarrhea. To pinpoint the cause, a veterinarian will thoroughly observe bowel motions and behavior.
Fortunately, your dog can soon restore his appetite if the problem is identified early. Infections caused by bacteria and viruses are some likely reasons for diarrhea.
Other signs of disease besides stomach problems include vomiting and diarrhea. Take your puppy to the vet if vomiting happens regularly so that a more serious infection may be ruled out.
Organ Disease or Dysfunction
It could be time to take your puppy to the vet if he or she seems lethargic and doesn’t show any interest in mealtime or playing with their toys. This issue should be treated right away since it might be an indication of a more dangerous underlying medical condition.
Lethargy in dogs can have a number of causes, some of which are not immediately apparent, while others include organ failure and illness.
Lethargy can have moderate reasons that don’t necessitate a trip to the vet. Overexertion or hot temperatures might make dogs feel mildly lethargic. A puppy might not wake up right away, but once awake, he or she usually behaves normally. This might be the reason if you have seen other changes in your puppy during the past several days. If not, consult with your veterinarian.
You should seek medical help if your puppy’s lack of hunger and lethargy continues for longer than 24 hours. Your dog may have a respiratory infection if his breathing is strained. That said, strenuous breathing is not the same as panting. The muscles in the belly move quickly during this.
Additionally, the dog could be in agony. Older canines are typically affected by these illnesses. Medication, dietary modifications, or surgery are all forms of treatment.
Teething or Pain
You could see some pain or mouth bleeding while your dog is teething. Additionally, this may cause more drool than usual. The gums surrounding your puppy’s mouth will get red and inflamed if it is teething. Because of the pain and agony, your puppy may also stop eating and begin sleeping more than usual.
How to Improve Your Pup’s Health
There are a few things you must think about when it comes to properly caring for your puppy, regardless of whether you’re a novice puppy owner or an experienced dog owner.
Dogs are social animals that benefit from socialization. To help puppies find their own pals, expose them to many situations and individuals.
Dogs also require a healthy diet. Dogs, unlike humans, benefit greatly from a consistent feeding schedule. No matter the breed, always follow the advice and give your puppy the right food.
Give your puppy a healthy diet that includes lots of fresh water. Routine vet appointments are also essential to prevent diseases or illnesses linked to obesity.
Generally speaking, high-quality food will satisfy your puppy’s nutritional requirements, but you might need to add supplements to their diet to do so. Keep rewards at 10 percent of their overall food intake. A variety of nutritious treats and kibble should be included in your puppy’s diet.
When your puppy is six weeks old, you must take it to the vet for an examination. Your puppy’s heart rate and pulse will be checked by a veterinarian, who will also start them on a prophylactic deworming plan.
In addition, your puppy will get vaccinations and boosters. Make sure your dog is wearing a flea collar. These crucial actions are easy to overlook, and doing so might harm your dog.
Lots of Water
Dogs need access to water, particularly if they want to exercise outdoors. They can lower their body temperature by drinking water.
Regularly inspecting your puppy’s eyes is a smart method to prevent numerous health issues that might arise in puppies. It is crucial to look for red, painful, or runny eyes. If you come across one of them, you should go to the vet. If not, get in touch with the breeder or charity and have them examined. Early disease prevention is preferable when the puppy is young and healthy.
A vital component of your dog’s wellness is dental hygiene. Although it can appear insignificant, gum disease can result in grave health problems.
The bacteria in the infected gums can penetrate the bloodstream and create many other major health problems in addition to foul breath in dogs. Your puppy is likely to experience the effects of gum disease if you don’t take any steps to avoid it.
Common Signs to Watch for Before Visiting the Vet
Below are common signs every dog owner should look out for before taking them to the vet.
Check to determine whether your dog has a temperature. This is due to the fact that dogs with high body temperatures may exhibit extreme lethargy and refuse to consume food or liquids.
If your dog has a fever of 103°F or higher, cooling down their ears and paws with a moist towel or cloth and putting on a fan close to them will help drop their body temperature. Stop using the towel when your dog’s temperature drops below 103°F, but nevertheless, keep a careful check on him to make sure the fever doesn’t return.
Contact your veterinarian right away if the temperature rises beyond 106°F since there may be an underlying medical problem to consider.
Dogs can often become picky eaters when they start to feel unwell because they only want their favorite treats. Therefore, if your dog still enjoys eating treats but doesn’t seem to be fascinated by food at all, this could simply be a passing phase.
Keep it well-hydrated and give it plenty of time to play. Your dog will have a good appetite when it is active. Try to remember if your dog has encountered anything out of the ordinary, and keep an eye out for symptoms like tucking its tail between its legs and unceasing shivering.
It’s crucial to make your dog feel safe again if they’ve been afraid. Making sure they have a calm location to retreat to in times of anxiety or fear can help you achieve this. To prevent them from feeling alone, you may also try playing with them more frequently and paying more attention.
For indications of dehydration or issues associated with dehydration, like dry mouth or dry gums, you must also examine your dog’s mouth and gums. They might require more water than normal if the mouth is cracked and dry. Otherwise, they may be dehydrated as a result of sickness or other causes.
The teeth growing in your dog’s mouth are quite delicate. Your dog may be eating less often than normal since the discomfort might make it difficult to consume. When this is the case, keep an eye out for further signs of teething, such as excessive biting or nibbling on objects, inflammation surrounding the mouth or gums, excess drooling, and sore gums.
Frequently Asked Questions
An otherwise active puppy who suddenly becomes tired or lethargic may be sick.
If you notice your puppy hasn’t eaten all day and they are vomiting or having diarrhea, it’s worth reaching out to your veterinarian to rule out any serious health issues.
Signs of parvovirus include a loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting, fever, weight loss, and diarrhea.
Conclusion for “Puppy Is Not Eating and Sleeping a Lot? Here’s Why & What to Do”
Dogs might lose their appetite for a variety of reasons, such as the weather, trauma, illness, and stress. Stay vigilant and keep a close eye on your puppy if it isn’t eating well and sleeping more often than normal for at least a day or two.
It’s possible that things are only temporary and your puppy will quickly improve. However, it’s advisable that you seek advice from a veterinarian if the situation does not get better.
If you enjoyed this guide, “Puppy Is Not Eating and Sleeping a Lot,” check out:
- Why Is My Newborn Puppy’s Poop Green? (2023)
- Why Does My Puppy Sound Congested? (Common Causes and Treatments) (2023)
- Why is My Puppy Gagging So Much? 5 Reasons. (2023)
Learn more about puppy care by watching “How To Care for Your Puppy If It’s Not Eating or Drinking: Loss Appetite in Dogs” down below:
Garrett loves animals and is a huge advocate for all Doodle dog breeds. He owns his own Goldendoodle named Kona. In addition, he volunteers at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley, where he fosters dogs and helps animals. Garrett enjoys writing about Doodles and believes that dogs can teach humans more about how to live than humans can teach a dog.
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