Puppy not eating? What worked for me

Posted by panda2uk
Nov 26, 2010
Hi folks,

I wanted to share an issue I experienced with my puppy and what we did to correct it.

I have a 20 week old Lhasa Apso male pup. This is my first dog and I wanted to make sure I was doing everything right for him.

I have been feeding him Hill Science Plan puppy kibble which he loved since we brought him home. Occasionally I would add a little bit of James Wellbeloved wet puppy food for a bit of variety.

He has been eating 3 meals a day since turning 12 weeks of age all without any issues.

A number of weeks ago he had a particularly sleepy day and slept through his regular lunch time of 1pm. At 2pm, he woke up, vomited bile and then went back to sleep. I was concerned as he had never been sick before (amazingly!) so I took him to the vet for a quick check up. The vet explained to me that being a small dog with a small tummy, his stomach can fill up with acid causing him to vomit bile if his tummy is empty for too long. The vet prescribed a 5 day course of what I liked to call 'puppy gaviscon', which puppy had to take 3 times a day, half an hour before food.

Things settled down and he hasn;t experienced this again since but I have always been a bit cautious if he doesn;t eat.

Last weekend, puppy decided to turn his nose up to lunch - and dinner. Needless to say he was sick later in the evening.

When I actually sat down and realised what we were doing it hit me - we were practically supervising his meals. We had always only ever left his bowl down for 30 minutes before removing it. Now as we were so pre-occupied with the prospect of him being ill if he didn;t eat, we were hanging over his food bowl and trying to spoon feed him.

Lesson learnt? Leave puppy his/her bowl down for 30 minutes and give them peace to eat. If puppy isn;t hungry they won;t eat - leave them be. They will surely pick it up at the next feeding time. Don;t try to spoon feed them in an attempt to make them eat something. This leads to issues trying to get them eating out of the bowl later. Try not to worry too much