The 5 Most Common Puppy Eating Problems

There are a number of common puppy eating problems. From being weaned, to different dog foods, to stress from a new environment, puppies can develop many issues when it comes to their diet and digestion. Below are the most common eating problems puppies face.

Weight Loss and Weakness after Weaning

A puppy who is under eight weeks of age and is losing weight or appears weak may not be acclimating to his new diet. If you believe your puppy was not weaned slowly or correctly, try mixing one cup of infant rice cereal (found in the baby food section of any supermarket), one cup of evaporated milk, one half cup ground puppy food, and water to thin it out to an easy to eat consistency. Over the course of three days, gradually decrease the amount of rice cereal and increase the amount of puppy food. On the fourth day, begin decreasing the water and milk until the puppy eats only dog food without problems. If your dog continues to appear weak and has not gained weight, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Grass Eating

Grass eating is very common in dogs, especially puppies. Some dogs eat grass more than others. Some eat it when their stomach's are upset, some eat it just because it tastes good. If your puppy isn't vomiting after eating grass, there is little cause for concern. Puppies discover the world around them by putting things in their mouth much like human babies. Grass has many different smells and often tastes sweet which is inviting for a young dog. Take precautionary measures to make sure the grass isn't contaminated by pesticides or fertilizers which can be harmful.

Coprophagia (Consumption of Feces)

The majority of coprophagia cases are purely behavioral. Puppies will play with and investigate their own feces and will often eat it out of curiosity. Puppy feces also contains large amounts of undigested food which is appealing to the young dog. This problem is very common is puppies and usually decreases into adulthood.

Loss of Appetite

A healthy puppy equals a healthy appetite. Puppies eat 3 to 4 times daily during the first six months of life. A loss of appetite can be a sign of a serious illness, including parvovirus. If your puppy has a sudden loss of appetite, consult your veterinarian.

Food Allergies

Food allergies are difficult to identify because symptoms can appear immediately, days, weeks or even months after consumption. Symptoms of food allergies include breathing problems, itchy or irritated skin, and digestive problems. A puppy who has been eating one brand of food his entire life can develop an allergy. Approximately 70% of food allergy cases come from dogs who have been eating the same food for over two years. Only a veterinarian can accurately diagnose your dog with food allergies. Your dog will be tested to see if the allergy is triggered by something in his diet or something in his environment. Treatments can vary from antibiotics to a change in diet.