Your puppy is finally home and getting settled in!
Congratulations to all the new FADA puppy families out there, BTW. :-)
But, this happy, exciting time can be worrisome to new pet parents and the pups alike. Especially the first couple of days. Why, you ask?
The adjustment can be difficult for the puppy. Imagine being plucked from the only home you’ve ever known, being deposited on a plane and flown across the nation or riding in a vehicle for hours with strangers, and then being taken into an unfamiliar place with new faces and smells.
Overstimulation and stress take a toll on them just like it does on people.
I can imagine the puppy thinking, “These new people are super nice and awesome, but boy is this scary! What’s happening?! Where are my littermates? Where do I fit in here?”
This jar to the system so to speak can cause the puppy to not eat, drink, or act reserved for a day or two.
Understandably, the new pet parent gets worried that their new pup is sick or unhappy and attempts to coax the puppy to eat all sorts of treats he is not used to, which can upset the tummy and cause diarrhea. And, that naturally would cause the pawrents to worry that much more.
That’s stressful, right? For sure. So, I’m here to tell you that it is totally normal for a puppy to not want to eat much, drink much, or at all for the first day or two. He, or she, will definitely start eating and drinking once he’s gotten more comfortable in his new setting. It’s important to not offer him food his tummy is not ready for.
If you are really worried and want to get him to eat something, find a very high-quality soft food and mix one tablespoon with his normal Life’s Abundance food and see if he’ll eat that. When choosing soft food avoid heavy fillers like soy, corn, or wheat. Also avoid yucky ingredients like nonspecific animal by-products or animal digest, etc. (Read our blog on dog food here.) If he doesn’t eat it, just cover and place it in the fridge for later. However, do always keep a fresh supply of water available.
Other tips include:
Sitting with him while he eats or leaving him alone to see if he eats. Experiment with both as he could want some reassurance with your presence or he may feel safer alone for now.
If there is another dog, or even a cat, in the house, make sure they aren’t bullying him. Maybe try feeding them separately to see if that makes a difference.
Play for a while to work up an appetite before feed time. Let him rest just a bit before going for the food though, to let his breath rate and heart rate settle down. That helps the food digest better and is true of all dogs of all ages.
The odds are that they are just stressed out and anxious but do take them to the vet if they haven’t drunk any water or eaten any food for more than two days, or if they’re losing weight, are lethargic, or vomiting. Your vet may have other recommendations as well.
The bottom line is that a new situation can be scary for anyone. Being patient and supportive of your puppy, and trying out these tips when you feel the need, will most likely remedy the issue in no time.
You’ll be left with a happy, hungry, fur ball of energy before you know it!
Have you tried any of these tips? Did they work? Do you have any other suggestions? If so, comment below!