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How To Help A Puppy That Is Not Eating And Is Sleeping A Lot!

There are a lot of things to worry about when you first take on a puppy, especially if you are new to dog ownership, and many people are unsure whether they are overreacting or not when something seems amiss.

If your puppy is not eating and is sleeping a lot, you might be feeling concerned about whether it’s okay, since most puppies are bundles of enthusiasm and energy.

However, you don’t necessarily need to panic straight away, as sometimes this behavior is normal, depending on the situation.

If your dog is lethargic with no apparent cause and has had plenty of sleep, you might have more cause to be concerned, but often, a puppy will simply be sleeping because it has worn itself out with playing, and it needs a lot of sleep overall.

However, if the puppy seems off its food and is sleeping excessively, there is more reason to be concerned. As with any pet, it’s important to trust your instincts if you think that something is wrong, and it’s better to be excessively worried than to take no action.

Owning a new puppy is a lot of fun, but it can also be a challenging journey at times, and you must make sure that you are looking after the dog to the very best of your ability. Don’t ignore it if your dog seems sick or listless.

Why Do Puppies Stop Eating And Sleep A Lot?

There are a few reasons for puppies to stop eating and spend a lot of their time sleeping instead, but it’s important to pay attention to your dog’s behavior and determine whether there are harmless explanations, or whether something more serious is going on.

Sometimes, a puppy will sleep just to catch up on a busy day of playing, and on average, they can sleep between fifteen and twenty hours per day.

However, lethargy and loss of appetite could also be caused by diseases, such as puppy distemper, poisoning, tumors, hormone imbalances, or heartworms.

Any of these issues could cause sleepiness and lack of interest in food, but poisoning is a particularly worrying one, so take some time to observe the dog and check whether it has eaten anything it shouldn’t.

Puppies are curious creatures and often explore with their mouths, so poisoning can be a real risk for them – especially if household chemicals are left lying around and the puppy gets into them. It’s important to puppy-proof your home when you take on a young dog, making sure it can’t eat anything that will make it sick.

Many of the other illnesses don’t tend to affect puppies, but there are a lot of serious problems that could cause loss of appetite and heavy sleep, and things like diabetes, liver disease, kennel cough, and parvovirus can all be present in young dogs in rare situations. If your dog has been bitten by a mosquito, it may have heartworm.

Should You Be Worried If Your Puppy Stops Eating And Is Sleeping A Lot?

It’s a tricky balance, because young puppies do sleep for long hours, and they certainly eat a lot less than an adult dog would, so you might be unsure whether the behavior you’re seeing is normal.

However, if your puppy is sleeping for more than twenty hours a day and seems lethargic even when it is awake, something is wrong. Although puppies do sleep a lot, they should be full of energy when they are awake, and always eager to play.

Equally, if your puppy isn’t eating properly, it may be sick, and it may struggle to grow as it should, because it won’t be getting the nutrients that it needs.

This could contribute to lethargy, but it’s also a clear sign that something is wrong, and it should certainly concern you if you find the dog is disinterested in its food. Make sure you are not trying to feed it too much at once, but take note if it’s not eating as it should be.

The two symptoms combined are definitely a reason to be concerned about your dog’s health. You may need to take urgent action in order to resolve whatever is making your dog unwell.

How To Help A Puppy That Is Not Eating And Sleeping A Lot!

The first thing to do if your puppy is not eating and is spending all its time sleeping is to check whether it has already been fed by another family member and how much playing it has been doing, because puppies do wear themselves out and will sleep very heavily afterward.

They also only have small stomachs, so if your puppy has been fed by someone else, it will not show any interest in food.

If you have determined that there is a genuine problem, you should immediately set up a video call with a veterinarian for advice on what to do next.

Puppies that are this sick will need prompt treatment, but you will first have to diagnose what the issue is, or you could make it worse rather than better.

A video call with an expert should give you the information that you need to move forward and get your puppy on the road to recovery, and they will probably be able to prescribe medication.

Don’t hesitate to book this call if you are concerned about your dog, because swift treatment may make a big difference. You can only help your puppy with the proper information about what’s wrong and how to fix it, so don’t try home remedies or depend upon anecdotal input from friends or family.


A puppy that is not eating and is sleeping a lot can be a major source of concern, and many owners struggle to decide whether the issue is just nerves from taking on a new pet, or whether there is a genuine problem. If you are concerned about your dog, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and make sure that it is seen by an expert. If something is wrong, treating it quickly could change the outcome, and will ensure your dog is kept as healthy as it can be.