Puppy Not Eating After Deworming: 6 Reasons & What To Do


Your puppy’s health is of utmost importance, and deworming plays a crucial role in keeping them happy and vibrant. However, what happens when your little furball suddenly loses interest in their food after getting dewormed? Do not panic as it is not uncommon for puppies to experience a loss of appetite after undergoing this necessary procedure.

Dogs may experience loss of appetite after deworming majorly due to the side effects of the medication. It can make dogs feel sick, or lethargic or perhaps, lead to nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal pain, all indicative of gastrointestinal upset. Deworming medications can also lead to intestinal blockage in canines with heavy parasitic burdens, making it difficult for them to ingest more food. Even drug allergy may be a culprit.

In addition, stress and anxiety caused by the vet visit and the procedure itself can also affect your pup’s eating habits. It’s crucial to talk to your vet, monitor your puppy’s overall behavior and ensure they stay hydrated during this period. In the section below, we will explore extensively each potential reason in more detail and provide practical tips on how to encourage your puppy to eat, ensure their nutritional needs are met, and monitor their recovery effectively.

1. Your Doggo Feels Unwell (Malaise)

Your pup may have a loss of appetite after deworming if they are feeling unwell. Deworming medications can sometimes cause mild gastrointestinal discomfort, resulting in a general sense of malaise in your furry friend. This discomfort can make them lose their appetite temporarily.

Tackling this problem involves critical monitoring of your puppy’s behavior and providing a comfortable and quiet space for them to rest. Ensure they have access to fresh water to stay hydrated. Give them some time to recover and adjust to the medication. If their loss of appetite persists beyond a day or two, it is advisable to consult your veterinarian for further guidance.

2. Fido Can’t Keep Food Down Because He Is Nauseous

Nausea is a common adverse effect of deworming medications in dogs. Dewormers can sometimes cause an upset stomach, making it difficult for your puppy to keep their food down. This can lead to a loss of appetite as they associate eating with discomfort. To alleviate this problem, try offering small and easily digestible meals throughout the day instead of one large meal. Opt for bland, low-fat foods such as boiled chicken or rice. You can also consider feeding your puppy smaller portions of their regular food mixed with a small amount of wet food to make it more enticing.

Additionally, providing a calm and quiet eating environment can help reduce any stress or anxiety related to eating. If your puppy continues to struggle with nausea and refuses to eat, consult your veterinarian for appropriate anti-nausea medications or alternative feeding options.

3. Doggy Diarrhea

Diarrhea is another potential side effect your puppy may experience after deworming. The elimination of internal parasites can disrupt the normal balance of bacteria in their digestive system, leading to loose stools. Diarrhea can cause discomfort and a loss of appetite in puppies. It is important to keep your puppy well-hydrated to prevent dehydration resulting from fluid loss. Offer small amounts of water frequently, or you can try providing electrolyte solutions specifically designed for dogs.

One way to address the diarrhea is to feed your puppy a bland diet consisting of boiled chicken and rice or a veterinarian-recommended gastrointestinal diet. Avoid feeding them high-fat or spicy foods, as these can exacerbate digestive issues. If diarrhea persists or worsens, or if your puppy shows signs of dehydration or lethargy, it is crucial to consult your veterinarian for a proper evaluation and treatment plan

4. Intestinal Blockage

The presence of an intestinal blockage in dogs following deworming can lead to decreased appetite. While this is rare, it can occur if your puppy had a heavy parasite burden before deworming. The elimination of parasites from the gastrointestinal tract can sometimes cause a large number of dead worms to pass through the intestines, leading to a blockage.

This blockage can result in discomfort, pain, and a loss of appetite in your puppy. If you suspect an intestinal blockage, it is crucial to seek immediate veterinary attention. Your veterinarian will perform a thorough examination and may recommend diagnostic tests such as X-rays or ultrasounds to confirm the presence of a blockage. Treatment options may include medication to help alleviate the blockage or, in severe cases, surgery to remove the obstruction. Prompt veterinary intervention is essential to prevent further complications and ensure your puppy’s well-being.

5. Effect of Lethargy

Lethargy can have a significant impact on your puppy’s appetite after deworming. The process of eliminating internal parasites, coupled with potential side effects of the medication, can leave your puppy feeling tired and lacking energy. This state of lethargy can lead to a decreased interest in food and a reduced appetite.

To address this issue, it is important to provide your puppy with a calm and comfortable environment to rest and recuperate. Ensure they have access to fresh water to stay hydrated. Gradually reintroduce small and appetizing meals, offering them at regular intervals throughout the day. Gentle exercises and mental stimulation, such as short walks or interactive playtime, can also help stimulate their appetite. If the lethargy persists or worsens, or if your puppy shows other concerning symptoms, consult your veterinarian for a thorough examination to rule out any underlying health issues.

6. Allergic Reaction

In some cases, your puppy may have an allergic reaction to the deworming medication, which can lead to a loss of appetite. Allergic reactions can manifest in various ways, including itching, swelling, rashes, or gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea.

If you suspect that your puppy is experiencing an allergic reaction, it is crucial to seek immediate veterinary attention. Your veterinarian will assess your puppy’s condition, provide appropriate treatment, and may recommend an alternative deworming medication that is better tolerated. It is essential not to administer any medication or attempt to treat allergic reactions at home without professional guidance, as severe allergic reactions can be life-threatening. Swift veterinary intervention is vital to address the allergic reaction and ensure the well-being of your puppy.

What Should I Do If My Puppy Is Not Eating After Deworming?

If your puppy is not eating after deworming, it can be concerning for a pet owner. However, there are several steps you can take to encourage your puppy to eat and ensure their nutritional needs are met.

1. Monitor Your Puppy’s Behavior

Keep a close eye on your puppy’s overall behavior and look for any signs of distress or discomfort. If they seem lethargic, have decreased energy levels, or display other unusual symptoms, it is important to consult your veterinarian for further evaluation.

2. Give Them Time to Adjust

It is not uncommon for puppies to experience a temporary loss of appetite after deworming. The medication may cause mild gastrointestinal discomfort or disrupt their digestive system. Allow your puppy some time to adjust to the effects of the medication. In many cases, their appetite will return to normal but if they do not after 24 hours, you may want to see an expert’s help

3. Offer Tempting and Appetizing Meals

Make their meals more enticing by offering them a variety of flavorful and nutritious options. You can try adding warm water or low-sodium chicken broth to their dry food to enhance the aroma and flavor. Alternatively, you can offer them small portions of wet food mixed with their regular kibble. Experiment with different textures and flavors to find what appeals to your puppy.

4. Maintain a Regular Feeding Schedule

Stick to a consistent feeding schedule for your puppy. Offer meals at the same times each day to establish a routine. This can help stimulate their appetite and create a sense of predictability. Avoid leaving food out all day as free-feeding may decrease their motivation to eat.

5. Create a Calm and Comfortable Environment

Ensure your puppy has a quiet and peaceful eating area where they feel safe and relaxed. Minimize distractions and noise during mealtimes. By creating a calm environment, your puppy can focus on their food without any unnecessary stress or anxiety.

6. Exercise and Mental Stimulation

Engage your puppy in regular exercise and play sessions to stimulate their appetite. Physical activity can help increase their hunger and promote a healthy metabolism. Interactive toys or puzzle feeders can also provide mental stimulation and make mealtime more enjoyable for your puppy.

7. Consult Your Veterinarian

If your puppy’s loss of appetite persists beyond a day or two, or if they display other concerning symptoms, it is crucial to consult your veterinarian. They can evaluate your puppy’s overall health, address any underlying issues, and provide specific guidance tailored to your puppy’s needs.

What Can I Feed a Puppy That Won’t Eat After Deworming?

When your puppy refuses to eat after deworming, finding suitable food options becomes crucial to ensure they receive the necessary nutrition. It’s important to choose foods that are gentle on their stomach and enticing enough to stimulate their appetite. Here are some goods to consider.

1. Boiled Chicken

Cooked, boneless, and skinless chicken is a lean protein source that is gentle on the stomach. Shred or chop the chicken into small, bite-sized pieces for easier consumption.

2. Plain Rice

Plain white rice is easily digestible and can help soothe your puppy’s stomach. Cook the rice without any seasonings or additives and mix it with small amounts of chicken for added flavor.

3. Pumpkin

Canned pure pumpkin (not pie filling) is a fiber-rich food that can aid digestion. It can be mixed with a small amount of plain boiled chicken or added to their regular food to entice them to eat.

4. Cottage Cheese

Low-fat cottage cheese is a good source of protein and calcium. It’s soft and easily digestible, making it a suitable option for puppies with decreased appetite. Offer it plain or mix a small amount with their regular food.

5. Bone Broth

Bone broth is nutritious and can be appealing to puppies due to its savory taste. It is gentle on the stomach and provides essential nutrients. Offer it warm or use it to moisten their regular food.

6. Baby Food

Unsweetened and unseasoned baby food, such as pureed chicken or beef, can be a palatable option for picky eaters. Ensure it doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients like onion or garlic, which can be toxic to dogs.

7. Plain Yogurt

Plain, unsweetened yogurt can be beneficial for your puppy’s digestion due to its probiotic content. Offer a small amount as a topping or mix it with other foods to enhance the taste.

8. Wet Dog Food

High-quality wet dog food can be more appealing to puppies who have lost their appetite. Choose a brand with simple and easily digestible ingredients. Warm the food slightly to enhance the aroma.

Remember to introduce these foods gradually by adding small portions to their regular meals to avoid overwhelming your puppy’s stomach.

How To Boost Your Dog’s Appetite After Deworming

If you find that your dog is not eating as usual after deworming, the first thing to do is to give them some time to adjust to the effects of the deworming medication. In many cases, their appetite will naturally return within a day or two. However, if their decreased appetite persists, you can try some techniques to stimulate their desire to eat.

Start by making their meals more appealing. You can try adding warm water or low-sodium chicken broth to their dry food to enhance the aroma and flavor. Alternatively, consider offering them small portions of wet food mixed with their regular kibble. Experiment with different textures and flavors to find what entices your dog. Feeding your dog at regular intervals and maintaining a consistent feeding schedule can create a sense of routine and encourage them to eat. Avoid leaving food out all day, as free-feeding may decrease their motivation to eat.

Also, you can try creating a calm and stress-free environment during mealtime, this can make a significant difference in your dog’s appetite. Minimize distractions, such as loud noises or other pets, and create a designated feeding area where your dog feels safe and comfortable. Providing regular exercise and mental stimulation can also help boost your dog’s appetite. Engage them in activities they enjoy, such as walks, play sessions, or puzzle toys, as physical activity can stimulate their hunger. However, if your dog’s lack of appetite persists or if they display other concerning symptoms, it’s important to consult your veterinarian. They can provide a thorough examination, address any underlying health issues, and offer tailored guidance to help improve your dog’s appetite after deworming.

How To Help Your Dog Stay Hydrated After Deworming

The deworming process can sometimes cause mild gastrointestinal discomfort or even diarrhea, which may lead to fluid loss and dehydration. To help your dog stay hydrated and promote their recovery, make fresh and clean water readily available to your dog at all times. Ensure that their water bowl is filled with fresh water and placed in a location that is easily accessible to them. Regularly check and refill the water bowl throughout the day to ensure a continuous supply of clean water.

Moreover, you can incorporate water-rich foods into your dog’s diet. Offer them foods with high water content, such as canned dog food, wet food, or even homemade broths. These foods can help supplement their water intake and provide additional hydration.

In cases where your dog is experiencing mild diarrhea, it’s important to replenish their electrolytes. You can find electrolyte solutions specifically formulated for dogs at pet stores or consult with your veterinarian for recommendations. These solutions can help restore the balance of electrolytes and maintain hydration levels.

How Long After Deworming Should You Feed Your Dog

After deworming your dog, it’s important to allow some time before offering them food. Generally, it is recommended to wait between 30 minutes to one hour before giving them a meal. This waiting period allows the deworming medication to take effect and helps ensure that the medication is properly absorbed by your dog’s system.

The waiting period between deworming and feeding your dog serves a specific purpose because deworming medications are designed to eliminate internal parasites, and it’s important to give the medication sufficient time to work without interference from food. Feeding your dog immediately after deworming may dilute the medication’s effectiveness or prevent it from being absorbed properly.

It’s also worth noting that the specific waiting time may vary depending on the type of deworming medication used and the instructions provided by your veterinarian. Some medications may have specific recommendations regarding the waiting time before feeding. Always follow the instructions given to you by your veterinarian or on the medication packaging.

Should You Force Feed A Dog That Won’t Eat?

When a dog refuses to eat, force-feeding should generally be avoided unless it becomes necessary and under the guidance of a veterinarian. Force feeding a dog can be stressful and may cause further discomfort or aversion towards food. It is important to exhaust other methods and consider the underlying cause of the decreased appetite before resorting to force-feeding.

If your dog is not eating, there are alternative approaches that can be attempted before considering force-feeding. Firstly, you can try adding treats or flavorful toppings to their food to make it more enticing. Warming up the food slightly can also enhance its aroma and appeal. Additionally, offering smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day may be helpful, as dogs sometimes prefer smaller portions.

Additionally, If your dog’s lack of appetite persists and they are not consuming enough nutrients, it is crucial to consult with a veterinarian. They can evaluate your dog’s overall health, determine the underlying cause of the decreased appetite, and guide you on how to force feed them, probably with a syringe or any other method.

What To Expect From Puppies After Deworming

After deworming, it’s natural to expect certain changes in puppies as they recover from the treatment. Firstly, you may notice a temporary loss of appetite. The deworming medication can sometimes cause mild gastrointestinal discomfort or disrupt the normal functioning of the digestive system. This can result in a decreased interest in food or smaller meal portions. However, this is usually a transient issue that resolves within a day or two as the puppy’s body adjusts to the medication. If the loss of appetite persists or if you have concerns, consult your veterinarian for further guidance.

Another thing to expect in puppies after deworming is the changes in stool appearance. The purpose of deworming is to eliminate internal parasites, and as a result, you may observe changes in your puppy’s stool. It’s not uncommon to see dead worms in their feces or notice alterations in color, consistency, or odor. Some puppies may experience mild diarrhea as their body expels the worms. While these changes are generally temporary, severe or persistent diarrhea should be addressed by your veterinarian to ensure your puppy’s well-being.

Furthermore, following deworming, you can expect increased energy levels in your puppy. As the medication eliminates internal parasites, your puppy’s overall health improves, leading to a boost in vitality and liveliness. You may notice them being more active, playful, and curious. This is a positive sign that their body is responding well to the treatment. However, be mindful of their activity levels and provide appropriate rest periods to prevent overexertion.

How Long Does It Take For a Puppy To Recover From Deworming?

After deworming, it generally takes around 24 to 48 hours for a puppy to fully recover. During this initial period, you may notice some temporary side effects as the medication starts working to eliminate the internal parasites. These effects can include a temporary loss of appetite, changes in stool consistency, or mild lethargy. These symptoms though are usually short-lived and should improve within the first couple of days after deworming.

As the deworming medication takes effect and the parasites are expelled from the puppy’s system, you will likely see signs of improvement. Their appetite should gradually return, and they should start showing more energy and a brighter demeanor. The recovery process varies depending on the severity of the infestation and the overall health of the puppy. However, in most cases, puppies recover fully within the first few days after deworming.

While the initial 24 to 48 hours are critical for observing any potential side effects, it is important to continue monitoring the puppy’s overall health and behavior during the entire recovery period. Keep an eye on their eating habits, stool consistency, and energy levels. If any concerning symptoms persist or worsen beyond the first few days, please consult with a veterinarian for further evaluation and guidance.

Final Thoughts

Puppies experience a decrease in appetite after deworming due to various factors such as mild gastrointestinal discomfort, lethargy, allergic reaction, diarrhea, and others. However, it’s important to address the issue promptly and take appropriate steps to support your puppy’s recovery. By understanding the potential reasons for their decreased appetite and implementing the suggested solutions, you can help ensure that your puppy gets back on track with their eating habits.

Remember to be patient and monitor your puppy’s behavior throughout the recovery period. Offer them enticing and easily digestible food options, create a calm and comfortable eating environment, and consult your veterinarian if the loss of appetite persists or if your puppy displays other concerning symptoms. Your veterinarian is your best resource for personalized advice and guidance tailored to your puppy’s specific situation.

As a responsible pet owner, your priority is the well-being of your furry companion. By providing the necessary support and care during this post-deworming period, you can help your puppy bounce back to their healthy and lively self. Stay attentive, be proactive, and soon your pup will regain its appetite and thrive once again.

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