Why is My Puppy Not Eating and Sleeping a Lot?

If you’ve noticed that your puppy is not eating and sleeping a lot, it can be concerning. Puppies are typically known for their voracious appetites and playful energy, so any change in their eating and sleeping patterns may indicate an underlying issue. There can be several reasons why your puppy is not eating as much or sleeping more than usual.

Potential Reasons for Decreased Appetite:

1. Illness or digestive problems: Puppies, like humans, can fall prey to illnesses such as infections, gastrointestinal issues, or dental problems that can cause discomfort and lead to a loss of appetite. Consult your veterinarian if your puppy’s lack of appetite persists.

2. Vaccinations or medication side effects: Following vaccinations or starting new medications, some puppies may experience temporary loss of appetite as a side effect.

3. Stress or anxiety: Major changes in a puppy’s environment, such as moving to a new home or the presence of loud noises, can cause stress or anxiety, leading to decreased appetite.

4. Teething: Puppies typically start teething around four months of age and may experience pain or discomfort, which can reduce their interest in eating.

Tips to Encourage Eating:

  • Offer small and frequent meals: Instead of three large meals, divide their daily portion into smaller meals to entice them to eat.
  • Enhance the food’s appeal: Adding a small amount of warm water or low-sodium chicken broth to their kibble can make it more appealing.
  • Offer a variety of textures and flavors: Experiment with different types of food to find what your puppy enjoys the most, whether it’s dry kibble, wet food, or a mixture.
  • Make mealtime enjoyable: Create a calm and comfortable environment during mealtimes, ensuring no distractions or stressors are present.

Potential Reasons for Increased Sleep:

1. Growth and development: Puppies require plenty of rest to support their rapid growth and development. It’s common for young dogs to sleep upwards of 18-20 hours a day.

2. Adjustment period: Much like human babies, puppies need time to adjust to their new surroundings and may sleep more during this transition period.

3. Increased activity: If your puppy has had a particularly active day of play or exercise, they may need extra rest to recharge their energy levels.

4. Illness or discomfort: Just as a puppy’s appetite can be affected by illness, so can their sleep patterns. If you notice other signs of sickness, consult a veterinarian.

Tips for Ensuring Adequate Sleep:

  1. Create a designated sleeping area: Set up a comfortable and quiet space for your puppy to sleep undisturbed.
  2. Establish a routine: Consistent daily exercise and playtime can help regulate your puppy’s sleep patterns.
  3. Avoid excessive stimulation: Minimize loud noises and reduce exposure to activities that may overstimulate your puppy.
  4. Ensure proper bedding: Provide a cozy, clean, and appropriately-sized bed for your puppy’s comfort.

Consult Your Veterinarian:

If your puppy’s loss of appetite or excessive sleep persists or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it’s important to consult your veterinarian. They can assess your puppy’s overall health and provide guidance on any necessary treatments or changes in diet and routine.


While it may be disconcerting to see your puppy not eating as much and sleeping more than usual, there are various potential reasons that can explain these changes. Be observant of your puppy’s behavior, offer enticing meals, and create a calm sleeping environment. If any concerns persist or worsen, do not hesitate to seek professional veterinary advice to ensure the well-being of your furry friend.