My 3 months old chihuahua doesn't like to eat food...
by Vicente Lee
(Manila, Manila, Philippines)
Well, I'm having a problem with my puppy. he doesn't want to eat food even though I hand the food near him trying to feed him.
I'm really scared for his health since he is only 3 months old and he can get serious problems to his health.
What can I do? And what can give him right now?
Hi Vicente Lee
The first thing to do is to make sure that your puppy is healthy, and that there is no underlying dog illness or other health condition that is causing him to lose his appetite.
If your vet finds him to be healthy, then chances are he is just one of those pups who is a 'picky' eater. Some dogs are chow-hounds and LOVE to eat, others pick at their food and never seem interested. Also, puppies go through phases and stages, sometimes they seem to be hungry all the time, and other times food isn't high on their priority list. These stages often correspond with developmental stages and growth spurts, and are normal.
With a healthy puppy, it is best not to try to feed 'special food' or tid-bits as this only encourages the eating issues. Do make sure that you choose a high-quality, premium dog food (learn more about choosing the best food on my Dog Food Comparisons and 10 Best Dog Food Choices pages). That way he will be getting maximum nutritional benefits from the food that he does eat.
Also, don't 'free feed' (leave his food dish down all day), this leads to eating problems and constant 'snacking'. Instead, offer him his food twice a day (or 3 times if he's a tiny/toy breed) and pick up whatever he has left after 15 minutes.
I know how worrying it is if your pup won't eat, but as long as he's been examined by your vet and is healthy, he won't starve himself. He may not eat as much as you would like, but he'll eat enough to 'get by'. And once he realizes that you're not going to offer him 'people food' or something better tasting perhaps but not as nutritious, he will start to eat his own food without problem.
I hope this helps and that your pup is healthy and starts eating properly soon. Best of luck.