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Not Eating

Pomeranian is Not Eating

Fussy Eating

Question: My Pom is very fussy about eating. We are currently on Science Diet Puppy. She eats it, yet isn't consistent. It gets bad to a point where she gets weak and faints. We always have to have our Nutrical ready for her. Do you have any suggestions as to what to do to help her eat consistently? ~ Owner Nadia, Pom Boots

Answer: Nadia, this is very serious and urgent medical issue with your Pomeranian puppy. Not eating to the point of fainting points to a very serious problem.

You must bring Boots to her veterinarian right away. If the vet cannot see her immediately, please bring her to an emergency animal hospital. If you have already taken her to a vet and he allowed her to live like this, find a new vet right away. 

When a puppy faints, this is not just due to not having fuel for energy, this is the most common sign of hypoglycemia. This is a condition in which blood sugar levels drop rapidly. Not eating consistently is the main cause of this dangerous medical issue. Owners should respond by rubbing honey onto the puppy's gums. The pup should then be taken to the veterinarian. IV solutions may be given to help even out blood sugar levels. If this is allowed to continue, be aware that this can be a life-threatening condition that can lead to coma and then death. 

Ahead you can read more advice about how to help a Pomeranian puppy eat more.
Eating Enough in Regard to Weight

While the above inquiry may be an extreme case, it is not uncommon for Pom owners to be concerned that their dog is not eating enough. 

For puppies - The #1 element to take note of is if the pup is gaining weight, maintaining or losing. From birth until just about 9 months, a Pom should be gaining. 

The most rapid gains that owners will notice will take place between 8 weeks old and 6 months old. Things slow down from 6 months to 9 months. From 9 months to 1 year, there is a bit of growth for many, but it will not be too noticeable.
So, a puppy should be eating enough to be gaining weight. There will be periods of rapid gains and some resting phases... however in general for a Pomeranian under 6 months old, if there is not a gain for 2 weeks, this points to an issue. 

If a Pomeranian puppy is not eating to a point of losing weight, this points to a serious issue that requires professional intervention. See also: Pomeranian is not gaining weight

For adults - Adults,which are Pomeranians 1 year and older - should be eating enough to maintain their weight. 

When a New Puppy Won't Eat

Keep in mind that a young, new 8-week-old Pom puppy only needs a small amount of food. The amount that a dog needs should be based on calorie needs. To give an answer by volume would not be accurate since different types of food will have varying degrees of calories. A cup of wet vs a cup of dry can have a difference of 50 to 100 calories. Therefore, it is best to look at this from the needs of the pup based on weight. A good rule for growing pups is 55 calories per pound. Therefore a 2 lb. puppy only needs 110 calories for the entire day (give or take 20%).

With that said, the stress of going to a new home and trying to acclimate can cause a puppy to not eat. Another reason can be that the pup was weaned too early.

Do offer a relaxed, pleasant environment with a safe, warm area that the puppy can retreat to if feeling overwhelmed. If a puppy resists solid food, milk replacer can be mixed with food to create a mush-type consistency. This can be fed for 1 to 2 weeks and if the Pom is doing well, less fluid can be added each day until he is doing well on solid food for his 3 meals.

A Decreased Appetite

There is a big difference between a Pomeranian that does not seem to be eating a lot, one that has gotten a bit finicky about food and one that straight-out stops eating completely.

Reasons for eating less include:

1) A Pomeranian may eat a bit less during hot summer months; canines in general will eat 10 to 20% less food during the summertime. Making adjustments will be part of taking care of a Pomeranian in the summer.

2) Reluctance to chew and eating less may point to a dental issue. There may be a problem with an infected tooth or other oral pain that makes chewing and eating painful.

3) A wide range of health conditions can cause a dog to lose his appetite; Most of the time you will notice other symptoms including but not limited to: trouble breathing, coughing, nasal discharge, eye discharge, itching, restlessness, out of character behavior such as retreating, limping, skin sores and weakness. 

A dog that appears ill and is not eating should have a full blood test panel and may need x-rays or ultrasounds to help pinpoint the issue.

4) Stress. Any sort of change in the household or a change to a dog's schedule can cause him to feel anxious enough that he does not eat as much as normal.

5) There is always the chance that a dog simply decides that a particular food is no longer appealing. In these cases, it may simply be a matter of choosing a different variety, i.e. fish for chicken or lamb for veal. A Pomeranian may also finally give up a bit in regard to struggling with the texture of food; in these cases, drizzling a bit of low-salt chicken broth over kibble or warming home cooked food or wet food can do the trick.

6) Many senior Poms will not eat as much as they used to when they were more active adults.

How Much Food a Pomeranian Needs

Growing puppies need about 55 calories per pound, per day. Adults need about 45 calories per pound per day. This can vary by 20% either way due to activity level, metabolism, age and health.

Puppies should eat 3 meals a day and adults do best with 2. Snacks should be given and it is best to reserve this as rewards for training or to reinforce good behavior.

Helping a Pomeranian Eat More

If your Pom is not eating enough and has been cleared for all possible health issues, there are some things that you can do:

1) Warm the food or make it more appealing by adding low-salt chicken or beef broth to it.

2) Don't give in and offer your own food. Some dogs are very good at refusing their own food if they know that within a minute or so an owner will sigh and offer something else...
and perhaps that something else tastes great but should not be on the menu. If your Pom is growing as a pup or maintaining as an adult and you know that you are offering quality food, set it down and walk away. 

If your dog is hungry, he will eat.

3) Don't worry about amount; think more along the lines of calories. Some foods are very calorie dense and a Pom will only need a 1/4 cup or so.

This is not a large amount, especially when you compare this to how much we humans eat. So, a Pom may appear to not be eating a lot and that's okay because these are small toy sized dogs that do not need a lot of food.
Eating But Not Gaining Weight as Expected

It should first be noted and repeated that a Pom that should be gaining and is not should be taken to the vet to rule out medical conditions. While you can encourage a puppy to eat, there are health issues that must be ruled out first.  With this said, the two main elements that you can handle from home are:

1) If the food is a cheap generic brand, a dog will be eating fillers which have basically no nutrients and no calories. While fillers are being ingested, they pass through the body, offering nothing of value.

2) If a quality food is being offered and eaten, a Pom's body may not be absorbing the nutrients. This can happen if the pup has a low level of digestive enzymes. It can be very helpful to offer a Prozyme supplement powder that aids in the absorption of key nutrients. If you would like to see recommendations, we have this listed under 'Supplements and Treats; in the Pomeranian Specialty Shoppe.
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