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Not Eating


Pomeranian is Not Eating


The issue of a Pomeranian refusing to eat can be categorized into two parts.

1 - Literally not eating. The dog is not eating at all, which causes a fast drop in body weight and quickly leads to lethargy, weakness, and other serious signs of malnutrition. 

In these cases, this means that there is an urgent health issue. Since canines instinctively know that eating means survival, a fussy or picky dog will indeed eat to survive no matter what food is being offered. 

Therefore, in these cases, this warrants an immediate veterinary visit. 

2 - Not appearing to eat or having trouble taking in enough. The dog is pretty picky, he may just nibble at his food or hold out long enough for an owner to give in and offer something else. 

Understandably, when an owner says that their Pomeranian is not eating, what they actually mean is that they are concerned that the puppy or dog is not eating enough, or that getting the Pom to eat seems like a battle. 

This also covers young puppies that just cannot seem to take in quite enough of what is needed to fuel a growing body. 

This section: Since the first issue - not taking in any food at all - is considered a very serious matter that requires immediate veterinary intervention, this section will cover the second type of issue: a Pom does not appear to have a hearty appetite. 

How to Know if a Pomeranian is Eating Enough

Eating enough and receiving a balance diet are two different things. However, in regard to whether a Pomeranian is taking in enough calories, this is actually a simple matter of keeping track of a puppy or dog's weight. 
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 Young Pom Puppy Won't Eat

How much puppies need to eat:

Tiny Pomeranian puppies do not need to eat a lot of food. 
In general growing pups require about 55 calories per each pound of body weight. For example, a 2 lb. puppy only needs about 110 calories for the entire day (give or take 20%).

The amount that a Pom puppy eats per day will vary between 1/4 and 1/2 cup per day. This is considerably less than what many owners assume a pup will eat. 
Reasons for not eating enough:
Though puppies do not eat a lot compared to their larger counterparts and certainly not a lot compared to their humans, it is not uncommon for a Pomeranian puppy to struggle a bit with eating enough. 

With a puppy goes to a new home, the transition can cause stress that leads to not eating. 

In addition, since there are rapid growth spurts, a little pup with a little tummy may not be able to keep up. 
What to do:
Ahead, we will go over general tips to help encourage a Pomeranian to eat. However, with puppies in which eating more is a crucial issue and would lead to malnutrition if not resolved quickly, there are 2 things to immediately do:

1. Reassess what you are feeding your puppy. 
Every bite counts, so you will want to be sure that the kibble offers the best nutrition possible. 

In addition, a low quality food may contain fillers and/or chemical preservatives that lead to decreased appetite due to an intolerance to those ingredients. 

If you are not sure which brand is a good choice, Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Small Breed Puppy Food is one of the best. This is packed with nutrients and has no fillers, no artificial flavors, no chemical preservatives, no corn, no soy, no by-products, and no wheat. It is sized nicely for toy breed puppies and is made in the USA. 
2. Offer a quality supplement.
One of the problems with a Pomeranian puppy not eating well enough is that his tummy fills up much too quickly and it is not physically possible to take in what is needed. And this is where a quality high-calorie supplement comes in.

You will want to opt for a gel, which means no chewing and easy digestion; the pup does not get full. 

And, importantly, a small amount (one teaspoon) contains 25 calories. For a little 2 lb. puppy that only needs about 110 per day, this is a 23% increase. For a pup that's 3 lbs. and needs about 165 calories per day, 2 teaspoons (50 calories) offers a 30% increase. 

One of the most reliable nutritional gels for puppies is Tomlyn High Calorie Nutritional Gel for Puppies - Nutri-Cal; most pups find that this tastes very good and it is made in the USA. 

Offer this one to two times per day and you can have your Pom lick it right off the teaspoon or use a baby spoon.

When an Adult Pom Has a Decreased Appetite 

How much food an adult Pom needs:
There are a number of factors that affect the exact calorie requirements of dogs including age, health status, activity level, and individual metabolism. This said, in general, adult Poms need about 45 calories per pound of body weight.

In regard to volume, this varies quite a bit depending on the type of food; for a top quality kibble, typical serving size is 1/2 to 3/4 cups per day
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/or 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) A Pom may have been inadvertently taught that if he holds out long enough, an owner will hand feed him, offer something better like a reward treat instead, or will otherwise spoil him. In these cases, a Pomeranian won't eat unless hand-fed or watched over
6) Many senior Poms will not eat as much as they used to when they were more active adults. Calorie needs may decrease up to 20% depending on health, metabolism, and activity level. 

How to Help 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. Be sure that your Pom is comfortable with his bowl. For this breed, the best type of bowl is one that allows the Pomeranian to eat easily without over-stretching to reach his food.

So, you may need to experiment with a raised vs a floor level bowl. 
2. Offer the best brand possible. If you are not 100% confident in what your Pom is eating, reassess what is being offered. With dogs that are not robust eaters, every bite counts.
3. Understand the serving size. With good brands, the feeding guidelines on the package are pretty spot on. Note that this is usually a per day amount. 
4. Do offer snacks, however these should be reserved to reward good behavior and limited to about 4 to 6 times per day. Importantly, the treat should be sized very small. The idea is to offer a tiny burst of flavor to show a dog that a job has been done well, without filling him up and interfering with meals.

Some good choices are Fruitables Pumpkin & Blueberry Crunchy Dog Treats which are all natural, packed with vitamins, and are made in the USA.  
And, Old Mother Hubbard Classic Crunchy Natural Dog Treats which are super tasty yet small treats that are all-natural and made in the USA as well. 
5. Have structured meal times. Toy breeds need to eat small amounts throughout the day, so most adult Poms do best with 3 small meals per day. If your Pom is eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner, keep in mind that each meal will only need to be about 1/4 cup. 
6. Make sure that your Pom is getting enough purposeful exercise. This means two walks per day at a pace that is brisk for the dog, and last at least 20 minutes. Exercise of course keeps a body healthy, but it also helps a dog work up an appetite. 
7. Create a calm eating environment. For multiple pet households, each pet should have their own designated eating area. For all Poms, the spot should be in a quiet corner with no foot traffic and no loud noises including boisterous conversations. 

A Final Word

If your adult Pomeranian is not eating to the point of losing weight or if your Pom puppy is not eating to the point of not gaining as expected, this should be brought to the attention of the veterinarian right away. 
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