Giving birth is a momentous occasion for any dog. However, after giving birth some dogs may experience a decrease in appetite. This can be worrying for new pet owners, but there are several reasons why this may happen and ways to help get their appetite back.
In this blog post we will explore the possible reasons why a dog may not eat after giving birth as well as what you can do to encourage them to eat again.
Why Is My Dog Not Eating After Giving Birth?
Here are some possible reasons why your dog may not be eating after giving birth:
1. She’s Tired and Needs to Rest
After giving birth, your dog will be exhausted. It is important to give them time to rest and recover from the birthing process. If they are not given enough time to rest, this can lead to further fatigue and a decrease in appetite.
2. She’s In Pain
Some readers may know that giving birth is no walk in the park. It takes a toll on a woman’s body, and the same can be said for dogs. After giving birth, your dog may be experiencing pain which can lead to a loss of appetite.
3. She’s Letting Her Pups Eat First
If your dog has given birth to a litter of puppies, she may be choosing to let them eat first. Pups usually latch on and nurse right away, so she gives them the first chance to eat. After they have had their fill, she will then eat herself.
4. She May Have Metritis
Metritis is an infection of the uterus which can occur after giving birth. If your dog has metritis, she will likely have a fever and may not want to eat. This is a serious condition and some symptoms include:
- A swollen abdomen
- Loss of appetite
- Abnormal uterine discharge
- Excessive panting
5. She May Have Mastitis
Mastitis is an infection of the mammary glands which can occur after giving birth. If your dog has mastitis, she may have a fever and may not want to eat. This is a serious condition that is relieved by antibiotics. However, if left untreated, it can lead to serious complications such as sepsis.
6. She May Have Septic Shock
Septic shock is a serious condition that can occur after childbirth. It is caused by an infection in the bloodstream and can be life-threatening. Symptoms of septic shock include an elevated heart rate, dark gums, and excessive vomiting.
How to Get My Dog to Eat After Giving Birth?
If your dog is not eating after giving birth, there are several things you can do to encourage her to eat again.
1. Bring the Food Closer to Her
Your dog may not want to leave her pups or the whelping area, so bringing the food closer to her may make it more convenient for her to eat. You can set up a makeshift area with her food and water bowl near where she is resting. Just make sure not to put it too close to her pups as newborns shouldn’t be introduced to food for several more weeks.
2. Encourage Her to Drink Water
If your dog is not drinking water, this can lead to dehydration which will only worsen her condition. Try offering her ice cubes or broth to drink. You can also put a little bit of water on her food to make it more palatable and easier to chew and digest. Don’t let your dog do longer than 24 hours without consuming any water.
3. Try to Get Her to Eat Several Small meals
If your dog is not eating much at one time, try breaking her food into smaller meals throughout the day. This will be easier on her stomach and may make her more likely to eat. Divide a normal portion of food into 2 or 3 smaller ones and offer them to her every few hours or so.
4. Try Wet Food
There are many reasons why your dog may not want to eat her food. It could be the taste, the texture, or she may simply not be hungry. If this is the case, you can try giving her wet food instead. Wet food is usually more palatable and easier to digest.
You can put a small amount of wet food on her dry food to entice her to eat You can also put a small dab on her nose so she can taste and smell it.
5. Give Her a Few Treats
If you really want to get your dog to eat, you can try giving her a few treats. This is not recommended as a long-term solution, but it may be enough to get her to start eating again. The extra calories and fat in treats may also give her a quick boost of energy.
6. Don’t Force Her to Eat
If your dog is not eating, do not force her to eat. This will only cause her stress and may make her condition worse. Remember, she’s likely not eating for a reason and has just gone through a very big experience. Try to offer her food and water frequently throughout the day and let her eat when she is ready.
What to Do if My Dog Will Not Eat After Giving Birth?
In order to decide what to do, it’s important to first keep track of the time. It’s very common for female dogs to fast for 8 hours to 24 hours after giving birth. This is because they use up a lot of energy during labor and need time to rest and recover.
If your dog has not eaten for more than 24 hours, this is cause for concern. Dehydration can start to set in after just 12 hours without water, so it’s important to make sure she is drinking enough fluids. If she is not drinking, you can offer her ice cubes, broth, or water with a little bit of honey.
If your dog is still not eating after 48 hours, this is a cause for concern and you should contact your veterinarian. They will likely want to do a physical examination and some blood work to rule out any medical conditions. This way, you can get your dog the treatment she needs and get her back on the road to recovery.
After giving birth, it’s important to keep an eye on your dog’s eating habits. If she stops eating or only eats a little bit, there could be an underlying medical condition. There are several things you can do to encourage her to