Dogs are among the best companions we all can have. Some of us like to have more than one dog. However, when our dog grows old, we sometimes think of getting a new one. If you are getting a new puppy at home, this will eventually affect the older dog.
Sometimes the older dog may not like that another dog or puppy has occupied his place, and secondly, he fears a lack of attention.
For dogs, separation anxiety and mixed feelings are common when any new puppy enters the same place. But in this situation, as a dog owner, you need to be more attentive and handle the situation with care. Learn more about this to know what to do and what not to do.
Why did my older dog stop eating when we brought a new puppy?
The older dog stopped eating after the new puppy because, at this point, your dog is not in the state to adjust to anyone else around. Yes, you understand it right. Dogs take time to adapt, and adjusting to someone new who belongs to their community takes more time.
One can consider it like a situation where a new friend joins a group of two or three friends, and one of the older friends is not in the state to adjust to him. So, likewise, it is with the dogs. They do not like to have any other dog in the surroundings. But this happens initially only, and within a month or so, things will be all right, and your dog will start eating adequately.
Reasons behind older dog not eating after a new puppy
Separation anxiety is common in dogs, and adjusting to things takes time. Do know dogs are not trained to experience such feelings. They cannot bear the separation, and they have the same feeling when the new puppy enters the home. They cannot say what they feel but express it with their moves.
A feeling of jealousy
The feeling of jealousy is also very common in dogs. We all know dogs are really very possessive, and they do not like their owners to interact with other dogs in any case. When you bring a puppy home, this feeling is constant, and they are not in the state to manage it. They will take some time to adjust to the other one.
Lack of attention
When you bring a new puppy home, the attention you give him is divided, and this causes your older dog to feel left out. He doesn’t like that you ignore him and are not paying attention to his wants and needs.
Dogs do feel stressed. Even the small episodes happening around can make them feel so. For them, the new puppy you brought is a kind of stress that they cannot deal with. When dogs are stressed, they do not like to do anything and sometimes start skipping meals.
Not liking the new puppy
Dogs also have their preferences, and if they do not like someone, they don’t. The same is the situation when you bring the new puppy home. In starting, there is a possibility that your dog does not like the puppy. For him, he is someone who has unnecessarily entered the place.
You forgot about his eating habits
Dogs have strong eating habits, and compromising with them means you are inviting problems for them. When you get a new puppy, it is natural that you are more invested in him than the older one. As a result, you are paying attention to the pup’s eating habits and forget the likes and dislikes of your older dog in terms of food. So, this is why your older dog is angry and not eating his meals.
Last but not least, an improper schedule can also be a reason behind dogs not eating food. If you have maintained a proper schedule for your dog, do know that they like to have things on time only. If the moment skipped, he would not entertain the same effort later on!
Note: Your older dog may not be eating food after you bring a small puppy due to the reasons mentioned above. Sometimes there are health conditions that put your dog in the same state where he is not eating anything. In that case, it is advisable to reach out to the vet and get him checked.
What to do when my older dog is not eating because of the new puppy?
After exploring the reasons, you might be getting curious to know how you can fix such behavior of your dog. Firstly, do know that your senior dog will take time to adjust to the new dog. For him having a new companion in the surroundings is not acceptable. However, the simple things that you can do are as follows:
Give proper time to your dog
Giving proper time to the dog can help. We know it is not possible that you can give the same duration to the older dog after having a new puppy but still try to give him as much time as possible. If you ignore him, he will not like it and become a victim of separation anxiety.
Do let him spend time with the puppy
Both of them must spend time with each other for a while. If the older dog does not get habitual of having a new puppy, he will not like him at all. But initially, do notice how your older dog is reacting. If he is silent and not causing any harm to the puppy, then you can leave them alone. But if he is aggressive, you have to be in the surrounding when they are together.
Pay a little more attention to his changed behavior
Naturally, there will be some change in his behavior. In this case, pay a little more attention to your older dog and try to analyze his mood. He is going through mixed feelings, and catering to them all at once is not possible. He needs you to know your new pup and pamper him.
Play with older and new puppies together
Play timings in also crucial for both the dog and the puppy. Try to play with them together. You can choose any game that can bring them as a team, and both can actively engage in it. This lets them get habitual with each other for sure.
Do follow the schedule of your dog
If you have maintained a schedule for your older dog, follow it. If they are experiencing any change in the schedule, they will get aggressive too.
Dog training can help
Last but not least, dog training is the only option left. You can reach out to the dog training center and let your dogs be there. The trainer will help them to accept such things easily.
Few things you could also try to make older dogs become habitual to new puppy
- Sending the puppy away for a few days could be an option. If your dog begins to eat again, you’ll know the problem is with the puppy, and you’ll most likely have to find him a new home.
- One solution could be to lavish extra affection and attention on the older dog. Spend the day playing, going for walks, and watching TV with the older dog. Hopefully, this will assist him in adjusting to the puppy and eating on time.
- You could also try feeding them separately and keeping them in different rooms of the house if possible. You could also feed the new puppy in a crate or pen.
- Try to confine the puppy to one room for short periods of time while your other dogs adjust to his presence in the house. The older dogs should have plenty of time away from the pups’ nosiness.
Time is your most valuable ally. Your older dog will begin to adjust to the new puppy in his surroundings as more time passes.
How much time my older dog takes to adjust to the new puppy?
On average, older dogs take 30-40 days to adjust to the new puppy. Rest depends on the behavior of the new one too. In the initial days, the dog owner needs to be more careful because both are going through some psychological changes, and it is essential to take care of what they are feeling.
What we learned from all this
Dogs make the best companion, and as humans, we need to be sure of the moves we are making. When bringing a new puppy home, the older dog will take some time to adjust. It takes around 30-40 days for him to get used to his presence and the divided attention. Don’t worry because it is common behavior, and it can be fixed easily with the right measures!
I am a pet lover who spent her childhood in the company of a friendly Labrador Retriever. I believe that pets make our lives more enjoyable and stress-free. Currently, I have two budgies Kiwi & Koko as pets, and planning to adopt a pup soon. So, here I am, attempting to share my experiences and knowledge to improve the lives of pets and pet owners.