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What to Do if a 4-Week-Old Puppy Ate Adult Dog Food and Has a Hard Stomach?


Dear VetBabble,

I found a 4-week-old puppy and brought her inside. She ate adult dog food and now her stomach is hard. What should I do? She is playing and not showing signs of distress.

Understanding Puppy Stomachs and Nutrition

Firstly, congratulations on taking in a young puppy and providing her with a loving home! Young puppies often have sensitive stomachs, and it’s important to make sure you are feeding them the proper diet. When it comes to a puppy’s diet, the type of food they eat can make a significant difference in their overall health and growth. Adult dog food isn’t designed to meet the specific nutritional needs of a growing puppy, which means they will often require a specialized puppy formula.

Feeding your puppy a diet designed for growth, like the ones mentioned in our 5 Rules to Follow When Searching for the Best Puppy Food article, is essential for their overall well-being.

Lethargy vs. Normal Puppy Tiredness

It’s also crucial to monitor your puppy’s energy levels and ensure that they are not lethargic. Excessive tiredness could indicate an underlying issue. Our article on Is My Puppy Tired or Lethargic? will help you differentiate between the two and get a better understanding of your puppy’s overall health.

Since your puppy is not showing any signs of distress and is active, you can continue to monitor her closely. Keep an eye out for any signs of discomfort or changes in behavior, as these could indicate a problem.

Possible Causes for a Hard Stomach

There could be a few reasons why your puppy’s stomach is hard after eating adult dog food. One possibility is overeating, as she might have consumed a large quantity of food. Another potential cause could be intestinal parasites, which are common in young puppies. It’s essential to keep your puppy up-to-date on her deworming treatments to prevent any parasitic infections.

Our article on Pregnancy in Dogs isn’t directly related to your question, but it is useful to be familiar with pregnancy signs in dogs to have a better understanding of their general health.

When to Seek Veterinary Care

If your puppy’s stomach remains hard the next day or if she shows any signs of distress, it’s essential to take her to the vet for an examination. They can check for any potential issues and advise on the best course of action for your puppy’s health.

Similarly, if your puppy develops diarrhea as a result of consuming adult dog food, consult our article on Why Does My Dog Have Diarrhea? for guidance on how to address this issue.

In conclusion, pay close attention to your puppy’s behavior, energy levels, and overall health. Make sure you are feeding her a diet specifically designed for puppies, keep her up-to-date on deworming treatments, and don’t hesitate to consult your veterinarian if you notice any worrying signs or symptoms.

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