How Long Can a Dog Go Without Eating


How Long Can a Dog Go Without Eating?
If you’re a dog owner, you may have wondered about how sensitive dogs are when it comes to feeding them. Food is one of the basic things to take care of when it comes to having dogs. So questions like “What do I feed them?”, “How often?”, “Why is my dog suddenly refusing to eat?” and many more will pop up. 


Read on to know more about important information when it comes to feeding your dog and other concerns that come with it. 



How Long Can a Dog Go Without Eating?

Healthy dogs can last five to seven days without eating. This depends on whether they have water intake despite the lack of food. If you’ve noticed that your fur baby is not eating for 2 days even though you’ve served them their usual meal or favorite food, it’s best to immediately bring them to a vet for a consultation. This is to see what is causing the loss of appetite. 



How Long Can an Unhealthy Dog Go Without Eating? 

A frail or unhealthy dog can last three days or less. It depends on their current health condition and how weak they already are. Another thing that can make them weaker is if they are unable to drink water. It is important to closely monitor your buddy when they’re sick, especially when they stop eating their meals.



Why Won’t My Dog Eat?

As a paw parent, there are no words that can describe the happy feeling when you see your dog enthusiastically gobble up all the food you prepared for them. It’s the same amount of worry too when you see that their dog bowl is left untouched for several meals in a row. There are tons of possible reasons for this. Some are quite simple and others may be a bit serious. 


Here are some of the common reasons why your dog won’t eat:



Medical Conditions

Just like us humans, when we are not feeling well in other parts of our body, we tend to lose our appetite. It’s the same with our furry friends. It’s hard to eat when it causes you pain and discomfort. 


The list of medical conditions that causes aversion to food is very long but I’ve listed some of the common ones below:


  • Dental Issues
  • Stomach concerns
  • Infection
  • Allergies
  • Parasites
  • Wounds or pain in some areas
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Serious illness


If your dog is undergoing medical treatment or was recently vaccinated, their loss of appetite might be a side effect. 


Mental Conditions

Sometimes it’s not just their physical wellness that affects your doggo’s appetite. Their mood and mental state can greatly influence it too. There are two main culprits that can cause your dog to stop eating: depression and anxiety. Just like us, these mental conditions greatly affect your dog’s desire to do basic stuff like getting up and eating.



If that is the case, how can one tell if their dog is depressed and what caused it? The main causes of depression for dogs are major life changes. It varies but I’ve listed some of the most common ones:


  • Loss of a friend
  • Moving into a new home
  • When they feel suddenly neglected


When you suspect that your dog may be suffering from depression, you’ll notice these usual symptoms:


  • Their energy level drops in comparison to what you’re used to
  • Irritability
  • Inconsistent sleeping schedule
  • Indifference to things that they used to enjoy and love


Note that all of these symptoms happen with other medical conditions too. It is in your dog’s best interest to be properly checked by a veterinarian to determine what the issue is and how to best go about resolving it. 




Anxious dogs are like scared toddlers that are always trying to find comfort or a hiding place. You can easily tell from a dog’s behavior when they are feeling uneasy. Things around them can be too much to bear so they develop an aversion to food. 


Related: Home Remedies for Dog Anxiety


They’re Picky

Yes, dogs can be picky with their food too. They have taste buds and they will refuse to eat if they’re being served meals that are not to their liking. If this is the reason why your canine friend refuses to eat, then it’s better than the other reasons above. You can try different foods and figure out what they prefer. If your dog only prefers to eat tasty treats and not kibble you may have a picky eater on your hands.


What You Can Do

Closely observe your dog when you notice that their meals are left untouched. Check to see if they’re in pain or sick. If they are, it’s best to consult your local vet to get them diagnosed properly and follow through with their advice.  Another thing to try is to switch up their meals to see if they’re just being picky and want to try other foods. Of course, always give them the extra tender loving care that they deserve. And if they try to hold out for savory treats be sure to provide them with beneficial snacks loaded with nutritional value.



What Should You Do if Your Dog Won’t Eat?

Let your doggo try something new. If they are used to eating dry foods, then switch it up to wet meals or vice versa. Also, try feeding them new flavors that they haven’t had before.



What Do Vets Do for a Dog Who Won’t Eat?

Your vet will run some tests after a thorough examination to determine the actual cause of why your dog won’t eat. Once they have determined the reason, they will prescribe the treatment or medications that you need to follow through. 



How Long Can a Dog Go Without Water?

Dogs can last longer without food than without waterThey can survive 2 to 3 days at most. However, dehydration will begin to occur after 24 hours without water intake.



How Do You Know If Your Dog Is Dying?

When your doggo is old or sick, the common signs of dying are:


  • Change in breathing
  • Always tired
  • Loss of appetite
  • Drinks less water
  • Clingy



Final Thought

As a fellow pet parent, I know how much we care and worry about our fur babies all the time. When we notice sudden changes in their behavior, our alarms start ringing. That’s perfectly normal and my best advice is to stay calm, observe your dog, and consult your vet.


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