How Long Can a Dog Go Without Eating: Ultimate Guide

How Long Can a Dog Go Without Eating

8 Things You Should Know About Dogs and Eating

Have you ever considered how long a dog can stay without eating?

Or, if your dog’s been refusing food for a couple of days, it may be time to take them to the vet. The average life span ranges from 10 to 15 years, but that can vary depending on their size and health.

Dogs will typically stop eating if they don’t feel well or have an illness Contact your veterinarian.

if your dog seems lethargic, is vomiting or has diarrhoea, or won’t eat for more than a day or two.

They’ll be able to diagnose what’s wrong and prescribe medication to help them recover – hopefully, sooner rather than later!

Dogs are unique creatures. Though they may be domesticated and raised by humans, they’re still very much animals. It means that we have to respect their needs and instincts regarding food. Dogs can’t digest grains, so it’s important to know what you’re feeding them. If you’re not sure what’s best for your dog, consult your veterinarian or a specialist.

Here are some things you should know about how dogs eat and how you can help them on their journey towards living a healthy life.

Do many people wonder how long a dog can stay without eating?

dog waiting for foodThe answer to this can be very varied, as it will depend on the circumstances in which the animal lives. Some dogs have been known to survive a few weeks without eating. We are going to learn a little more about the reasons why a dog can stop eating, and you may be surprised to discover them.

How many days can a dog go without eating or drinking?


Indeed you wonder how long a dog can go without eating?

Beyond days, dogs can survive without food for a few weeks. Of course, this only happens in extreme circumstances.

An example of this. can be those dogs that have been abandoned by their owners or survived natural disasters and have been separated from their owners, leaving them completely alone We must remember that if the dog is healthy and has reached adulthood, he has a much better chance of surviving long periods without food than a sick dog, an elderly dog ​​or a puppy We must keep in mind that, although a dog can survive weeks without eating, it does not happen in the same way with water.

Like all living things, dogs need water to survive, so they can’t go more than a few days without drinking; otherwise, they can die.

However, the survival of the animals means that this may vary slightly If at any time you notice that your dog stops eating or drinking, you should take it to the vet immediately When this happens with small dogs (puppies) or with dogs already considered “senior dogs”, we must take them to the doctor as soon as their loss of appetite is noticed If liquid stools, vomiting and fever are added to this lack of encouragement to eat or drink it will be more urgent than a specialist sees them If the dog is a healthy adult, it can be observed for 24 hours.

Sometimes the loss of appetite is momentary and not the product of any disease.

My dog ​​hasn’t eaten for three days, what’s wrong?

sick dogDogs can last several days without eating, if your pet spends two or three days without wanting to eat anything, you should take him to veterinary consultation, as it could be due to some condition or disease, usually, if a dog does not eat, it is because something is happening in your body that is not normal.

Many pathologies have a loss of appetite as a symptom, so that a veterinary diagnosis will be necessary.

Why won’t my dog ​​eat? Why do dogs stop eating?

A dog not only stops eating because it is sick but it can also happen when the animal is psychologically affected.

We will know some of these causes that can make them lose their appetite:

Recent adoption: some newly adopted dogs may take a while to adapt to their new environment.

That stresses them and can result in the animal not eating for a few days. Some even stop urinating due to stress.

Food changes: when changes in their diet are very sudden, some dogs may stop eating.

It is a kind of claim for such a sudden change. That is why it is always has that you do it slowly and fractionally if you are going to change a dog’s diet.

Ailments and Conditions: Some dogs that have a painful or non-painful condition, or are recovering from an illness (vomiting in dogs is a prevalent cause), may stop eating for a few days. When this happens, it is recommended that we encourage them to eat by giving them their favourite foods.

How long can a sick dog stay without eating?

sick dog need helpIt will depend significantly on what disease the dog has and its conditions.

The most common thing is that dogs that suffer from a severe illness stop eating. In addition to this, various pathologies will directly affect our pet’s digestive system, and they can make the dog not digest the food, causing them abdominal pain, vomiting, and loose stools. It will make the dog not want to eat as it will not feel well.

When this happens, we must take our friend to the vet. There, the doctor will implement various measures to help your dog stay hydrated and with the proper nutrients.

In most cases, intravenous lines are placed If a dog is treated with intravenous fluids, he will be able to go between 24 and 72 hours without ingesting food or water.

In these cases, we should not worry. These fluids will not allow your pet to become dehydrated or sick from not eating. In some cases, if the dog does not want to eat, even when he begins to recover, it resorts to the use of tubes through which you will feed him until he regains his appetite.

How long can a sick dog go without eating? Is it wrong to leave it a day without eating?

We already know that a dog is not going to die if he goes a couple of days without eating, so if you can’t feed your pet for a day, nothing wrong is going to happen. However, it is not recommended that dogs fast. Some people say that they need to do it sometimes, but the truth is that this is not good.

In the same way, if you can and have the possibility, it is worth consulting this question with your trusted veterinarian. Although a dog can decide by himself to stop eating because he feels some discomfort, this does not mean that we, as his owners, make him fast for a whole day.

If our pet has a digestive problem, the doctor may recommend letting him quickly for a few hours to allow his digestive system to stabilize. However, a dog should eat daily, and it is even suggested that he eat twice a day. His food is divided into two portions so he does not go hungry.

How to feed a dog that does not want to eat?

feed the dogAlthough dogs can survive days without eating, it is our responsibility to get them to eat food even if they are reluctant, of course, only if the dog does not have problems that affect their digestive tract. If a sick dog starts eating again, its recovery will be much faster, and the medicine will have a better effect.

The other case will be that the dog stops eating due to the dog’s changes in his diet. When this happens, we should return to their usual food, but it now contains a little of the new one we want to give them. In this way, the transition will be slower and more progressive, so the dog will be a little more encouraged to eat.

If the sudden change is mandatory due to a food allergy or an illness that requires a different diet, we must try to motivate our dog to eat his new food. If this does not work, it is has that we go to the vet to see if there is any other food option or if it is essential to make the change.

Some dogs do not tolerate changes, and their rejection of the food could have consequences over time.

Now, dogs that have recently changed homes. either by moving or recently adopted, may not want to eat due to stress, fear, or attention. In these cases, we can follow these steps to try to make them eat again:

Canned food: there is a variety of canned food for dogs that cover the different needs that our pet may have, from illnesses to a simple change of flavour to motivate them to eat. One of the best known is wet foods that canines usually love.

Porridge: in some cases, we can choose to make some porridge and try to give it to them with a spoon or syringe (without a needle, of course), in this way we help them eat and savour the food, some like it so much that they later eat by themselves alone. Yes, the dog has stopped drinking or drinking little water. You can add broth or water to the porridge, which will help hydrate them.

Small intakes: remember, it is has that food intakes begin in small doses, as it is never advisable to force them and even less to make them overeat, especially if they have not eaten anything for more than two days.

You must carry out this action several times during the same day. In this way, we can encourage them to eat even a little.

Tempered food: when food is slightly warm, it makes the odours much more robust than room temperature. In this way, we can attract their attention and stimulate their appetite. Remember that dogs are guided a lot by their sense of smell, so this is the best way to encourage them to eat.

Porridge with bumps: when the dog has begun to eat the porridge, either with help or by itself, we will start to add pieces of food, small at first and little by little we will increase their size and quantity, in this way, we make the transition from liquid to solid. You must keep in mind that the change may be slow, so you must be patient and not rush the process.

Homemade food: if we choose to give them homemade food, you must keep in mind that it must be as healthy as possible. You should not give foods that contain salt, sugar, saturated fats or bones, as they will be detrimental to a dog’s health.

Although there is an exception for those dogs that are in a very advanced stage of their disease and have little time left to live, that way, you can give them everything they like to eat, so they can remember their favourite food and live their last days happily. Moments.

Specific foods: when dogs suffer from a disease that requires a particular type of food, the veterinarian will tell us what is most recommended to give them. After knowing it, we will be able to look for different ways to offer this food to our canine and accept it without problems.

dog foodAfter the dog accepts the food we offer him, we will slowly add his usual food. In this way, the transition will be slow and more acceptable for our friends. If none of the above ideas works, we should consult the veterinarian. He will be able to help us with other advice.

What can you give a dog that does not want to eat?

Now that you know how long a dog can go without eating, you must find why it does not eat and look for a solution. There are many reasons why a dog does not eat. The first to rule out is the change of diet If you have recently changed food, and you have not done it gradually, it is logical that your dog does not want to eat. That is why we recommend that you make a transition between foods progressively.

When the change of food is abrupt by veterinary prescription (for example, with renal diets), the dog may reject the new food at first.

If you have a puppy that has just arrived home and does not want to eat the special feed for his age, you can try mixing it with wet food. You can also give this type of food (which dogs love) to dogs that have just gone through an illness or to elderly dogs.

Keep in mind that, in the case of the latter, many times, they stop eating not because of lack of appetite but because of problems with their gums and teeth, this could prevent them from grinding the feed.

Although you already know how many days a dog can go without eating, and there are quite a few.

we recommend that you consult the vet if your dog has been without appetite for more than 24 hours and the situation does not improve because of his health could be at risk.

Do not forget that, under no circumstances, you should give your dog treats, chocolates, fatty food or homemade stews that contain salt or sugar, you can’t offer him bones either.

The veterinarian can recommend a type of diet according to the possible pathologies of your dog in case he rejects his usual food.

Diseases that cause loss of appetite

Dogs suffering from some cancer may, due to treatment, lose their appetite partially or totally.

Although dogs can indeed go without eating for days and even weeks, those dogs that spend around 72 hours without eating can begin to create pathological problems, especially those canines that have compromised health. They are puppies or those who are already in their most adult stage.

If a dog stops eating suddenly, and there is no possible visible cause that would lead it to stop eating, you should take it to the vet as quickly as possible since it could be due to some pathology.

Remember, it is always advisable that when you notice unusual or frequent attitudes in your pet, it is best to visit a professional to rule out diseases or treat them in time.

playing with bonsWe are going to know some of the most common dog diseases that can make a dog lose its appetite:

Kidney failure: this disease can be the cause of your canine’s loss of appetite. This condition can affect the animal’s sense of smell and taste, which would lead it to lose the motivation to eat. Remember that dogs are guiding a lot by smell.

Oral problems: if your pet has a toothache, has an infection or any other oral pathology, it may have a loss of appetite mainly caused by the pain and discomfort caused by eating. For this reason, it is always has that dogs have a dental check-up at least once or twice a year. Tooth loss and ulcerations are other factors that cause loss of appetite.

Anaemia: this disease presents visible and easy to detect symptoms. Constant sleep, excessive tiredness, and lack of energy are the main symptoms of a dog with anaemia. When this disease attacks these animals, they may stop eating due to the excess fatigue they feel in their bodies. If you notice any of these symptoms, take your pet to the vet as soon as possible.

Depression: dogs and all living beings also get sad and can suffer from depression Causes of these can be diverse, from losing their owner, the death of a friend, being a dog or another pet and even by some changes in their usual environment (relocations or adoptions).

These types of events can cause stress and depression in dogs, causing them, just like humans, to lose the desire to eat, and sometimes they can even stop drinking water. Separation anxiety in dogs is a prevalent cause of canine depression.

looking sadRecommendations you can take into account

However, As we have already seen, dogs can stop eating for various reasons, which may be due to illness or emotional or routine changes.

Depending on the cause, the animal may spend more or less time without eating. However, not eating food for a day may cause some diseases or problems, especially in the digestive system.

The best thing to do is stop giving them their usual food and change their diet to a softer one, especially in cases where their lack of appetite is due to digestive problems.

If this is not the case, we should encourage the dog to eat, either by offering It favourite food or helping it with some tricks.

However, the first thing you should do when you notice that your dog does not want to eat is to take it to the vet to rule out possible conditions, It is not recommend to force a dog to fast if strictly necessary.

The only way it is recommend that a dog not eat for a day or more than 6 hours is when he will have tests that require fasting or when the canine is going to have surgery in the next 24 hours, Otherwise, dogs must eat daily.

Once we have this clear, you should follow the following steps to achieve the desired results:

1. Don’t panic, Remember that dogs often refuse food for short periods without suffering any long-term effects As long as your dog is acting normal. and not displaying any medical condition, a day or two of fasting is not a big deal.

However, If your dog goes a couple of days without eating and nothing is wrong (no vomiting, diarrhoea, coughing, or any accident), there is no reason to worry.

2. Try to determine why your dog has stopped eating. So, Examine your dog’s food, reconsider your daily lifestyle, and check the labels on your dog’s medications and feed If you can determine the reason why your dog has stopped eating, you can probably make the necessary changes so that your dog regains its appetite.

3. Try to tempt your dog with his favourite foods or treats It’s worth determining if your dog doesn’t like his food or similar preference issues may be causing your dog to refuse food.

So, consider watching to see if your dog eats some cheese, a piece of chicken, or something delicious. If you gobble it up in two bites, that means that was the root of the problem.

4. Contact your veterinarian if your dog has not eaten for more than two days.

If your dog continues to refuse food after two days, go to the vet and ask for a quick consultation.

Of course, this plan should follow as long as your dog is healthy and exhibiting no medical problems.

If you think your dog is sick for any reason, contact your veterinary immediately.

How do vets treat dogs that don’t eat?

If your dog’s refusal of food lasts for more than two days or exhibits any other symptoms at the same time as refusing food. you will need to take your dog to the vet Once there your vet will likely try to determine why your dog has stopped eating, It usually means performing medical exams studying your dog’s medical history, and taking a series of diagnostic tests and appropriate tests.

Hopefully, your vet will determine the root of the problem and recommend an appropriate treatment strategy If your dog has a severe health problem or voluntarily stops eating, your vet may be able to feed your dog through a tube By doing this, your vet makes sure that your dog receives the necessary nutrients while he works to determine and correct the problem Food refusal can cause anxiety in owners, but it is essential to understand that most fasts are not severe and do not cause concern Dogs sometimes refuse food for several different reasons. and as long as they are healthy, you won’t have to worry if your dog decides to skip breakfast or dinner.

Has your dog stopped eating?

Which was the reason? Was your dog a picky eater, or did he happen to be sick? Did you do something special for your but to eat again? Leave us your experience below in the comments!