How Long Can a Dog Go Without Eating? [Food & Water]

how long can a dog go without eating

Over time, dog pets become an essential part of your family, and we believe you would go miles to ensure the best survival of your dog. Taking care of your dog is one of your utmost responsibilities as a sincere dog owner. However, sometimes, despite how much you care for your dog, some mishaps/problems are bound to happen.

There are several breeds of dogs, and individually every dog behaves differently. Not only does every dog possess a different behavior, but their habits, likes and dislikes, and other minor and major things vary. For example, if your dog has disturbed eating habits, not necessarily all other dogs of the same breed would have the same habit.

If you have arrived at this article while searching for how long a dog can go without eating, you are at the right spot! Rest assured!

So, let’s get started!

Reasons for why my dog has stopped eating

Understandably, over time, dogs change their overall behavior, including evolution in their eating, playing, pooping, peeing, and many other habits. We believe that if your dog brings a change gradually, you would not feel bothered or baffled. However, if it suddenly develops a shift that is quite unusual, you may get worried.

If you observe that your dog has not eaten anything or less than usual, it would be best if you look into the matter closely for the past few days. Would you please try to catch why your dog does not agree to eat since such a long fasting state may become problematic health-wise?

Several physical and mental health conditions may interrupt your dog’s eating habits. Besides, sometimes, there are behavioral changes that your dog stops eating all of a sudden. Let’s have a light on all the probable and possible reasons for why your dog is not eating;

1. Change in diet

One of the most common reasons why your dog would stop eating is the change in diet. If you bring in the new food for your dog and present it to it right away, the chances are that your dog would refuse to eat. Dogs adapt to their food over time. Therefore, if you suddenly change your dog’s food, it would become a problem for your dog.

It would be best to gradually change your dog’s diet so that it would not disagree with eating its meal.

2. Stale/contaminated meal

You must never underestimate your dog’s sense of smell! Your dog can identify spoiled food within seconds, and you would not even know it. Therefore, if you present food to your dog and it refuses to eat, please inspect the food closely. If you see the unusual color of the food or fungi on it, it would be better to discard it right away!

3. No personal pet space

Like humans, dogs also need their personal space, especially when multiple cats and dogs are in the same area. Understandably, you cannot stay around with your pets all the time. Therefore you would not know if your one dog pet is being bothered by another one while eating.

As a result, any dog may stop eating because it does not want nuisance from other pet dogs. Therefore, it would be best to observe any such problem of your little friend and try resolving the issue by placing the dog in another room to eat in peace.

4. Unusual feeding timetable

Every dog has a specific time when it likes to have meals the most. As a vigilant dog owner, you must observe when is the best time to feed your dog. The best time refers to when your dog wants to have the food, and it does not disagree about the food intake.

If you try to keep feeding at a time not preferred by your dog, you will witness your dog constantly refusing to have meals.

5. Medical problems

Several medical issues disturb the overall mood of your dog. As a result, your dog may refuse to take food. Some of the critical medical health issues related to alteration of eating habits are below;

  • Food poisoning by bacteria, viruses, or fungi.
  • Stomach upset owing to irritants in the food given.
  • Dental problems.
  • Pain due to other reasons.
  • Parasitic infections.
  • GIT cancers.

6. Mental health problems

Similar to humans, your dog may also suffer from depression, anxiety, and phobias without you knowing about it. For example, if your dog has not eaten for days and such a scenario has never happened before, try recalling the past few days. Sometimes, when a family member dies or leaves the house, your dog may undergo depression because it feels lonely.

Similarly, your dog might face separation anxiety, which refers to a situation that develops when you leave your dog behind at home alone. Depression and anxiety can affect your dog’s eating habits severely. Therefore, it would be better to consult a vet!

How long can a dog live without food?

As mentioned earlier, every dog varies from another. If your dog has not eaten for days and the sudden change in your dog’s eating habit has left you wondering how long your dog can go without eating, then let us tell you that it depends on different factors.

If your dog is healthy and does not suffer from underlying physical and mental health problems, then it may stay well for up to five to seven days. First, however, you have to ensure that your dog drinks water properly.

On the contrary, if your dog already suffers from health conditions, it might not stay well without eating for up to three days. However, whether your dog is healthy or unhealthy, your dog’s more extended fasting states will eventually become problematic or even deadly.

What to do if your dog is not eating?

Undeniably, a loving dog owner like you would get worried if your dog has stopped eating. However, we suggest you do not panic at all. As mentioned earlier, dogs tend to bring behavioral changes. All you have to do is express patience with your dog and try to figure out why it does not eat the food.

You can also elevate your dog’s mood by offering it its favorite treats and meals at the preferred time of the day. However, if you think something is wrong with the health condition of your dog, it would be best to consult a professional vet at once to avoid worse outcomes.

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In conclusion

Beyond any doubt, the ‘how long can my dog go without eating?’ is a genuinely serious question, especially when your dog has not eaten in days. To prevent the worsening of the situation, please take your dog to the vet immediately. In this article, we have tried our best to explain why your dog is not eating and how long it can go without food/drinks.

Hopefully, the information provided will prove helpful!

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