How Long can a Dog go Without Food

Want to get the best answer to the question of how long can a dog go without food? Then read on.

Dogs can lose their appetite and refuse to eat for a long time; this can be exasperating as a dog owner. 

It’s not common for a dog to ignore eating for a long time as it can be a sickness sign. 

However, we are most concerned about the question- how long can a dog go without food? 

If you are willing to know, then you should continue to read. 

How Long can a Dog go Without Food?

Food is essential for your dog as it gives it the energy it requires for daily activities and to remain warm and keep various organs functioning correctly. 

In most cases, the body organs stores some energy and use it later on—however, the lack of food for a more extended period could lead to severe health risks.

There is a tendency for your dog to refuse to eat food. 

On average, a healthy dog can survive three to five days without eating food. 

But in rare cases, dogs can go for seven days or more without food. 

This event has often got dog owners worried and concerned, not knowing the exact amount of time or period their dog can live without eating.

However, it is not okay if your dog won’t eat for more than two days; you need to contact a veterinarian.

Again, dogs that are sick, underweight, too young, or too old may not be able to survive the absence of food for a long time and will need urgent medical attention. 

Therefore, if you observe that your dog has lost its appetite, ensure you find out why or cause to take the necessary steps to deal with the cause. 

Causes of Lack of Appetite in Dogs

how long can a dog go without food

If your dog refuses to eat within one to two days, then something severe is wrong. 

Several causes can lead to this condition. 

Some of the reasons dogs lose appetite include a change in environment, emotional distress, an allergic reaction to medications, or nausea. 

Again, internal factors, pain, and dental issues can also cause your pet to lose interest in their meals. 

Not to forget that dogs can get picky or that your dog does not like the food you’re providing. 

How do You Stimulate a Dog’s Appetite?

If your dog refuses to eat, there are ways that you can stimulate your dog’s appetite. 

This can be done intuitively or through the use of medication. 

However, you should consult with a vet first so that you can get an appropriate recommendation. 

Among over-the-counter medications, you can get natural options such as rotisserie chicken or trying acupuncture.

What to Feed Your sick dog that won’t Eat

Peradventure, your dog refuses to eat because it is sick, and you’ve run out of option. 

And you don’t know what to feed your sick dog as it does not eat. 

We have provided some food options that you can feed your ill dog that won’t eat.

Vets often recommend the bland chicken with white rice or white meat from a rotisserie chicken. 

Other food options that you can feed your sick dog include sweet potatoes, unseasoned pumpkin (without pumpkin pie filling), bone broth, and meat-based baby food.

Things to Look out for When Your Dog is not Feeding

The following things are to be considered when your dog is not feeding or eating;

  1. Observe the last time your dog ate
  2. Check your dog food
  3. Check for symptoms
  4. Stress

1. Observe the Last Time Your Dog Ate

As a dog owner, you must become observant and watchful of your dog. 

If your dog refuses to eat, remembering the last time it ate will let you know the next action to take. 

If the period of not eating is more than two or three days, then you need to call for help immediately.

2. Check your Dog Food

You also need to check out your dog’s food when you observe that it is not eating.

Possibly, the food could be the cause. 

You can try to change your dog food and observe if the food you serve your dog is why it is not eating. 

Check the food by smelling it or putting your finger to feel if anything could hinder your dog from eating. 

Check this out: What to Give Dogs for Constipation

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3. Check for Symptoms

Furthermore, you need to check out for symptoms. 

Observe and examine your dog by pressing your dog’s belly to see if it is hard or push it to see if your dog is in pain; you can also check your dog’s gums to ensure there is no need to worry. 

If you observe anything suspicious or alarming while examining your dog, you can call your vet doctor for help. 

So, if you are to introduce any changes in your dog’s routine activities of feeding schedule, you should teach any step slowly and be patient with your dog to adapt. 

4. Stress

Stress is among the suspected reasons your dog may not be interested in eating for an extended period. 

Stress could be another factor that may cause your dog not to eat. 

This could be due to a change in your dog’s routine that can upset your dog and stop eating. 

Changes such as location change, taking a vacation, or new members in the house. 

Observe to note which of these affects your dog, and a change in feeding routine can also upset your dog.

Check this out: What To Give To Dogs With Diarrhea

Conclusion on How Long can a Dog go Without Food

As you can see, your dog can live for days without eating. 

However, observing your dog to find out the cause of your dog losing appetite. would be the best. 

Call for help immediately once your dog loses appetite beyond two days to immediately rectify the issue before it worsens.


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Dr. Jason Williams

Dr. Jason Williams has served the veterinary field for over 26 years. After graduating from the Prestigious University of California--Davis. He has practiced in both the large and small animal sectors. His experience with Animals is immeasurable. Dr. Jason has found pleasure helping pet owners find the best information they'll ever need for their pets(companion). He currently has 20 pets and is dedicated to sharing from his wealth of experience to pet owners all over the world.

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