Dog owners often talk about how long a dog can go without eating. A dog’s ability to fast varies, and it’s essential to be aware of these differences when caring for a pet.
This article discusses a dog’s hunger, including how long it can go without food, what signs to look out for, and what to feed it.
How long can a dog go without eating?
Each dog has unique traits that make it different from the others.
Because animals are so different, it’s hard to say how long they can go without food. Vets have different ways of treating animals that don’t eat or aren’t hungry.
But most healthy dogs can go without food for 3–5 days.
But underweight, sick, old, or young dogs may not be able to handle it and need to see a vet sooner than 3 to 5 days.
In the same way, dogs who are pregnant, have just given birth, or are feeding will need to eat sooner than healthy dogs.
Why Doesn’t Your Dog Eat?
A dog’s refusal to eat seems almost never-ending from one digital limit to the next. But let’s look at some of the main reasons for this food fight.
The Mystery of Hunger
Dogs sometimes refuse to eat for unknown reasons. Accepting this mystery is essential if you have a four-legged partner who can’t always say what they want.
Keep an eye out for worries and talk to your strange dog. Some puzzles are meant to stay a mystery.
Mysteries in Medicine
The most worrying reason your dog refuses to eat is that they are sick. No one knows the complete list of health problems that make dogs refuse to eat. But some of the most common issues are:
- upset stomach
- Infections caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungi
- Allergic reactions
- Infectious diseases
- Tooth problems
- Parasites get in
- Blockages in the intestines
- The disease Cancer
- Organs don’t work
Stress, fear, sadness, and other mental or emotional problems can make it hard for a dog to eat, just like they can for people. Most of the time, these mistakes can be fixed. Changing your dog’s pattern or environment could make all the difference.
By playing with them more, giving them new toys, taking them for a walk, or giving them a place to relax, calming their emotions will make them hungry again.
The time of day
Your dog may have eating tastes like you would want to avoid a three-course dinner before sunrise. If you need more time, you could change when they eat or buy an automatic dog dish.
Problems with reproduction in female dog
Even though it rarely happens, female dogs in heat or when trying to have puppies may eat less or more.
A Social Appetite
If you have more than one pet, check to see if social interactions make it hard for your dog to eat. If another pet bothers them at mealtime, they might not want to eat. This worry can be lessened by giving pets “me-time” or feeding them separately.
Things to think about
If a dog’s food changes, it might refuse to eat. This is a regular worry, but slowly adding the new food over a few days might help.
Food That Seems Weird
Dogs may not eat because they don’t like it or they don’t think it’s safe. Check if their food is spoiled, dirty, or smells bad. Trust your dog’s great sense of smell, and stop giving him food that seems strange. If you need to, save examples for a doctor to look at.
Eating in Secret
Dogs can choose what to eat, just like people. If you have more than one pet, you may have noticed this change in how they eat. Even though it’s not a medical issue, it may be hard to cook. Try giving them fresh food, good choices, or tasty toppings to get their attention.
Interference with Medication
Some drugs might make your dog sick or lose his hunger, making him less hungry. Check the label on the pet medicine to see if it has any side effects. Your vet may be able to give you choices that won’t make your dog lose their hunger.
How long can dogs go without water?
Dogs can go longer without food than water since they can quickly dehydrate.
Call your vet immediately if your pet doesn’t eat for a day. Dehydration from not getting enough water for a long time is a problem that needs to be fixed quickly.
Watch for these signs of dehydration if your dog doesn’t drink:
- Taking too many breaths
- Lack of interest
- Having less hunger
- A dry nose
- Dry, sticky gums
- Lips that are strangely pale or red
- Sticky saliva
- Less flexibility in the skin
If you catch these signs early, you may be able to protect your dog.
What to Do If Your Dog Won’t Eat
If Dog’s hunger suddenly goes away, look for a medical problem. If your dog last ate a few days ago, you should take it to the vet to find out what’s wrong.
There are ways to get your dog to eat again if they don’t want to because they don’t like the food, it hurts them to eat, or they are in a new place.
Here are a few ideas:
Change Food: Change your dog’s food to give it more variety. If you usually make food at home, try something new. Try other proteins or brands of raw foods that are already made. If dry food is the best, try canned food.
Bone soup and raw goat milk are elixirs that are high in nutrients. CBD oil may increase hunger hormones, which could help your dog eat if they aren’t eating because of fear or pain.
Change the place of eating: Change the location where your dog eats. Changing the bowls or the place where they eat, like to a quiet corner or cage, could make dinner more enjoyable.
Stress-Free Feeding: Don’t get upset if your dog doesn’t want to eat. Offer food in a calm and friendly way, and if your pet turns it down, take it away and try again later. Some picky eaters might do better if they only ate once a day.
Give prebiotics and probiotics daily to keep your dog’s gut healthy.
Slow Walk: Your dog might get hungry after a slow walk before a meal.
Treat Trimming: Lessen or eliminate treats to make your dog more hungry for dinner.
Timing Trials: Try feeding your dog at different times to see if they like it.
How long can a healthy dog go without eating?
A healthy dog usually goes without food for about three to five days without getting sick.
If my dog hasn’t eaten for a few days, is it safe to force-feed it?
Even if your dog hasn’t eaten in a few days, you shouldn’t force-feed it.
How long a dog can go without eating relies on many things, such as its health, age, mood, and environment. A healthy dog can go days without food, but if its taste changes, it needs to be watched and dealt with quickly.