How Long Can A Dog Go Without Eating? Know The Details Here!

How long can a dog go without eating is a query, you might have if your little one is a picky eater or has a sensitive stomach. Typically, the timeline is three to five days, but it varies from case to case. However, as a pet parent, you must visit the vet if you find your pup not eating for over 48 hours. Also, you must ensure that the pup continues drinking water during this period to remain stable. 

But what is the reason your canine is not eating at all? Also, how will you encourage them to eat? Can you force-feed your dog? If at all, what are the other alternatives? We will all look into that – 

How long can a dog go without eating? 

how long can dog go without food
Image Credit: Off Leash Blog

On average, a dog can go without food for 3-5 days as long as it is constantly and consistently drinking water. However, this may change depending on a host of factors like – its breed, age, size, health, and others. Let us take a closer look at it all – 

In the case of puppies 

For those of you who have newborn puppies at home, a maximum of 12 hours is how much time you need to monitor the little one’s eating schedule. If it does not eat for more than 12 hours, till 24 hours, you must consult your vet. 

For small dogs 

If your dog is of a smaller breed, then give it a maximum of 2-3 days. If your canine dearie has not had food for up to 3 days, it is time you take it to a vet. There might be certain issues, which if not treated on time, could result in escalation of the same. 

If your dog is diabetic

In case, your dog has diabetes, then you need to be extremely cautious about how long it has not eaten. Since their sugar levels are already fluctuating, therefore, they might suddenly face hypoglycemia. Hence, for a diabetic dog, 12-24 hours is a benchmark. 

For large dogs 

Since they have ample stored fat in their bodies, hence, you need not worry if they have not eaten for 3-4 days. Slow metabolism is a key reason behind it. But ensure that it is drinking water. 

If you have sick dogs 

Though as mentioned before, it can go without solid food for 3-5 days, but, if you see that your pup is restless and has not eaten for 3 days at a stretch, then it is crucial that you take it to a vet. Also, check its water consumption over time. 

See also  Review of Banuba AI Video Editor

How long can a dog go without drinking water? 

how long can dogs go without drinking water
Image Credit: Dogster

The maximum time that your dog can go without water is 24 hours. If not treated on time, this could even lead to severe dehydration. Hence, you must immediately consult your concerned vet. 

Why is your dog not eating? 

Stressed dog not eating
Image Credit: Blue Cross

Now that you are better aware of how long can a dog go without eating it is time to dig into the reasons behind it. There can be several reasons as to why this is happening – 

Your dog is a finicky eater 

Many pups are highly fussy about their food. Also, if you change their kibble and add some new variants to it, they would not prefer it and hence not eat the food. Keep an eye out for changes you intend to make. 

Stress and anxiety 

Just like humans, pups can also notice stress in their environment and react accordingly. Whether it is a change in their environment or for some other reason, they might just lose their appetite and not touch even their favourite food for days. 

After effects of medications or vaccinations 

Has your canine friend just had a shot? In that case, it may feel a little under the clouds and lose its appetite as a side effect. No worries; it will come back soon! 

If there is any intestinal blockage 

Dogs often chew on several objects. If any of those get stuck in their intestines, that could cause a major issue and cause them to lose their appetite. Seek a vet’s advice immediately. 

Your pup is suffering from some major health issue 

The last and most important reason why your little canine is not eating/drinking is due to some underlying illness. From intestinal parasites to some major liver/kidney/dental issues, your little one might be facing some grave problems. 

How to make your dog start eating? 

dogs having chicken bone
Image Credit: Raised Right

You have seen for yourself how long can a dog go without eating, and perhaps even consult your vet. Assuming you have determined the reason behind the distress, it is time to make some changes. Here is how you can make the little one start eating – 

  • Get them to eat at fixed times. This will help your pups maintain their schedules and regain their appetite on time.
  • If you have not changed their food, then it is time to do the same. Alter their food quality and the type of food that you offer, especially dry dog food bowls. 
  • Add meat to their diet. Boiled or baked boneless lean ground beef or chicken breast
  • If you are giving your pup wet or dry food, always heat it in the microwave. 
  • You can try to hand-feed your canine friend if the little one is anxious or restless or if there is a change in the environment. 
  • Also, add broth to their food. Ensure that it is low-sodium chicken or beef broth. 
  • Lastly, give your pups only a few dog treats since that could fill them up and they will lose their appetite. 
See also  Why Entrust Your Wedding Album to Professional Image Editors?

Before making any drastic changes to their food habits, always consult your vet. 

How many meals should your dog eat? 

Apart from only figuring out how long can a dog go without eating you must also keep track of how much to feed your pup and when. Let us give you an essential insight into that – 

  • For those with recently weaned puppies – 4 meals per day is a must.  
  • If yours is a smaller breed (more of a house dog) and above four years of age, then three meals per day is good enough. If it is a comparatively larger breed, then three meals per day after six months is suitable. 

Apart from that, consult your vet for more precise directions. 

Should you force-feed your dog?

force feeding your dogs
Image Credit: Paw Safe

This is one of the most common queries for those of you worried about how long can a dog go without eating. Well, you have to keep this as the last option. Assuming your doggy has not had a morsel to eat for the previous 48 hours and is not willing to eat even now, you must consult your vet and syringe feed/force feed it. 

You must follow this medical procedure only after consulting your vet and in their presence. 

Final Thoughts 

For all the concerned pet parents, assuming you have read this post well, you are better aware now of how long can a dog go without eating and how you can make it eat again. It is only natural that your canine sidekick would face multiple issues or be bored with the same kind of food. Hence, you need to be cautious and check out the specifics. Lastly, be very careful of the quality of food you are feeding the pups since that can affect their health significantly. We have also answered another host of queries that you need to scroll down to check. 

If you enjoyed reading this post, then keep an eye on the website. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. How long can a sick dog not eat?

There is no set timeline for your pup to not eat. If it is drinking water continuously, then depending on the illness, it may not eat for up to five days. However, this varies from case to case. 

2. Which foods are healthiest for dogs? 

Ensure that your dog regularly eats a diet composed of boiled eggs, mushrooms, and Omega 3s. 

3. How much should you feed a sick dog?

You must feed it just enough to ensure that it gets well. Experts suggest that you let your dog decide how much it wishes to eat rather than forcefully feeding it. 

4. Can a dog go without food after surgery?

Generally, due to all the grogginess and the medication, your canine friend would not like to eat for the next 24 hours. However, if your pup is refusing food even the next day, you need to consult the vet. 

5. Is there any other way to help your pups? 

If you find a change in your pup’s daily food schedule, then before taking it to the vet, sit down and spend some time with it. If not for other reasons, most dogs are stressed out, which leads them to discard their food temporarily. Hence, it is best to give your pup some time despite all the tensions.