Most healthy dogs can go up to five days without eating. While puppies and dogs need food to survive, your pet can last a few days without food assuming he is till drinking water. Without proper nutrition, your dog may be sick or in danger of becoming ill. If your dog is going without food or water, it is important to figure out why, and then find ways to get him to eat and hydrate. Let’s discuss some of the reasons why he is not eating, how long he can go without eating, health risks associated with no food or water, how to get your dog to eat more, and a short list of foods that your dog shouldn’t eat.
How Long Can Your Dog Go Without Food?
There is no set amount of time that a dog can go without food. Some people say dogs can go up to a week, while others say that they can actually live up to a month without proper nutrition. How long any one dog can go without food depends on a number of factors, including:
- Age – Puppies can often go longer without food than adult dogs.
- Health – A healthy dog in good physical condition can go without food longer than a dog that isn’t in good health.
One thing that you really do need to keep an eye on is how much water your dog is consuming. Going without water is actually much more dangerous to a dog than going without food. It is of the utmost importance that dogs consume a certain amount of water each day. If your dog is not drinking water, contact your vet immediately.
Why Isn’t Your Dog Eating?
There are actually several reasons why your dog may not be eating. But, you don’t necessarily have to worry about it, at least not right away. Of course, if your dog goes more than 48 hours without eating, you might want to make an appointment with your vet to find out what might be wrong. Some of the reasons why a dog may stop eating include:
- Picky Eater – It isn’t just cats that can be finicky eaters. Many dogs can be just as fussy, and the problem may be as simple as your dog not liking the food you are giving him. Try switching to a different food and see if he will eat that instead.
- New Surroundings – If you have just brought a dog into your home, it may take a few days before he starts eating. He is in new surroundings, and is likely nervous. Give him a couple of days, and if he doesn’t start eating, call your vet.
- Illness – If your dog hasn’t eaten in more than 48 hours, it could be that there is something wrong. It is important to take your dog for an examination by your vet to find out what might be causing the lack of appetite.
The Dangers of Dogs Not Eating
While it is not going to cause a lot of problems if your dog doesn’t eat for a day or two, if he goes for extended periods of time without eating, there could be several dangers. For instance, even if they do have an adequate water supply, they can still become dehydrated after a while. Other dangers of dogs not eating include:
- Alertness – They have a lowered state of alertness when they aren’t receiving proper nutrition.
- Aggression – Dogs that are not getting enough to eat can become agitated, and eventually become aggressive.
- Activity – When dogs aren’t getting proper nutrition, you will notice that they become less and less active over time.
How To Get Your Dog To Eat
If the problem is health-related, you may need to have intervention from a vet in order to get your dog to start eating again. But, if it is not a health issue, there are some things that you can do yourself to see if your dog will eat more.
- Change His Food – It may simply be that your dog is unhappy with the food you are giving him. He either doesn’t like it, or is just plain bored and wants something different. Switch it up to see if he starts eating again.
- Offer Treats – If your dog isn’t eating his regular food, offer up a treat and see if he will eat that. Again, it may simply be because your dog is bored with his diet or doesn’t like what is in the bowl, but he will eat the treat.
- Call Your Vet – If your dog still isn’t eating after 48 hours, you should make an appointment to see your vet. They will examine your dog to find the cause of the problem, and offer suggestions or treatments that will get your dog to eat again.
Best Dog Food For Picky Eaters
If you need some recommendations on the best dog food for picky eaters, here are some top-rated brands and products for pets who refuse to eat. While all of them are affordable and healthy for dogs of all breeds, the list also includes a couple choices specifically catering to pets with skin allergies and sensitive stomachs.
If you need to change your dog’s food, consider one of these extremely palatable and well-reviewed options to get your dog to eat!
Foods You Should Never Give Your Dog
We all have trouble not giving in when we see those sad eyes looking up at us, begging for a treat. If your dog isn’t eating, you might be tempted to give him something that he likes but really shouldn’t have. While most dogs love most of the things we eat, it doesn’t necessarily mean that all human food is good for dogs.
In fact, there are some things you should never give to your dog, no matter how much he begs.
- Certain nuts (macadamia nuts in particular)
- Fresh, under-cooked or raw eggs or meat
- Artificial sweeteners
- Caffeine, including coffee or tea
If Your Dog Still Isn’t Eating Food or Drinking Water
If you have noticed that your dog isn’t eating, make sure that you keep a close eye on him. Try to figure out what the problem is, such as simply being a fussy eater, and make some changes to his diet. If this doesn’t work and he still isn’t eating after a couple of days, call your vet for an appointment to find out what might be causing the problem and how to get him to start eating again.