We hope that you are not planning to test and see how long can a dog go without food. Nonetheless, this is a question that all dog owners need to know the answer to.
It can help you prevent issues, risk and provide a better life to your friend. Also, sometimes your pet may refuse to eat for a long period of time. All combined, you need to know how to react and this answer can help you significantly.
How long can a dog go without food: Healthy and not so healthy dogs
In general, a dog can last up to 5 days without any food. Most can last up to 7 days but this is very dangerous and not something you should do. Keep in mind that we are referring to healthy dogs who still get plenty of water to drink.
A dog that has some health-related issues cannot last more than 3 days without food. In some cases it is possible that he will last for 5 days but, once again this isn’t something you should try.
Both, healthy and non-healthy dogs can last much shorter without water. Of course, a dog that has a medical condition cannot last without water as a perfectly healthy dog.
Why your dog is refusing food?
In most situations, a dog will refuse to eat due to some issue. If he doesn’t eat anything for a few hours you don’t have anything to worry about. But, if he refuses food after 48 hours you should take him to a vet. It is probable that he has some medical issues. If he has diarrhea and he is vomiting, take him to a vet immediately.
There are a few reasons why a dog will refuse to eat. We have divided these into sections so you can easily understand them.
- Due to medical issues
Your dog may suffer from an upset stomach, has an allergy, infection, parasites, autoimmune disease, or is under pain. If just one of these issues appears, he will likely refuse to eat until the problem is solved.
- Due to depression and anxiety
If your pet is depressed or anxious he will likely refuse to eat. Now you need to look for changes in his behavior. For instance, if he is depressed, he will not eat and he may sleep the entire day. He will act sad and avoid playing.
If a dog is anxious he will show other symptoms such as aggression, barking, growling, hiding and so much more. You should try to spend some time with your pet, give him more freedom and go for a walk. Usually, these things can help depressed and anxious dogs recover.
- He doesn’t like the food
Believe it or not, this is one of the most common reasons why dog owners are scared and believe their pet has a severe problem. If you switch to a different food or your dog refuses to eat the old food, the odds are the high problem is in that food.
It may be too old, moldy or he may just don’t like the brand and the new taste (if you got him a new food). The easiest way to test is to give him something else to eat. If he eats, the problem is in the food. Replace it and you will be perfectly fine.
What you should do when your dog does eat?
In all cases you saw above, the actions remain the same. You need to look for the symptoms and try to understand why a dog doesn’t eat any food. The first thing you must do is to examine the stomach of your dog. T
ouch and gently press it. If he is in pain, you will know it. It means that your dog has an upset stomach and this is the reason why he is refusing to eat. Also, check for the gums of a dog. They must be moist and pink. If they are not, it means that your pet has some health-related issues.
The next thing to do is to check for the food. This has been explained already so we are not going to repeat the step. We can only add that some dogs have a sensitive stomach and they can develop allergies to certain foods. Once that happens, they will obviously refuse to eat.
It is important to check for mental problems as well. For instance, if you change something in the recent period of time, a dog may be under a lot of stress and he will show that. As mentioned earlier, he will be depressed or anxious all the time.
This is common when you change your home, adopt a new dog or other animal or when you take him on a vacation. Sadly, vacations can be stressful for dogs. It is worth noting that your dog must get food at the same time, every single day. If you are too busy and simply don’t have the time for that, you will need a pet sitter.
A more affordable option is a dog feeder.
When you should take him to a vet?
When you should take a dog that refuses to eat to a vet. Many of you will take him as soon as he misses one meal.
There is no need to do that. Instead, you should wait up to 48 hours if there are no other symptoms. During that time you can change the food and examine the food as we have explained above. Usually, the problem will solve on its own and there are no severe issues.
If your pet has diarrhea, vomits and doesn’t move take him to a veterinarian as soon as you can. If his stomach is hard and under pain, due to the same.
The final word
How long can a dog go without food? Well, now you know the answer and we hope you have memorized all the rest you need to know.
Try to remember that your pet may have some issues with health or his mind or the food. These are three main reasons why he doesn’t eat and each one has a lot of sub-reasons.