Animals Care

How Long Can a Dog go without Food: And How to feed a Dog that won’t Eat

Not getting to eat and drink in just a few hours, either humans or pets like cats and dogs will feel helpless limp. However, it differs from this most beloved animal, the dog. It is said that dogs can live without food for three months. But it is not complete if you do not know the reason behind this all. We’ve summarized it in How Long Can a Dog go without Food: And How to Feed a Dog that won’t Eat


How long can a dog go without food?

Like all mammals, dogs need to eat regularly to maintain their metabolism. Food is the main energy source that fuels the body for normal organ function. In addition, food is also a source for maintaining a normal body temperature. However, how long can a dog go without eating?


Adult Dog

In general, an adult dog or old dog not eating can last for 2 to 3 days, without you having to worry too much. As long as the dog is in a healthy state of the body, it can last up to 5 days without eating anything, provided that it drinks.

Although it will last up to 5 days without food, it does not mean that nothing harm happens to the system. As mentioned earlier, food gives your pet nutrients and energy, its deficiency leads to lethargic behavior.

In certain extreme situations, a dog can sometimes live weeks without eating. A dog that is left behind or becomes trapped in an earthquake can live for several weeks without food. Of course, a puppy, an old dog, or a sick dog will not be able to survive as long as a healthy adult dog. Size and breed can also affect a dog’s ability to survive without food.


Why doesn’t my dog eat?

Your dog may stop eating for several reasons, whether health-related or psychological. If your dog refuses to eat after two to three days, you should visit the veterinarian. Here are some situations where dogs may stop eating:


Dog not eating but drinking water and vomiting

This may be simply due to a lack of appetite or associated with your dog’s food preferences. He may have gotten used to eating human food and not wanting to eat dog food. If this lasts more than a day, consult a veterinarian.

If your dog refuses to eat and vomits yellow bile fluid or diarrhea, this may indicate an infection or gastrointestinal disease. Take your dog to the vet if it continues for more than an hour.


My dog isn’t eating but acting normally

If your dog shows signs of distress other than not eating, contact your vet. It is possible that there are fundamental issues that must be addressed. Your dog may avoid its food due to liver disease, infection, blockage, tumor, or kidney failure.


Sometimes, a dog may stop eating for psychological reasons. Example:

Newly adopted dog

While still adapting to the changes in her new home, the newly adopted dog may not want to eat and even urinate for a few days. Make sure your dog feels as at ease as possible. Don’t forget to offer varied and healthy food.

You’ll soon learn his favorites. If your dog still won’t eat after the first few days, consult your vet.


Food changes

If you change your dog’s food brand or switch to a natural diet when your dog is used to processed foods, he or she may initially refuse to eat. Changes in the diet of the dog should always be made gradually.


Stress or anxiety

Changes in routines such as going on vacation or having strangers at home can cause your dog stress. Dogs may stop eating or refuse food for several hours or a day. Try to introduce any changes gradually, and reassure your dog if it looks stressed or anxious.


How long can a dog survive without food?

A dog in the United States (USA) can miraculously survive after not being fed for three months. The dog named Nino was known to have been deliberately abandoned by his owner Kellen Jones. The 27-year-old tied Nino up in his backyard in Memphis, Tennessee, the USA with no food and no drink at all.

Luckily, due to Nino’s whereabouts, it was later discovered by the Memphis Animal Protection Agency. When examined the poor dog was found to be starving in the most extreme stages. Nino is known to survive by eating his feces.

In addition, Nino also eats small animals either living or dead in the vicinity. Nino’s condition is very concerning, namely that his bones appear prominent and his body is only coated with thin flesh. Luckily, After being rescued Nino immediately received proper treatment by the medical personnel.


Why won’t my dog drink water?

Dog not drinking water but eating

Your Dog Has Stomach Pain

Your dog may have stomach pains and this is what causes it not to eat but to keep drinking water. This can be something as simple as some nausea or digestive problems caused by eating too fast or eating too much food.

You should not give him snacks during this time to encourage eating his food. People can get stomach pains for some things, and dogs do.

He might run too much outside, overheat, or maybe eat a few pieces of grass. It could be that the dog goes outside and eats the insect that caused the problem. If your dog is known to like to throw garbage or eat anything on the floor, he or she may have just tried to eat something unpleasant and now has stomach pains.

After all, she needs a little time to recover from indigestion and knows to avoid food during this time.


Your Dog Has a Gastrointestinal Infection

Gastrointestinal infections can be a problem and you should take your dog to your vet if you suspect an infection. Many different digestive disorders can cause infections including colitis, pancreatitis, gastroenteritis, and malabsorption in the small intestine.

Infection can cause diarrhea, nausea, and other symptoms in dogs. Most indigestions resolve within a few days. However, if your dog has other symptoms, it is best to take him to the vet. Your vet may prescribe some antibiotics or other medications to clear the infection if left for too long.


Routine or Environmental Changes

Various changes in your routine or environment can cause your dog to be disinterested in their food. Food change itself can be a problem, especially if your dog chooses food. If they don’t have the usual food you buy and you buy something similar, it might be different enough that your dog won’t touch it.

Environmental changes can also be a problem, such as stress from moving to a new environment or adding another person or pet into the house.


Why does my dog throw up after drinking water?

Dogs that vomit yellow bile fluid are most likely to have indiscriminate eating habits. It is quite common for them to eat wrongly. If your dog has only vomited once but looks happy and healthy, chances are he or she has just experienced stomach pains.


Why does my dog only eat once a day?

Underlying health problems

Certain health problems will make the dog stop eating or eating very little. It’s a good idea to take your dog to your vet if they exhibit this abnormal behavior.


Didn’t like the food

Another reason is that they don’t enjoy the food. Try changing the food you offer and see if it helps them to want to eat at least twice a day. Remember that dogs thrive with high-quality, high-protein dog food.



The last reason is that they are used to eating only once a day. You can continue to provide them with delicious food, and they will eventually get used to it.

How Long Can a Dog go without Food: And How to feed a Dog that won't Eat

How much chicken and rice to feed a dog?

Combination of rice and chicken will result in a ratio of 2 to 1. In other words, if you want to give your dog a total of one cup of food, he will receive 1/3 cup of chicken mixed with 2/3 cup of rice. Feed a few small meals per day rather than one or two large meals.


Can dogs eat brown sugar?

Sweet food is not only bad for humans, it is also bad for dogs. Sugar can increase obesity and dental problems in dogs.


How to feed a dog that won’t eat

Regardless of how long a dog can survive without eating, we should always encourage your dog to eat or help the dog with difficulty eating. Reviving your dog’s appetite as quickly as possible is essential for recovery from the disease.

Conversely, if your dog won’t eat because you’ve changed your diet, the trick is to make a gradual transition to give your dog time to get used to new foods. If this is a special menu for a disease and the dog refuses to eat, consult a vet to look for other options or assess the need for change.

If you’ve just adopted a dog or have a dog that’s just recovered from the disease, here are some suggestions to make it eat again:


Canned food

Dogs usually think of canned food as appetizing food. For sick dogs, there is a special canned food formulated for the recovery period. For healthy dogs, there are many options available.


Porridge food

We can start with easily digestible porridge food. It can even be administered in small quantities, directly into the mouth, or using feeding syringes for dogs. Remember to put a spet next to the dog’s or puppy’s mouth. Add water or homemade broth to your porridge to increase hydration.


Small portions

Start with a small portion and try repeating it several times a day. Never force your dog to eat. It is better to try it several times, even if it only eats once or very little.

If you have a small dog as a pet, sometimes you feel confused about what kind of food to give. Therefore, the need for you to know Dog Food for Small Dogs.


Homemade food

If you make your dog food, make sure that each piece is small in size. Do not add salt, sugar, sauce, oil, or bone. Although your dog seems more interested in eating it than other foods, it can damage its health.


How to trick your dog into drinking water?

Give it a hydrating snack

The dog will drink more if you add the broth to its water bowl. You can freeze the broth into cubes. In addition, slices of watermelon and melon can also be frozen.

Dogs will benefit from the hydration these fruits provide. Nevertheless, you should limit the consumption of fruit because it contains fructose, which becomes glucose in the body.


Make Them Move

If your dog doesn’t get the exercise he needs, it’s highly recommended to do it for an hour a day. Go get them to keep them healthy and thirsty. Dogs love to walk, run and play games. I would recommend that when offering dogs a drink, you provide additional bottles of water that are useful to them.


Add Some Flavors

Adding a little flavor to their water can also encourage dogs to drink more. It will be interesting for them to come back, again and again, to be able to feel and smell more. To encourage your dog’s water consumption, add a tablespoon lemon juice.

Chicken broth and beef broth are also strong and healthy ingredients. Generally, dog food contains chicken or beef, which most dogs already know the smell and taste of.


Give Them Snacks

The early years of a dog included giving them gifts and praising them. Pat them on the head while giving away their favorite gifts when you see them taking on more water. Puppies will learn that water is food after some time.


Feed Them Vegetables and Fruits

Include fruits and vegetables as part of your dog’s regular diet as much as possible. Make sure your dog has plenty of water to drink, so try to feed them fruits and vegetables that contain a lot of water, such as cucumbers, watermelons, melons, tomatoes, etc. Your dog’s body will be able to meet some of its water needs.


How to comfort a sick dog?

Take it to the vet

It may sound counterproductive, especially if your pet suffers from a chronic disease or is very old. Despite all that, your vet will provide follow-up care to make your dog feel a little better.


Give a healthy diet

Just like people who need to eat healthy food, so do dogs. However, a healthy diet is not the same between humans and dogs. Therefore, you need to be careful and ensure that your dog’s nutrition is high-quality food that is easy to digest and needed by your dog.

If you have any doubts about what kind of food you should eat, consult your veterinarian.


Give maximum affection

Make sure that you have a comfortable bed for her to lie down and a favorite toy or blanket nearby. If he is disturbed by the noise level in the house, keep away from the source of noise without isolating your dog from all members of the family.


Sit down and spend time with him

Even if your dog is unable to express his feelings orally, he will appreciate the fact that you are nearby and want to spend time in times when his body is not in top shape. Both and speak to him gently.


Give a lot of love

No one knows if your pet can heal as usual, or will leave you as a result of this pain. For a while, give her love and make sure that she’s okay. Your dog wants to see you stay calm.

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