How Long Can A Dog Go Without Food? Know Dogs Starvation Capacity Here

Dogs are entertaining creatures that, at times, may choose to exhibit strange attitudes, leaving one to wonder what exactly is going on with the pet in question. 

As a pet owner, you might start to feel perplexed and start seeking a solution because you don’t know what the problem may be and how long your furry buddy could survive being hungry. 

It is important to keep in mind that the amount of time a dog’s strength can sustain after several days of starvation varies from dog to dog. 

Depending on their overall health, some dogs can spend three to five days without eating, while others can go seven days or more.

In this article, we will discuss “How long can a dog go without food”? Let’s dig in.

How Long Can Dogs Go Without Food?

Healthy dogs are stronger and can handle being hungry for days, even if all they do is drink water. When your dog stops eating, you need to pay attention to its strenght. 

Food and water are two of the most important parts of an animal’s healthy life. If your dog hasn’t eaten for days and you’re worried about the food, don’t forget to check how much water they’re drinking. 

On the other hand, if your dog hasn’t eaten for more than two days, you should take them to the vet, as your dog might be sick. 

But there is no set number of days or weeks for how long a dog can live without food. It all depends on how healthy your dog is and how often they drink water. 

However, there are a few things that can affect how long your dog can go without eating, such as: 

  • How fast their metabolism works.
  • How much they exercise.
  • How the weather is.
  • How much their resting metabolic rate goes up.

What Makes A Dog Stop Eating?

Many factors could lead to a loss of appetite in dogs, especially if they are the type that eats well. Therefore, you can only take the best measure when you know the cause of the problem. 

First, there are some minor reasons you could look out for, like checking their previous eating method, any environmental changes, or the recent loss of a loved one. 

Then if none of this happened, you need to check out for other reasons, as mentioned below.  

Behavioral Problem

This could be because the dog wants to try something new or has become picky.  Also, if you feed the dog in a way that makes him uncomfortable or hurts him, he won’t want to eat. The behavioral reactions in dogs are a lot similar to humans. 


When a dog is unwell, it will lose its appetite and interest in eating. During the process of hunger, you should pay close attention to your dog if it begins to show symptoms such as throwing up or diarrhea. 

In addition, do not let the fact that your dog has lost their appetite lead you to believe that they are suffering from a serious illness. You should seek the attention of a veterinarian as soon as you notice any changes in your dog. 

Unfamiliar Environment

If you move into a new environment with your dog (or dogs), you can notice a difference in how they eat, even if they were eating well before you moved. 

This is something that you should keep an eye out for. Some dogs experience a loss of appetite as a result of their anxiety about the new surroundings and their efforts to adjust to the new norm.

Dental Disease

It is essential to practice good dental hygiene to protect your dog’s teeth from an illness known as periodontal disease. If your dog has this sickness, it may choose not to eat since the disease causes them to be in so much pain.


If your dog has been vaccinated recently, it may experience a loss of appetite. Even though the period during which your dog may have a loss of appetite after being vaccinated is often brief, you should still consider contacting a veterinarian if the condition persists for a longer time than you had anticipated. 

Your Absence

The next time you leave your house, observe how your dog behaves. The dog might not go near its feeding bowl even if its favorite dish is in there. However, when your dog sees you around, might eat up everything in the bowl. 

Dogs like to spend time with their group as they are pack animals. So whenever you’re not around, their pack is not complete. They’ll await your return before they start eating.

Can My Dog Survive A Day Without Eating? 

Yes! Your dog may go one day without eating as long as they drink enough water and won’t have any major health problems as a result. 

Nevertheless, do not get yourself worked up if the appetite loss has not been up to 24 hours. 

How Often Should A Dog Consume Water?

Make sure that your dog drinks an appropriate amount of water every day. Dogs lose water from their bodies regularly through a combination of activities including panting, sweating, urinating, and defecating. As a responsible dog owner, it is your responsibility to monitor the amount of water that your pet drinks each day. 

Make sure your dogs have access to a clean bowl or water storage, and you should keep track of how much of either is left the next day. 

Put the bowl within their reach and fill it with clean water. If you want to prevent them from spilling the water while they are drinking, you can put some big solid objects inside the bowl. 

Ensure that your dog’s drinking water is pleasurable to drink regardless of the temperature outside. The minimum water consumption for a dog is 2-3 cups. 

Negative Outcomes Of Starvation In Dogs

There are a few potential consequences that may reveal that a dog lacks hunger after they have gone several days without eating. They are as follows:

DehydrationLoss of water in the body will make the dog feel dehydrated, and this will cause problems for the kidney and other vital organs in the system. 
LethargyWhen a dog lacks several essential nutrients needed in the body, it will make the body feel fatigued.
It can also cause liver failure and might lead to death if it is not attended to urgently.
Weight lossA dog that has refused to eat for an extended period tends to lose weight. This shows how unhealthy the dog has been.
WeaknessThe dog lacks the needed strength to move from one place to another. There is a locomotion problem for a dog that ignores food for days.

Possible Steps You Can Take If Your Dog Won’t Eat

As you read about the potential reasons why your dog could refuse to eat, it is important to keep in mind that the reasons might differ from dog to dog. 

If you pay great attention to your dog’s symptoms, you will be able to determine the cause of his condition, at which point you will be in a position to suggest remedies. 

When your dog shows signs of not wanting to eat, you have a responsibility as the dog’s owner to take action. Have a look at the following lists:

Figure Out The Cause Of Your Dog’s Inability To Eat

A problem won’t be solved when its cause is not known. When you notice that your dog that usually eats frequently is getting withdrawn from food, you need to check out what’s wrong. 

Check their body for any trace of injury or sickness. Is there a change in your dog’s activities? It would be best to look out for these and many more questions before you source a solution. 

Provide Their Favorite Food

Due to environmental or behavioral causes, some dogs might want a change of taste. If you have been feeding them a particular dog food before, you can change it to something else, and feed them one of their favorite dishes. 

You can also try adding food flavors to spice up their food and notice if they are liking it. Do not rush or force-feed them, as that could disturb their stomach.

Allow Your Dog to Exercise Before Eating 

Going on a walk with your dog before serving his food will help to increase their metabolism, and he will be more eager to eat. This step will work if no underlying effect backs his appetite loss.

Warm Their Food 

Do not give stale food to your pet to eat. It won’t be enjoyable for them and cause them to avoid food. Even humans don’t appreciate cold meals.

Make their food warm and not too hot, preferably on low heat or in a microwave to change the temperature of the food.

Report To The Nearest Veterinary Clinic

If you have tried your possible solutions to your dog’s inability to eat, there seems not to be an improvement. It’s high time you call for professional help. 

A veterinarian will swing into action by testing the dog with the necessary medical apparatus to know the ailment and administer the correct medications. 

Summing Up

If your pet is vomiting or acting lethargic in addition to refusing to eat, you can delay taking them to the veterinarian for fewer than twenty-four hours. However, this should only be done if another health problem presents itself. 

If it has been more than twenty-four hours since your dog has shown any interest in eating, you need to take immediate action. Do not take the well-being of your animal companion lightly. 

Thanks for reading! 

Leave a Comment