How Long Can A Dog Live Without Food? 6 Key Things You Need To Know
Sometimes, dogs refuse food. It may be due to a medical or behavioral reason. Whatever the case may be, dog owners who realize their pet did not touch today’s meal will feel alarmed, especially when they have a healthy eater on their hands.
If you can’t trick your dog to eat anything, you should drop by the vet’s office. As for the most significant question we all have, Dr. Louis Budik of Transit Valley Animal Hospital has an answer.
According to the vet, healthy dogs and cats can last "three, four, five days without eating, many even longer than that.
Food is not the main issue, but water is. If your dog is not eating or drinking water, it can be a big problem. If your dog has a medical condition such as a kidney problem, you need to take your pet to the vet right away. These dogs have an immediate need for medical attention due to their illness.
If your dog is not acting excited about feeding time, you can follow these steps.
1. Recall when your dog stopped eating
Dog owners will always notice if their pet is not eating. You may have a good memory but to be safe, take note of the time you first noticed your dog not eating.
If your dog is sick, you don’t need to be alarmed for the first 48 hours unless your dog showed other symptoms. If your pet has been vomiting or experiencing diarrhea for days and now, it doesn’t touch its food, there could be bigger problems. In this case, you need to visit the vet right away without waiting.
In case you’re not the only person who looks after the dog, ask if your dog has been acting unusual. It could help you find clues as to what is happening with your dog.
2. Check for symptoms
Press your pet’s belly to see if it is hard or if your dog is in pain when you push it. You should also check your dog’s gums which should be moist and pink. Look for signs of dehydration to see if your dog needs immediate medical attention.
If there are other alarming things you discover while examining your pet, report it to your vet right away. Better yet, drop by for a visit just to make sure.
3. Check your dog food
If your dog is acting healthy and not eating is the only alarming thing you can find, examine your dog meal. The problem could be the food itself.
If you changed your dog food, it’s normal for some dogs to dislike the new formula. Some dogs would refuse the food altogether.
Look at the appearance of the dog food and smell it. There could be issues with the dog meal and not with the dog. In this case, giving your dog a fresh supply of dog food might solve the problem.
Some dogs may have a sensitive digestion system. Your dog may have allergies that you may not know.
If you can’t find what is wrong with your dog’s sudden dislike for food, just give your vet a call. It’s always better to play safe when your dog’s health is at stake.
A change in the routine may affect your dog. Dogs like routine and if there is any changes, your dog would upset and stop eating. Changes including moving houses, taking a vacation, or new member in the house. As mentioned above, change in feeding routine can also upset your dog.
- If you have to make any changes, try to make the changes gradually and allow your dogs to adapt the changes without felling insecure.
- When adopting a new dog, choose the same food that he's been used to. Then you may mixing old food with new food day by day.
- You should feed your dog the same time everyday. If you are too busy, you may consider hiring a pet sitter, or buying a dog feeder.
- While on vacation, you should bring his stuffs along. With his familiar bed and favourite toys, he will calm down a bit.
5. Why dogs won’t eat
Refusal to eat is one sign of illness. Sick pets suddenly eat less than they usually do, refuse to eat, act lethargic, and shy away from contact.
As noted by one animal expert, these behaviors help animals cope with their illness. It’s crucial to support these rather than force dogs to do otherwise –including fasting. In cases where a dog’s gastrointestinal system is the problem, not eating could result in health improvements.
A few days of refusing food could help recuperation, but don’t ignore this behavior for too long. Research conducted in 2015 by the American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition revealed sick dogs that lack nutrition is more likely to die.
6. Key Takeaways
At some point in your dog’s life, you might notice your pet is not eating. There could be some reasons behind this behavior.
Beyond this waiting time, drop by your vet’s office to ask for advice. It’s always better to discover what illness is plaguing your pet early rather than wait until things get worse before going to your vet.
Waiting for 48 hours is reasonable if your dog is not experiencing other symptoms which indicate a severe condition. Dehydration is more dangerous than hunger, so you should be alarmed if your dog is not drinking water too.