How Long Can a Dog Go Without Eating? Expert Tips & Advice

There is nothing more enjoyable than seeing your pet be healthy. If your pet dog follows certain routines like food, medicines on a timely basis, it is beneficial for their well-being. But sometimes, a dog can refuse to eat. And, you may wonder, why is the pet not eating? Or, how long can a dog go without eating? This article throws light on these crucial matters related to your pet and its well-being!

In general, whenever the pet dog refuses the food and remains empty stomach for a longer time, the possible reason could be either medical reasons or behavioral changes. The reason could be anything, but as a pet owner, you must realize this sudden change in behavior or pattern in order to find the correct remedies for the same.

You must know that whenever a pet refuses to eat food is not much of a serious issue but be alarmed when the pet refuses to drink the water too. So, if your pet dog has stopped eating or drinking water completely, then you must consider taking the pet to the animal expert immediately.


Essential Steps to be Taken for pets Refusing to Take Food

how long can a dog go without eating

Seeing your pet having certain troubles like behavioral or medical attention can be hard for pet owners. The common questions then arise like how long can a dog go without eating? Or, is my pet batting some major medical issues? We have gathered some concrete steps which pet owners can consider when their pet refuses to take food:

 Know When the Dog Refused Eating Anything

Of course, as a pet owner, you know the pet’s eating schedules and habits. It is advisable to take note of timings when you first realize your pet dog is refusing food. If the pet dog is sick, then it is common for them to avoid food for the first 48 hours. But if the pet dog is facing issues like vomiting, diarrhoea then it is better to take them to the vet right away.

Notice the Symptoms

In general, as a pet owner, you will notice certain behavioral changes in your dog. You can press the dog’s belly and see if it appears stiff or the dog is having certain pain when you press it or push it. You can even check the dog’s gums too. Healthy gums will appear moist and pink. Notice the dehydration signs if any. It is better not to delay the treatment for your dog at the veterinary clinic.

Check the Dog Food

how long can a dog go without eating

If your pet dog appears overall healthy and happy then the possible reason for the denial of food is the food itself. So, if you have started giving new food formulas to your dog, then it is pretty normal for them to avoid the same initially. It takes time to get habituated with the new dog food for your pet.

Also, you must check the appearance, smell of the food too. As sometimes, the issue could be with the food and not with your pet. If this is the case, then ensure your pet receives fresh food.


Certain changes in a pet owner’s life routine or changes like relocation, shifting, vacation, guests, a new member at home, etc can also affect the pet dog. Such routine changes can have a direct impact on their food habits too. So, the change in their feeding routine can affect or upset the pet.


Denying food is often the early sign of sickness. If the dog is sick then they may eat less than their usual intake of food, be lethargic, or stop eating completely. In such scenarios, rather than forcing them to eat or simply ignoring these signs, the pet owner should seek medical help. The vet expert (after inspection) can guide you over these issues and offer remedies for the same.


How long can a dog go without eating and drinking?

Generally, a healthy dog can survive without food for up to five days given the pet is drinking enough water. Some pet dogs can even go for up to seven days without food. But it is advisable to take suggestions from your vet regarding the food, drinking routines, or issues if any.

How long can a dog go without eating with pancreatitis?

Pet dogs facing pancreatitis issues are given pain relief medications for reducing pancreatic inflammation and issues like nausea, vomiting, etc. In certain cases, the vet will advise for no food, water for a minimum of 24 hours. Such advice is given for giving the pancreas of your dog a much-needed rest.

How long can a dog go without eating before it dies?

In general, healthy dogs can survive without eating up to 3 to 5 days. But going without food for a longer duration or extended periods can raise the signs of illness in the pet. For instance, a pooch dog with no food or water may die due to dehydration instead of starvation.