How Long Can A Dog Go Without Eating? – A Surprising Answer!

How Long Can A Dog Go Without Eating

Dogs are considered human’s best friends because of their love towards people & their loyalty. Many habits of humans are also found in dogs.

However, what if your fluffy friend stops eating or drinking? This might light up concerns for you especially when your dog loves eating food. Have you ever wondered how long can a dog go without eating?

In this article we, will answer this question & will identify the potential reasons why your dog has stopped eating.

How Long Can A Dog Go Without Food? 

How Long Can A Dog Go Without Food? 

The eating & drinking patterns of mammals are alike, which means that our eating habits are similar to dogs. So the question is how long can a dog go without eating?

We do not recommend you to neglect your dog of food & water as it lies under animal cruelty. But if you are just curious to know the answer to this question & have upcoming long days of work in which you won’t be able to visit your dog, here it is.

The famous rule of three applies to a healthy adult mammal regarding its eating & drinking habits. It is said that an adult mammal can survive 3 minutes without oxygen, 3 days without water, & 3 weeks without food.

However, these numbers are only valid in the case of perfect conditions. If your dog has health issues such as kidney problems, heart problems, etc. then the time he goes without food will decrease. Similarly, extreme weather conditions may also alter the time that a dog goes without food.

It is said that in severe heat conditions, a dog will survive without water for only 1-2 days. In cold weather perhaps between 2-4 days.

Now we know how long can a dog go without eating, let’s look at some reasons why did your dog stop eating & drinking.

Reasons & Solutions for Your Dog to Stop Eating or Drinking

Reasons & Solutions for Your Dog to Stop Eating or Drinking


Just like us human beings, dogs also have a variety of reasons for them not to eat or drink.

Being Ill

A dog might have reduced his eating as a result of some kind of sickness. However, it might not be a very serious reason for concern as it just might be a normal upset stomach.

But it might also be a significant illness such as kidney failure & cancer. Observe your dog’s daily routine & look for any unusual behavior that he shows besides not eating. Take it to your vet in case of an increasing problem.

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Old & Spoilt Food

Be sure to check the expiration date of the food you give to your dog. Storing your food adequately also matters. Be sure to store dry food in dry & cool places, follow the exact instructions labeled on the package regarding cooking the meal.

Also, your dog might have stopped eating if you are feeding him the same meal over & over. However, most dogs aren’t so picky about their foods & they eat their primary meal. To be sure, try picking on some interesting food options for your pet. You may try the chicken broth, salmon, & other meat to spice up things a little bit.

Oral Issues

If your dog stops eating, the first thing that you ought to do is to check its mouth. Most animals stop eating or drinking because their doing that is causing them pain in their mouth. Check for broken or loose teeth, oral tumors, or severe gingivitis. Consult your vet if the condition is unknown.

Anxiety & Stress

Humans aren’t the only creation of God which undergoes anxiety & stress. Dogs also experience similar feelings & conditions as a result of irregular routines.

A reason for them being stressed out or developing anxiety is when they are fairly new. If you adopt a dog & take him from his previous home, it is likely it will likely.

It might not eat or drink properly within the first couple of days. However, this is a temporary problem as their hunger & thirst would soon overpower them & will result in them in eating & drinking.

It is best to treat your dog gently & kindly in these times as this is what it needs. Do not scold it as it could worsen the problem. Try feeding them with your hands rather than the bowl, it might work.

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Vaccination Side Effects

Similar to us humans, there are certain vaccinations available to safeguard animals from chronic diseases. These injections have been successful in saving millions of pets in the past 100 years.

However, these vaccinations sometimes have adverse effects on dogs. They might stop eating & drinking as a result of this, but this is mainly a temporary problem & gets normalized over time.

Changes in Daily Routine

Some dogs don’t eat when their daily routine is disturbed. This might be when the primary owner of the dog has gone for a vacation or long hours of work, also when the dog is traveling & is within unfamiliar surroundings.

In these times, the problem can be tackled by providing the dog with multiple food options from which it can choose. If there are no such changes in the routine, it is best to consult the vet regarding the condition.

Choosy & Behavior Issues

Some dogs are too moody & choosy regarding their food. You might be wondering all the possible diseases your dog has to find out that the reason it isn’t eating is the food bowl. The dog might not be liking the new food bowl color or its height.

Try with some new options & tricks to feed your pet & make him calm.



We hope that you got your answer on how long can a dog go without eating? Be sure to take immense care of your fluffy friend as they do have feelings just like us. Express your views regarding this article in the comment section below.


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