Food is imperative for a dog’s body to maintain its metabolism and keep them energetic and active. Food is energy that the body burns to stay warm and maintain the organ and other biological functions. Unfortunately, your dog won’t eat food due to health or lifestyle issues, so many dog owners ask how many days can dogs go without food.
The dog’s survival depends on many factors, but usually, they will go five to seven days without food. On the other hand, if your dog is suffering from a long fast, it will cause serious health problems, including death. Therefore, when you notice that your dog will not eat food, you first need to identify the reasons and then take a step according to conditions.
Considering all of your needs, we come up with a detailed guide about the main reasons your dog won’t eat and how many days they will survive. Also, here you get to see the solution you can follow to force your dog to eat food.
How Many Days Can Dogs Go Without Food?
How long can a dog go without food? So, you need to know that they do survival depending on many factors. As mentioned above, the dog will go five to seven days without food, but you must know the factors that rely on survival duration. Some dogs are tolerating better than other dog breeds, so let’s take a closer look at all the aspects without any delay.
1. Dog’s Body Condition
It is noticeable fact that the dog’s survival without food depends on the dog’s body condition. For example, if your dog weighs less than other dogs, you will not expect that your dog will survive without food for a long time compared to other dogs. On the other hand, if a dog has a good body condition compared to others, it can live longer without food.
2. Dog’s Age
The age of any dog is a significant factor in how long a young or old dog can survive in starvation. Staying without food for a long time will affect differently on both young and old dogs. Research has shown that dogs that are more than six months old live longer because of starvation.
3. Availability of Water
Most dogs that will not eat foods but drink water will survive more than dogs who neither eat foods nor drink water. Usually, dogs will go five to seven days without food, but if they drink water, they will go eleven to fifteen days more.
4. Activity Level of the Dog
The activity level of the dog is another crucial factor in terms of dog starvation survival. A dog that is more active in its daily routine life than others will go long without food. Conversely, if the dog is very dull in normal daily life and does not participate in other activities will not go long without food.
5. Environmental Factors
If your dog doesn’t eat food and living in harsh weather, it is a high chance that your dog will not survive long during starvation survival. Research proved that the cold weather might be challenging for dogs to survive without food compared to the hot weather.
In the end, we hope that you get a detailed answer about how many days dogs can go without food by knowing all the depending factors mentioned above.
3 Main Reasons Dogs Will Not Eat
As we mentioned above, if your dog won’t eat food for a long time, it will cause many serious health problems, including death. Therefore, you need to identify that why dogs don’t eat. So, here you get to see the 3 main reasons that will lead your dog not to eat foods and cause many problems.
1. Change in Dog’s Lifestyle
When a dog’s lifestyle changes, it is one of the main reasons that will cause to refuse the dog. When you buy a new dog, he abandons his old lifestyle and steps into a new one. So, when a dog steps out of the old way of life, it can be depressing for a few days.
Because of this depression, many dogs stop eating and suffer from many diseases. However, it is not a big problem, and after changing their routine for a few days and behaving well with them, they get back to routine and start eating.
2. Health Problems
Another major reason your dog stops eating may be a health problem that includes feeling nauseated, suffering from surgery, teeth hurting, and vaccination. So, if your dog suddenly stops eating, you don’t have to worry and take a step smartly.
You don’t have to worry, and you need to contact the nearest veterinarian and treat the disease once it is detected. Illness is a big reason behind stopping eating, but it’s not that big of a problem. On the other hand, if your dog is suffering from health issues like Pancreatitis or Parvo, you need to consider it seriously because it is a matter of life or death.
3. Food Selection
As you may know, different breeds of dogs like other types of food, so it is another cause of dogs stopping eating. When a dog does not eat, it is a high chance that your dog doesn’t like the food you are providing. Most of the dogs like canned foods and kibble, so it may happen due to this reason.
On the other hand, it often happens that if you feed your dog the same food every day, he gets bored. Consequently, if your dog is not eating, you need to improve your food choices and choose the food that your dog likes. It is often the case that you make a diet plan for your dog, but he does not need a diet and still stops eating.
Thus, these are the 3 main reasons that will cause your dog not to eat foods, and after solving it, all of your concerns about why a dog would not eat will go.
What Happens to a Dog When They Don’t Eat?
Many things happen when your dog won’t eat food for a long time that mentioned below.
- When dogs don’t eat food for a long time, they lose weight and become too skinny.
- Extended starvation survival causes low red blood cells
- Cause low blood calcium
- Cause low albumin levels
- Extreme starvation affects the different body organs
- Starvation cause liver cell shrinkage
- Bleeding from stomach
All the things mentioned above will happen when the dog is suffering from an extended starvation session.
How to Force a Dog to Eat?
If your dog doesn’t eat food, there are many ways that you can use to force a dog to eat. First, you need to choose the best method that is suitable for your dog and use it to force a dog to eat food. Let’s take a closer look at all of these methods and choose one of the best according to your needs.
1. Allow Some Time
First of all, you need to give your dog some time to check the dog’s tolerance to go without any food. Here, the most crucial thing you need to keep in mind is that you can provide water because your dog will not feel extreme weakness.
2. Give Treat to Your Dog
One of the best ways that you can use to force your dog to eat is to provide favorite food that he usually does not get from you. You can offer some human foods like chicken as your dog may like it and eat without hesitation. The best way to treat them is with human foods, and if the dog still does not eat, you need to add a little more.
Another excellent way is to mix the human food inside the existing diet of the dog, like in kibble, so it will encourage the dog to taste it. Here, the vital thing you need to keep in mind is never to provide a large number of treats as it will negatively affect the dog’s body.
3. Provide Heat to Dog Food
Sometimes, you provide the same food every day to your dog, and they will get bored. In addition, another reason behind why the dog won’t eat food is that the food that you are providing is cold.
Therefore, all you have to do is change the dog’s diet and add some favorite food inside that will encourage your dog to eat it. Also, you can heat the dog food, so if your dog won’t eat due to the cold food, it is a high chance that your dog will eat hot food.
4. Change the Brand of Dry Foods
If you are facing a hard time getting your dog to eat dry foods, the excellent way is to change the dry food brand of the dog. You can try it quickly after buying the test pet food pack from the market for your dog and notice that your dog wants to eat it compared to other brands.
Different dog breeds don’t want to eat only dry foods, so you can also add some canned or vet foods inside. Most of the time, your dog will eat the canned food mixed inside the dry dog foods because it may be tasty.
Consequently, if the question comes to your mind, should I force-feed my dog if he won’t eat? So, you can definitely force the dog to eat food gently by following the above methods.
What are the Healthiest Foods for Dogs?
The special thing about dog foods is that it comes with unique elements that are perfect for providing nutrients to dog that they will need. On the other hand, human foods are also very beneficial for dogs, and it plays a significant role to change dog behavior if they don’t eat food. Thus, here you get to see some of the healthiest food for dogs that is perfect to increase the metabolism level of the dog.
- First of all, we recommend you to provide cooked food to your dog as inside, you get to see the calcium, antioxidants, protein, and several vitamins inside.
- Also, you can provide mushrooms to your dog because it comes with the vitamins and nutrients that are perfect and beneficial for your dog.
- If your dog is suffering from joint problems, we recommend you give them Omega-3s as it is perfect for joint and overall dog health.
In the end, we hope that now you are well aware of how many days can dogs go without food. As we know, it depends on different factors mentioned above, and also, now you can force your dog to eat food by following the above methods. Also, it is imperative to know what is the best and healthy dog foods so above are three essential foods that you can use to get your dog better health.
How Long Can a Dog Go Without Water When Sick?
What Are the Warning Signs of Dehydration in Dogs?
You must act quickly when any of these symptoms appear because they indicate serious problems. You’ll want to take action right away by calling your veterinarian.
Why Can a Dog Lose Their Appetite?
Stress or anxiety from being in the car on long trips
Being away from home too much
A change of environment – moving house, going into boarding kennels etc
Illness such as vomiting, diarrhoea, fever, anaemia, kidney disease, cancer, heart problems, diabetes, arthritis, thyroid issues, skin conditions, allergies, worms, fleas, ear infections, dental problems, eye infection.