A healthy adult can go without food for about 20-25 days, but only if they drink water. How long can a dog last without food? Let’s try to find out!
How many days can a dog go without eating
So how long can a dog go without food? It’s considered that the maximum period of hunger strike for dogs is about 12-15 days. Of course, such a long time without food can withstand a physically strong and healthy animal, which is also not deprived of access to water. But according to the veterinarians, the owner should worry about the dog if it does not eat for more than 2 days. And if a puppy refuses to eat, urgent medical attention may be needed as early as 12 hours after the last meal. That’s how long a dog can live without eating.
Dogs can go a long time without food, but is voluntarily or involuntarily withholding food dangerous to an animal’s health? Yes, of course, starvation can lead to many problems, among them:
- Protein and energy deficiency;
- Muscle weakness;
- Flabby skin;
- Decreased immunity;
- Exacerbation of chronic diseases;
- Hormonal imbalance;
- Decreased vascular tone, heart malfunction;
- Decreased blood pressure;
- Some dogs have destructive behavior in the form of aggression against hunger.
And, of course, we must mention the worst of the consequences of starvation: death. Considering the trouble that refusal to eat can cause, owners should monitor the frequency of their pets’ food intake. So if you’re wondering how many days a dog can go without food, you might want to see a professional.
Why your dog won’t eat
Now let’s see why a dog may suddenly refuse to eat even though its appetite has been excellent so far.
- Disease is one of the main reasons why a dog stops eating. What particular ailment can provoke a lack of appetite? There are many such ailments, such as poisoning, infectious diseases, diseases of the mouth and gastrointestinal organs, worm infestations;
- It happens that the animal refuses to eat when it does not like some component of the food. This often happens when a dog is suddenly switched to a new food with an unfamiliar composition;
- Although for the most part, dogs are not picky eaters, they can get bored with the same foods;
- Sometimes the owners begin to find out how many days a dog goes without food and worry about the health of the pet, but in the meantime the dog is quite full. This can happen, for example, when an animal is fed by neighbors. Or another example: the dog eats everything from the cat’s bowl and does not touch his own food. And some dogs are given treats by their owners during the day, giving them a piece of meatball or a sausage;
- There are manipulative dogs that refuse to give ordinary food so that the owner will give some kind of treat.
How to stimulate a dog’s appetite
If the cause of the loss of appetite is some illness, you need to take the animal to the doctor as soon as possible. You shouldn’t waste valuable time wondering how long a dog can survive without eating if there are other dangerous symptoms that cause the loss of appetite: refusal to drink, high or low body temperature, nasal or eye discharge, movement disorders, vomiting or diarrhea (the vomit and feces may contain blood, pus or mucus), constipation, and other signs of illness.
However, if the animal is starving not because of health problems at all, the owner can try to take the following steps:
- Make outdoor walks long and active;
- During walks, many owners give their dogs something tasty to eat. If the animal eats too many of these yummies, it will likely not eat well at home;
- Make your dog’s menu varied. There are owners who feed their pets the same things day in and day out. However, there is no reason not to bring some novelty to your pet’s menu.