How Long Can A Dog Last Without Eating Food?


15 Answers

Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
If your dog isn’t eating and you have not seen your vet, there is a chance that they may be experiencing a serious illness that can’t be treated such as cancer. At this difficult time, your priorities can be to ensure that you do the best by your dog during an emotional and upsetting period for you and your family. As long as a dog receives water on a regular basis every day and remains hydrated, it’s possible for a canine to live for seven days without food before vital organs in their body begin to shut down. Without water, this lifespan is restricted to roughly three days.

Unfortunately, these projections cannot be completely accurate as the exact period of survival depends on the type of dog you have. A Chihuahua is likely to be more dependent on food than a dog that weighs more than 40 lbs after all, especially as the latter will have body fat that will sustain the canine for longer.

It’s a difficult question to ask, but if you ever feel that you cannot manage the expense of feeding your dog every day, bear in mind that there are alternatives to watching your canine starve to death. For example, you will be able to turn over your dog to the shelter where they will be able to receive all of the nutrition they need, being cared for properly if you underestimated the responsibilities of having your own pet. There is no shame in this: After all, it’s far better to help your dog find a new home than to see it suffer needlessly.
Lakshmipriya Nair Profile
A dog can survive for quite a while without food but it depends on their health and physical condition before the period of starvation. It is said that they can go without food for about three or four weeks without access to food. Thus they can survive for a longer period than human. But food is a source of water too apart from the daily amount of drinking water.

But it is harder for a dog without water. Water deprivation would cause dehydration and in extreme hot weathers it can even lead to short in as short as a day. But otherwise the longest period a dog can survive without water is as long as a week. Dogs ideally need fresh water daily just like humans. Salt water can create problems in dogs and many also believe that it can cause diarrhoea.
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Anonymous commented
Humans can last even longer than that..some going without food for 40 days.....depends on condition and fat levels and energy expenditure.
Anonymous commented
People can last even longer.....some up to 40 days,or so. It depends on conditioning,health, energy expenditure, and climate.
Anonymous commented
My dog was my baby, he was lost for eight days with no food or water. He was found all dirty and weak on friday and die early saturday morning. Thats wy i ask the question.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I actually googled the same question because it's been 3 days since my dog ate anything.  I had her at the vet this morning, and while there she acted like she was so much better.  Tonight, she is back to hardly being able to move her back end, and she trembles.  She had what I though was a pancreatitis attack with 4 episodes of vomiting.  No more vomiting since the first day, but she still feels bad and won't eat.  I was told her liver panel was off the charts.  She was sent home with meds for this and told to return in 24 hours if no better and to do a follow up liver panel in 2 weeks.  I'm certain whoever asked the question in the first place had the same concerns as me.  I would force feed my dog if I though she would die tomorrow.  Since that is not the case, I will let her decide what is best for least for another day or two.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Maybe people just care about their sick dogs and want to make sure they arent just going to die. My dog wont eat at all. We have tried to feed her and she wont eat. So don't say ppl are starving their dogs. They just want to know. Jerks.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
People want to know this because their dogs are sick or are in trouble!!!!!
My dog came home from the kennel really sick and has not eaten in 4 days. After 3 trips to the vets, I'm still worried I'm going to lose her. The answers on this website make me feel a little better esp since she does drink water. My vet told me to give her Gatorade-which she is keeping down.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
My dog has cancer and hasn't eaten in 4 days, not anything! I know death is near, but I want to know how his not eating will contribute to the timing of his death. He is very skinny and lethargic, but still wants to retrieve a ball.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Normally a dog over a year old, does not get parvo! It is probably a bacterial infection or a parasite in the intestines. The only way to get rid of it, is to take it to the vet. Best of luck to you and your dog!
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
My dog has kidney problems and has been on a drip for 4 days to bring down toxic levels in his blood. The levels are down so we just brought him home and he hasn't eaten for at least 6 days and he's still not eating chicken which he loves to eat. Now hes starting to get some shivers and looks wonky when he walks. If he doesnt eat he wont recover. Thats the kind of reason that someone would ask this question.
ASHLEY Profile
ASHLEY answered
I'm not wanting to scare you but I would take her to the vet asap. A week ago my dog ended up fatigued, wouldnt eat, drink water like crazy, got bloody diarrhea, then got so weak he wouldnt drink water no more, got dehydrated and died. I researched these symptoms and its came up as every symptom of parvo. Hope your dog gets well soon.
Tiffany Profile
Tiffany answered
Dogs should NEVER go without food or water! Some say after 6 days of no water Euthanasia is best, considering the welfare of the dog! Organs stop, systems break down after food or water is absent for days.
Jewelly A. Shetka Profile
It depends on the size of dog (large, small), the dog's condition
pregnant or ill) and the weather (hot or cold). Though, one can
live awhile without food, no animal (or person) can live long
without water. If you have found an animal in such a state,
don't wait to see for yourself. Call animal control right away
or take it to the pound, yourself. Dying of thirst or starvation
is not a pleasant way to go. Euthanasia is far better than either.
Getting food and water is even better than that.
MP Cloutier Profile
MP Cloutier answered

My dog is 14 years old. She was doing "great" but had a broken/infected teeth to be removed. Blood tests showed a kidney disease stade 2 and the rest was A1. It was decided that the dangers of anesthesia were overcoming those of multiples antibio sessions (huge abscess) and highly possibles toxicity build-ups (due to her kidney failure) if the infection was not treated and/or the teeth extracted. Everything went well and the vets took as much as possible precautions regarding her kidney issues. They kept her there (and on fluids) 48 hours which I think could have truamatized her as she is an really anxious dog.

Then she came back home. She healed fast and started to be herself and eat and everything as soon as she was home or the day after. She was on Clavaseptin (antibio).

Then hells. She barely stop to eat and drink. No vet open...Called emergency services...They told me to continue trying to make her drink with a serynge after she decides to quit even water because...something wrong was going on....  I went to the vet as soon as they were open and they told me she was too dehydrated and that they had to keep her (wich I think over-raumatized her). She spends 48 jours again on fluids and got Cerenia (IV and for home) + little dose of Mirtazapine to stimulate her appetite + mini dose of Tylenol as it was suspected she could have a sore jaw due to the surgery (stiff jaw and open for a long run) + fluids 2 times a day. She came home again, so a week past the surgery.

I continue fluids and med. She would accept some food (chicken and sweet potatoes) but way too small amoutns. Blood tests showed "ok" levels of creatine and a little higher white cells but not fever at all. At that stage she went ping and poing normally.

Then, 9 days after the surgery, she started to vomit.Then she stopped to accept food again and became scared even of drinking water :( . And I did try ev-e-ry thing from cottage cheese, to ground beef, to raw or cooked chicken, canned food, tuna in water, whatsoever. She was put on anti-reflux and antibio were stopped.

Since then, she's kind of stuck somewhere. I got blood tests done again and it seems that her kidney could NOT be the culprit. So what could it be !! :(

Yesterday, exhausted and not knowing was what good for her, I decided to stop giving her 3-4 different med and pass on fluids for a few hours/days as long as she is drinking by herself again. She's weak but still shows interest in food, but refuses them all, except some RARE exceptions like after a walk outside, she would eat a handfull of cat kibbles (please don't judge..I Know I good for dogs...but not eating AT ALL is worse for sure and actually I would give her pizza if she wa showing interest). She would "taste" and "try" and then spit it out gently, Poor little beast.

Vet are confused and they seems professional and really experienced as they operate this clinic for above 20 years and are 3 vet changing and asking about each other what they think about the situation.

They told me that the next thing they could to was to force-feed her by the nose :( I insisted and they found some liquid food (as Ensure for humans) that I give her since then.

But as I say, I kind of lift the feet from the pedal since yesterday as nothing seems to help her. Except going outside with be and her dog friend.

Actually I give her the liquid food some times in the day with a syringe. And I'm thinking about restart the appetite enhancer and maybe more fluids.

I'm feeling so helpless. When several vet are, I guess it's pretty normal to feel so as well.

I will appreciate any tricks, serious and interesting comments, help, links.

Thank you!

jenny bronsell Profile
jenny bronsell answered
My dog is 16 years old and has lost her appetite. We are giving her chocolate eclairs and milk to keep her going, if she was human she would be on a liquid replacement drink , she has always liked drinking tea, so hopefully milk will keep her going for a bit longer, she would probably eat steak but she should be on a low protein diet, so I'm sticking to anything she will eat, the vet said that I should give her anything she wants .I hope this helps.
thanked the writer.
Susan Tosi
Susan Tosi commented
You need to talk to your vet...let them know what you are giving her!!!!..chocolate eclairs...are you kidding? Chocolate and sugar are bad for up on chocolate and dags.I do not think the vet meant that type of food..Try pasta with butter,chicken noodle soup, ground beef.My baby is 14 and not doing well ...sure the vet says at their age they should be able to eat anything they want,she used McDonald's as an example....that does not include foods that can make them very ill or kill them.

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