To survive, all animals and humans must have access to sufficient levels of water and food. Your dog relies on you to provide the right level of nutrition they need to thrive and grow. While most dogs devour their daily meals, others are a little fussier and may even show little interest in food from time to time. So, this article helps you understand why your dog might have missed a meal and explains how long a pup can go without eating.

How long can a dog go without eating? 

Dogs are more at risk of dehydration than starvation, often showing signs of illness within a few hours without water. However, most dogs can go for between 3-5 days without eating before it becomes a significant problem. This being said, you need to be aware that every dog is different, and some breeds have unique dietary requirements. Essentially, if your dog goes without food for any longer than a week, it’s really important to call the vet. 

Puppies and lean dogs have faster metabolisms, which means they need to eat more frequently than other breeds. If they don’t eat, they may experience afflictions like hypoglycemia. Typically, you don’t need to worry if your dog goes a day or so without food, as they will usually recover their appetite and return to feeding as normal in the near future. 

Why do dogs lose their appetite?

There are so many reasons why your pooch might not be eating, including:

  • They’re just not hungry. 
  • They don’t like the food that you’ve given them. 
  • They have an allergy or intolerance. 
  • They’re bored or stressed. 
  • They have a toothache, stomachache, or another affliction. 
  • They’re sick.

The key is not to panic if your dog isn’t eating, as you can try some of the following tips to help them regain their appetite. 

How to improve your dog’s appetite 

Thankfully, there are several things you can do to try and encourage your dog to eat, including: 

  • Decrease the amount of food you give them in one sitting. 
  • Remove distractions from their feeding area. 
  • Feed them and leave them alone with their food for fifteen minutes. 
  • Reduce the number of treats you feed them between meals. 
  • Offer them some of their favourites, be it fresh chicken or fish. 
  • Use water to change the texture of their food. 
  • Put their food in a puzzle. 

One or more of the above tips should help your dog rediscover their appetite. But when should you be concerned? 

When is a dog’s lack of appetite a problem? 

While it can be worrying when your dog refuses to eat, it shouldn’t necessarily cause alarm right away. If your dog is generally healthy and there are no signs of sickness, the fact that they’re skipping a meal or two isn’t really an issue. But if you notice issues with their temperament and general condition, especially with senior dogs, you might need to take action. For instance, switching to a delicious, nutritious personalised food plan for your dog is a great way to reignite their appetite. Pure Pet Food has helped so many dogs regain their appetites, and it could be a smart move if your pup is showing a lack of interest in food.  

However, if none of the above tips works for you, schedule an appointment with a vet to ensure there’s nothing wrong with your pooch.