Listen to this article

Having perfect knowledge regarding all the nutritional needs of our beloved dogs is vital for providing them with the best care possible. Our toiling lives often keep us away from our homes and pets, and therefore we should be aware of how much food and water dogs need while not with them. Two fundamental questions arise here, which is How long can a dog go without food? And also, how long can a dog go without water? If you also find yourself wondering about these questions, this article is just for you!

Possible Reasons


Before we answer the burning questions, which is how long can a dog go without food and how long can a dog go without water, we first need to know that under what circumstances are you feeling the need to ask the question. Has your dog stopped eating or drinking? And therefore, you wonder how long can a dog go without food or how long can a dog go without water? If that’s the case, then we, unfortunately, can’t tell you how long can a dog go without food or water in such a scenario as dogs can stop eating or drinking for a plethora of reasons, and that’s why we first need to identify the problem that is causing your pooch to avoid food and water. Following are some possible reasons for that.

  • Upset stomach
  • Allergies
  • Parasites
  • Pain due to wounds
  • Dental issues
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Severe medical conditions like cancer, heart problem, diabetes, etc.

Checking For Symptoms

You must be worried about hearing all the factors that can contribute to your dog refusing to eat, and that’s why we highly emphasize that our valued readers keep an eye for symptoms of the conditions mentioned above. Keeping an eye on early symptoms will also help you understand how long can a dog go without food and how long can a dog go without water. You need to identify the problem in its early stage. Otherwise, it will just keep growing and getting serious. Dog owners should also make sure to take their dogs for regular check-ups at the vet to avoid any such unwanted outcomes. While you are at that, inquire your vet about how long can a dog go without food and how long can a dog go without water, as he must be aware of your dog’s individual needs and, therefore, will be able to help you appropriately.

Coming Back to How Long Can a Dog go Without Food, We Need to Talk About the Following Points As Well:

Dog Starvation Compared to Humans

Studies and research done to know how much starvation can be fatal for dogs are unfortunately very limited. And that makes figuring out how long can a dog go without food hard. Therefore, we have to rely on studies on humans to figure out how long can a dog go without food. Through various research and studies done on humans, it can be concluded that humans become susceptible to severe disease and medical conditions when they lose 50% of their body fat content. As far as dogs and the question of how long can a dog go without food is concerned, we know that dogs and humans have similar rates of metabolism, which makes answering how long can a dog go without food particularly easy knowing that it can be said regarding dogs that they also become highly susceptible to various severe medical problems when they lose 50% of their body weight.  But even that is not enough to paint the whole picture and finally answer how long can a dog go without food as a dog’s survival depend on several different yet interlinked factors. Following are some factors that impact how long can a dog go without food:

Age

The answer to how long can a dog go without food depends significantly on the dog’s age in the question.  Survival without food depends solely on the dog’s metabolism rate, which is greatly influenced by the age of the dog.  The younger the dog, the faster his metabolism would be, which will, in turn, lessen the time he can go without food. That’s how the age of the dog affects how long can a dog go without food. That’s why adult dogs do notably better without food as compared to puppies and young dogs. That’s also why death due to starvation is much more common in puppies than in adult dogs.

Starting body weight

How long can a dog go without food naturally depends on his starting weight for obvious reasons? If the dog in question were healthy at first, he would indeed survive for longer than an unhealthy dog as he will have a greater stockpile of fats and proteins to rely upon.

Activity level

Activity level is another factor that greatly determines how long can a dog go without food. As with metabolic rate, activity level is also inversely related to how long can a dog go without food. As greater the activity level of a dog, the faster he will burn through his store of fats and proteins, which will, in turn, shorten the amount he can survive without food.

Weather

Weather also plays a significant role in figuring how long can a dog go without food as colder weather will cause that dog to require more energy to maintain his body temperature, and therefore, he will have to use his fat storage quicker to supply the energy needed to maintain his body temperature. On the other hand, the warmer climate helps in prolonging the period for how long can a dog go without food.

Answering How Long Can a Dog Go Without Food.

It must be clear to you by now that how long can a dog go without food depends on many factors, and therefore telling you a single concrete answer to the question at hand, which is how long can a dog go without food, is not that easy. But we promised you that we would be giving you an idea of how long can a dog go without food and therefore after reading various research and real-life examples, we are here to tell you that you can expect your dog, provided that he is in good health, to go without food for about five to six days.

Although there have been incidents where dogs survived for much longer than that, take the example of Scotch Collie named Oscar from 1912. That tough canine survived for almost 117 days without any food, which is just mind-blowing.

Now that you know how long can a dog go without food, we should focus on our next question which is how long can a dog go without water?

So, How Long Can a Dog go Without Water?