Like human beings, many canines lose their appetite and stop eating food once in a while. This is logically distressing for many pooch owners, who don’t know how long can a puppy go without food.
As long as he behaves normally, losing interest in food is not a big deal, and these kinds of fasts resolve themselves in the shortest time. But, fasting that lasts longer than one or two meals might be an outcome of an underlying issue and requires a vet’s attention—right away if he acts sick.
They need food to help keep their energy levels up. Energy keeps their body warm and helps several organs work properly. Their body deposits some of the energy and utilizes it when they don’t touch their food bowl for a whole night or day. Actually, food is not the main cause for concern, but water is.
If your puppy won’t eat food or drink water for a prolonged duration, he will die from dehydration rather than starvation. In today’s guide, we will explain everything you need to know about why puppies start refusing food, including what are the causes, what you can do to resolve it, and when to worry.
How Long Can A Puppy Go Without Food?
All puppies are different from each other in hundred different ways. So it is tough to make broad generalities about how long a pup can survive without eating food. Vets handle the issues of appetite reduction and food denial on a case-by-case basis. Many healthy doggies can survive for approximately three to five days without eating their meals, while some of them can survive for up to ten days without consuming anything.
On the other hand, infant puppies can last for only a few hours without food after being born. A two weeks old puppy can survive without food for three hours. A three weeks old puppy can go without food for five hours. One-month-old healthy puppy can survive without food for up to seven hours.
This is, of course, if they have access to clean water. Remember, HEALTHY is the main keyword here. If he has any health problems, he may be able to last a day or two without food.
You should also consider other factors such as weather and their daily activities. Climate changes will boost your pup’s energy expenditure, which will make him hungry faster. If he moves his body a lot during starvation days, their deposited energy will reduce faster. Canines that are underweight, sick, older, or newborn may not be able to survive for a long time and require immediate veterinary care. In the same way, pregnant or nursing mutts will also need food quicker than other dogs.
Common Causes Of Why Puppies Refuse To Eat Food
Some pups only eat certain foods and deny eating anything else. If your vet has confirmed that your dog is completely healthy, then he is probably just finicky. They only eat once they become starving. You should try to feed them their favorite food or make your choice of foods more enjoyable.
This is one of the most common causes why puppies stop eating food. The probabilities of allergies, cancer, internal blockages, etc., will influence his appetite. In such a case, you should take him to the vet to find out the root cause of the food refusal to restore your pup’s hunger.
Dental ailments can also make them stop eating food because they are aching and uncomfortable. The dental problems that pooches can develop are:
- Loose or broken teeth
- Oral tumors
If you have ever suffered from a toothache or tumor, you understand how excruciating it can be to consume any type of food. Dogs experience the same.
Many canines that are diagnosed with parvo are at a high risk of early death if not treated instantly. Experienced vets recommend not forcing these pups to eat. The major cause of tension is dehydration. Forcing him to eat or drink might lead him to severe problems. Some puppies also suffer from hypoglycemia. If he has not consumed anything for one or two days, get in touch with the vet as soon as possible.
Lifestyle changes can make your dog a little unhappy and anxious. For instance, when you send them from a warm home to a cold shelter, this massive difference leaves an impact on their minds, lifestyles, and appetite as well. They feel like they have lost attention. Similarly, when you are away from home for weeks, you can feel depressed.
If you have changed your puppy’s diet and he refused to eat, it is obvious that the new menu is unappealing for him. We would advise you to make changes in the diet gradually so that he can adjust to the new meals. On the other hand, if he is a picky eater, the slow introduction of new food is imperative to prevent the worst reactions like vomiting, stomach pain, and other medical problems.
Some pets refuse to eat food after getting their vaccines. This is a normal condition, and usually, they get back to the normal routine within 12 to 24 hours. However, if the fast lasts longer, there is something wrong with your pup.
The most common side effect of surgery is nausea. Your pooch may not eat anything until the side effects vanish. The odds are that he will start eating after 3 to 5 days, but if he lacks energy or is weaker after the operation, you must consult with your vet.
Things You Should Do If Your Puppy Refuses To Eat Food
If your canine has denied eating anything, it’s the appropriate time to take him to the vet for the identification of any serious medical or health issues. In the meantime, you can do the following things to encourage him to eat something.
Set Feeding Times
Many vets and trainers recommend setting feeding times. This way, you know that he will be hungry at eating hours. Ideally, you can give him food twice a day—once in the morning and once in the night.
Don’t Give Treats
If you give a lot of treats to your dog, the chances are that he will stop eating kibble. Treats have much better taste than boring kibble. Don’t give the treats to see if he will begin consuming his boring, plain kibble again or not.
Contact The Vet If He Won’t Eat Or Drink For Straight Two Days.
If your puppy continues to refuse to eat his meals for 8 hours, don’t wait and schedule a meeting with your vet and ask for his advice. In this way, you can ensure that your dog is healthy and not suffering from underlying diseases. In case if he is sick, the vet will start the treatment immediately.
Try To Determine What Made Him Stop Eating
Examine your doggie’s food, daily activities, and check the label on any supplements your mongrel has had. If you are able to find out the main cause of why he has stopped eating, you can most likely make changes to help regain his enthusiasm for food.
Keep in mind that pooches refuse to eat food often for short durations without experiencing any long-term side effects. If he is behaving normally and is not showing symptoms of any disease, one or two-day starvation is not a reason for worry.
So how long can a puppy go without food? As a rule of thumb, a puppy can live without food for a few hours only, and a dog can last for two to three days. However, if he does not eat anything for two straight days, don’t wait and take action immediately. Food refusal is a serious issue that must not be overlooked. It is necessary to contact the vet to know what medical illness is tormenting your precious dog and treating it early rather than waiting until things become worse.
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