Dog not eating or drinking

Why Is My Dog Not Eating or Drinking? What Should I Do?

It doesn’t matter whether you are a new dog owner or have decades of experience living with dogs; it is a very stressful and sad situation when your dog is not eating. Dogs might not showcase interest in food due to various reasons; therefore, finding the culprit behind the loss of appetite is the prime duty of the owner and the best treatment if your dog is not eating or drinking lethargic. 

For instance, if you are feeding your dog and pet feed, then you have to also understand that your dog might not eat the accurate amount printed on the packet. According to pet experts, you don’t have to worry if your pet finishes 60-70% of the total meal offered on the plate. Moreover, loss of appetite in dogs can also be a primary indication of illness. Therefore, you have to step up to the occasion and solve the problem as early as possible. Sometimes your dog might not eat for a day or two, but it is better to visit your vet if your dog is doing this for a long time. 

Are you tense because your dog is not showing interest in eating their favorite meal when offered? Here’s what you will have to do to make your dog lick the last drop of the bowl. 

Also Read : My Dog Has Dry Flaky Skin and Scabs – Here’s Why and What To Do

Notable Reasons Why Dog Not Eating And Drinking Water: 

Sick Dog
Sick Dog

As mentioned above, there are a variety of reasons when your dog is not eating or drinking. Just like humans, dogs might also throw up tantrums if they don’t like a healthy meal or refuse to eat if they are experiencing a stomach upset. There are numerous reasons why your dog is not eating and drinking, and today we will discuss them in this blog. 

Oral Health Complications:

One of the most common reasons why your dog is not eating is dental pain. If your dog loves eating mud or chewing hard objects, then there are chances that they might have hurt their teeth. Your dog might also be suffering from dental gingivitis or even an oral tumor making your dog feel discomfort while chewing and biting. 


To be honest, dogs are not fussy eaters like kids, and they love to have their meals. If your dog is not eating for a day or two, then you might ignore this because of climate change or indigestion. If your dog is not eating and drinking for three days, then you have to be aware of the situation and visit your vet because it can be a sign of an underlying disease. Loss of appetite in dogs can be a symptom of diseases like, 

You cannot take chances when the concern is about your loyal partner; therefore, visit your vet if your dog is refusing to eat for a longer period of time before it gets too late. 


Fortunately, dog vaccines protect your dog from fatal diseases like rabies and canine distemper. Although vaccines are effective against deadly pathogens yet they can leave side effects like loss of appetite. If your dog is not eating or drinking after deworming, then you don’t have to get stressed before the problem will not last long. You must not worry if your dog is not eating after recent vaccination because the problem will perish quickly. 

Unfamiliar Environment:

Are you traveling to a new place, or have you recently shifted to a new place? If yes, then a lot of pets take time to get adjusted to the new environment; therefore, it might be the reason behind the loss of appetite. On the other hand, your dog might be motion sick and might refuse to eat because of travel sickness or because they are tired due to the motion. If it is the first vacation or family trip for the dog, your dog must feel nervous, but the problem doesn’t last long. 

There are various other reasons like food poisoning or if your dog has eaten something that they might not digest efficiently. Dog poisoning can be fatal, so if your dog is not eating and vomiting foam, then you must rush before it’s too late. 

What To Do If A Dog Is Not Eating And Drinking?

Well, what to do if a dog is not eating and drinking depends on the cause of the problem, and your local vet can help you in finding the answer to the question. If your dog is not eating because of an underlying disease, then your veterinarian will prescribe over-the-counter medications and supplements to aid treatment. Undoubtedly, the meal suggested by your dog will never taste good; hence you can give it by offering a treat or mixing it with your dog’s regular diet. You should never starve your pet when they are ill because the loss of appetite can be dangerous and even fatal depending on the illness. 

Whereas, if your dog is a fussy eater and the loss of appetite is because of picky eating, here are some expert remedies for the problem. 

  • Providing them an extra treat while finishing the meal.
  • Inconsistent feeding pattern is also one of the main reasons behind dog tantrums hence feeding your dog twice a day and most importantly at the right time. 
  • Never change your dog’s feed quickly, and if you want to change the food supplement, mix it with your dog’s previous meal and let them slowly adapt to the new meal. 
  • If you are feeding kibble to your dog, add warm water to help them bite. 
  • Always take your dog for walks at the right time to maintain a healthy metabolism. 
  • Try to add variation in the dog meals to make your dog feel excited about the meal.


At the end of the day, your dog may not be interested in eating for a day or two but ensure that the problem doesn’t last long. Also, never force your dog to finish the meal because it will only lead to aggressive behavior, which can be difficult to handle. 

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