How Long Can A Dog Go Without Eating?

We all need three things to live: food, water, and air. And, dogs aren’t an exception to that rule.

But, how long can a dog live without eating? or how long can a dog go without eating?

The answer to this question actually depends on a lot of different variables and depending on those, we can determine how long a dog can live without food and not be starved.

In today’s blog, I will address this question if you’re curious to know this.

But, do keep in mind that it is never a good idea to leave your doggy friend without food if you’re going on a short vacation as this can have severe health consequences.

So, that being said, let’s find out the answer.

Let’s get started…

how long can a dog go without eating

Starvation In Dogs

According to the Humane Society, malnutrition is animal abuse.

And, rightfully so.

In this section of the article, I’d like to go through a few signs that help determine whether or not a dog is malnourished.


A malnourished dog will look weak and will have less fur on its body. You will also be able to see less muscle on the dog and it will also have a bony appearance.

Tummy Upset

Malnourished dogs suffer from an upset stomach and are known to:

  • Have trouble in excreting
  • Painful excretion
  • Vomiting bile

A malnourished dog will not be able to live without food for long.

Low Energy

Low energy and laziness are two more obvious symptoms of a malnourished dog.


Since the dog is not getting the nutrition that its body requires, a malnourished dog will not be able to fight off illnesses and will get ill an awful lot.

I hope this section has scared you off from ever trying to leave your doggy friend without food!

Malnutrition and starvation in dogs is a very serious issue.

Moving on…

The Variables: How Long Can A Dog Go Without Eating?

how long can a dog live without eating

Generally speaking, a dog can go about a week and a half without food.

But, this figure is NOT accurate as there are several factors that affect how long a dog can live without food.

So, let’s take a look.

The Dog’s Age

The nutrition that your dog needs depends directly on your dog’s age.

As a general rule of thumb, a younger dog or a puppy requires more nutrition than an older dog.

So, naturally, the survival depends on the amount of nutrition required.

The Dog’s Activity Level

If your doggy friend is extremely active then this means that he needs more nutrition in order to live.

So, an active dog will not be able to live long without food.


Breeds such as the German Shepherd, the Great Dane, etc. need a lot of food to survive.

On the other hand…

Smaller breeds like the Pomeranian, Maltese, etc. can go longer without food.

Size of the Dog

This one goes hand in hand with the breed of the said dog.

Like I said earlier, dogs that are larger in size need more energy in order to live.

And the said energy comes from food.

This means that the larger the dog, the more food it will need in order to live. This also means that larger dogs will not be able to go without food for a long time.

Other Health Ailments

Finally, let’s talk about health issues.

Generally speaking, a dog who has a lot of health issues, sensitivities, etc. will not be able to go long without food.

So, what I am trying to tell you is that each dog is unique.

This means that one dog may be able to live 15 days without eating while another dog will only be able to go 7 days.

Summing Up

A malnourished dog and a starved dog is one that has suffered animal cruelty.

So, never think about leaving your dog without food if you’re going on a short vacation as it can have long term and severe health consequences.

Generally speaking, dogs can live up to one and a half weeks without food.

But, this actually depends on several other factors such as your dog’s age, breed, the level of activity, etc.

Further reading: How long can dogs go without water?

Have any questions? Let me know in the comments section and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible!

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments