How to Help a Dog Not Eating or Drinking: Tips and Remedies

How to Help a Dog Not Eating or Drinking: Tips and Remedies

As a veterinarian, one of the most common concerns pet owners express is that their dog is not eating or drinking. This can be a symptom of many different underlying health issues, ranging from minor discomfort to serious illness. In this article, we will explore the possible causes of a dog not eating or drinking, and provide tips and remedies to help your furry friend recover their appetite.

How to Help a Dog Not Eating or Drinking: Tips and Remedies

Understanding the Causes

There are several reasons why a dog may lose their appetite and stop eating or drinking. Some of the most common causes are:

Illness or infection

If your dog is not eating or drinking, it may be a sign of an underlying illness or infection. Infections such as parvovirus, distemper or Lyme disease can cause a loss of appetite. Other illnesses, such as dental problems, kidney disease or cancer, can also result in a loss of appetite.

Anxiety or stress

Dogs can experience anxiety or stress for many reasons, including separation anxiety, loud noises, or a change in their environment. These factors can cause a loss of appetite, as well as other behavioral changes.


Certain medications can cause a loss of appetite as a side effect. If your dog is taking medication, it is important to check with your veterinarian to determine if this could be the cause of their decreased appetite.

Recent vaccination

Sometimes, dogs may experience a decrease in appetite after receiving a vaccination. This is usually a temporary side effect, and your dog’s appetite should return to normal within a day or two.

Tips and Remedies

If your dog is not eating or drinking, it is important to take action to address the underlying cause, and to help your dog regain their appetite. Here are some tips and remedies that may help:

Make sure your dog is hydrated

Dehydration can exacerbate your dog’s lack of appetite, so it is important to make sure your dog is drinking enough water. If your dog is not drinking enough water on their own, you can try offering them ice cubes or diluted chicken broth to encourage them to drink.

Offer small, frequent meals

If your dog is not interested in eating a full meal, try offering them small, frequent meals throughout the day. This can help stimulate their appetite, and prevent them from feeling overwhelmed by a large meal.

Offer a variety of foods

Sometimes, dogs can become bored with their food and lose interest in eating. Try offering a variety of different foods to your dog, such as cooked chicken or fish, canned dog food, or homemade meals. This can help encourage your dog to eat.

Address any sources of stress or anxiety

If your dog’s loss of appetite is caused by stress or anxiety, it is important to address these underlying issues. You can try providing your dog with a comfortable and secure space, playing calming music, or seeking the guidance of a professional dog trainer or behaviorist.

Consult with your veterinarian

If your dog’s loss of appetite persists, it is important to consult with your veterinarian. They can perform a physical examination, and recommend any necessary treatment or medication to help your dog recover their appetite.


A dog not eating or drinking can be a cause for concern for pet owners. By understanding the common causes of decreased appetite, and implementing these tips and remedies, you can help your furry friend regain their appetite and get back to their happy, healthy self. Remember, if your dog’s loss of appetite persists, it is important to consult with a veterinarian to determine the underlying cause and provide appropriate treatment.


Sure, here are three popular FAQs with their respective answers for “How to Help a Dog Not Eating or Drinking: Tips and Remedies.”

Q1. How long can a dog go without eating or drinking water?
A1. A dog can go without eating for about three to five days, while they can go without drinking water for up to three days. However, this can vary depending on the age, breed, and health status of the dog.

Q2. What are some home remedies to help a dog who isn’t eating or drinking?
A2. One home remedy is to offer your dog some low-sodium chicken or beef broth to entice them to drink. Another is to try feeding your dog small amounts of cooked, bland foods such as boiled chicken or rice. Additionally, you can try offering your dog ice cubes to lick, as this can help keep them hydrated.

Q3. When should I take my dog to the vet if they are not eating or drinking?
A3. If your dog hasn’t eaten or drunk anything in 24 hours, or if they are showing other signs of illness such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or difficulty breathing, you should take them to the vet as soon as possible. These symptoms could indicate a more serious underlying condition that requires prompt medical attention.

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