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When welcoming a new pet into the home, one of the biggest challenges can be establishing a meal schedule. Many dogs are picky eaters and would rather go hungry than eat what their owners put down in front of them. There are ways to help a dog that will not eat, but it is important for owners to know how long they should allow the problem to go on before they need to be truly concerned.
The amount of time that a dog can live without food depends on their physical condition prior to the point when they stopped eating. If the dog had prior health problems, they may not be able to survive for more than a few days without a proper meal. A healthy dog may actually be able to live for as long as four weeks without food, but they will be in very poor health by that time.
A much more serious condition for a dog is if they are not getting sufficient water. The survival of a dog without water depends, in large part, on the weather at the time they are not drinking. In some conditions, it may be possible for a dog to get by for as long as a week without water but, in hot weather, that may not even be able to make it through a day.
Dog owners should be aware that there is a big difference between a dog that is being deprived of food and a dog that is choosing not to eat. A dog that is refusing food that is in front of them could have a serious health problem. Loss of appetite is a symptom of many serious diseases that dogs are susceptible to. If a dog is being offered food and refusing to eat it for extended periods of time, it should be taken to see a veterinarian as soon as possible.
It is also possible that a dog that refuses to eat is simply being picky. In this case, it is best to put the dog's food down for about fifteen minutes and then remove it until the next mealtime. The dog will quickly get the idea that if they do not want to go hungry, they will have to eat the food in front of them at the time it is available.
A dog that will not eat can potentially live for up to four weeks but that does not mean that they should go that long without eating. It is important for a healthy dog to take in the appropriate amount of food and water each day in order to stay in good shape. If a dog is being offered food and refusing to eat it, they may have a serious health problem and should be taken to a veterinarian immediately.