Why Has My Dog Stopped Eating But Still Drinking Water?

Having a dog that suddenly stops eating can be a cause for concern for any pet owner. However, it can be even more confusing when your dog continues to drink water regularly. This behavior change can be worrying and may leave you wondering why your beloved canine companion has stopped eating but still has an appetite for water. 

In this article, we will explore some possible reasons why your dog may have lost interest in food but remain hydrated. We will also discuss when this behavior can indicate a potential health issue and when it may be a normal change in your dog’s eating habits. By the end, you will have a better understanding of the possible causes and know when to seek veterinary advice for your dog’s loss of appetite.

Why Has My Dog Stopped Eating But Still Drinking Water?Why Has My Dog Stopped Eating But Still Drinking Water?

It is important to closely monitor your dog’s eating and drinking habits. If your dog continues to not eat but is still drinking water for more than a day or two, it is best to consult a veterinarian. Loss of appetite can be a sign of an underlying health issue, and early detection and treatment can improve your dog’s chances of recovery.

  1. Changes in Routine: One possible reason why your dog may have stopped eating but is still drinking water could be due to changes in their daily routine. Dogs are creatures of habit and any sudden change in their routine can cause them to lose their appetite. This may include a change in their feeding schedule, new environment or even the presence of new people or pets in the house.
  2. Illness or Pain: If your dog suddenly stops eating but is still drinking water, it could be a sign of an underlying illness or pain. Dogs may stop eating due to many reasons, such as dental issues, gastrointestinal problems, kidney disease, or infections. In such cases, your dog may still feel thirsty, but the pain or discomfort makes them lose their appetite.
  3. Stress or Anxiety: Dogs can experience stress and anxiety just like humans. If your dog is anxious or stressed about something, it may lose its appetite but continue drinking water. Situations like the presence of loud noises, changes in the household, or separation anxiety can lead to a loss of appetite in dogs.
  4. Dental Issues: Dental problems like teething, tooth decay, or gum disease can be painful for dogs and make it difficult for them to eat. Your dog may stop eating solid food to avoid the pain but continue to drink water to stay hydrated.
  5. Aging: As dogs get older, their sense of smell and taste can diminish. This can make their usual food less appealing to them, causing them to eat less or stop eating altogether. In such cases, it is important to consult a vet to make sure your dog’s nutritional needs are being met.
  6. Side Effects of Medications: Some medications can cause side effects in dogs, including loss of appetite. If your dog is on any medication, it is important to monitor their eating habits and consult your veterinarian if you notice any changes.
  7. Spoilt Food or Dietary Changes: If your dog’s food has gone bad, it may refuse to eat it and stick to drinking water instead. Additionally, if you have recently changed your dog’s diet, it may take a while for them to adjust to the new food, and may temporarily lose their appetite.

My Dog Is Not Eating But Drinking Water And Vomiting

If your dog is not eating but is still drinking water and vomiting, they may be experiencing gastrointestinal (GI) upset. GI upset can be caused by some things, including infections, intestinal parasites, and dietary indiscretion. If your dog is not eating but is still drinking water, this may be a sign that they are experiencing nausea. In addition to vomiting, other symptoms of GI upset may include diarrhea, lethargy, and abdominal pain. If your dog is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to take them to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

SEE ALSO: The Side Effects of Dog IV Fluid

Dog Not Eating But Drinking Water And Diarrhea

If your dog is not eating but is still drinking water and has diarrhea, they may be suffering from a gastrointestinal (GI) upset. This can be caused by some things, such as dietary indiscretion, food allergies, or intestinal parasites. If your dog is experiencing these symptoms, it is important to take them to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Your veterinarian will be able to diagnose the cause of the problem and recommend the appropriate treatment. Depending on the cause, treatment may include antibiotics, a change in diet, or a deworming medication.

When To Worry About Your Dog Not Eating But Drinking Water

If your dog is not eating but is still drinking water, it is important to monitor them closely for any changes in their behavior or physical condition. It is generally not cause for immediate concern if your dog has gone a day or two without eating, but is still drinking water and acting normally. However, if your dog has gone more than a few days without eating, or if they are also showing signs of lethargy, vomiting, or diarrhea, it is time to seek veterinary care. In some cases, a dog’s lack of appetite can be a sign of a serious underlying medical condition, such as a gastrointestinal blockage or pancreatitis, and may be time to worry.

Dog Not Eating But Drinking Water Home RemediesWARER 1 1

  1. Change to a high-quality, balanced diet: Sometimes, dogs may refuse to eat because their current food is not appealing to them. Try changing to a high-quality, balanced diet that is packed with protein and essential nutrients. This can entice your dog to eat again.
  2. Warm up the food: Dogs are instinctively attracted to warm food as it resembles freshly killed prey. You can warm up your dog’s food in the microwave for a few seconds to make it more appetizing.
  3. Try different textures: If your dog is not eating their kibble, try offering them a different textured food such as wet food or homemade meals. Some dogs may prefer softer food over dry kibble.
  4. Add broth or toppers: Adding low-sodium chicken or beef broth to your dog’s food can make it more flavorful and appealing to them. You can also try adding some cooked meat, vegetables, or a spoonful of canned pumpkin on top of their food for added variety.
  5. Hand-feed your dog: Hand-feeding is a great way to entice a picky eater. This works especially well for dogs who are feeling under the weather as they may not have the energy to eat on their own.
  6. Create a comfortable eating environment: Make sure your dog’s eating area is quiet and free from distractions. Some dogs may not eat if they feel stressed or anxious. You can also try feeding your dog in a different location to see if that makes a difference.
  7. Exercise: Taking your dog for a walk before mealtimes can stimulate their appetite. Exercise can also help relieve any gastrointestinal discomfort they may be experiencing.

How Can I Stimulate My Dog’s Appetite?

  • Prepare appetizing meals: The first step to stimulating your dog’s appetite is to make their meals more appetizing. This may involve adding a little bit of cooked meat or broth to their kibble, or even switching to a wet food diet. You can also try warming up their food before serving it to make it more aromatic and appealing to your dog.
  • Feed at regular intervals: Dogs are creatures of habit and thrive on routine. Feeding your dog at the same time each day will help to regulate their appetite and get them into a regular eating schedule.
  • Avoid overfeeding treats: If your dog is constantly getting treats throughout the day, they may lose interest in their regular meals. Limit the number of treats you give and try to only give them as rewards for good behavior.
  • Exercise: A lack of physical activity can suppress a dog’s appetite. Regular exercise not only keeps your dog healthy but can also increase their appetite.
  • Address health issues: If your dog is not eating, it could be a sign of an underlying health issue. If your dog’s appetite has decreased suddenly, it’s important to take them to the vet to rule out any medical conditions.
  • Try different foods: Just like humans, dogs can get bored with their food. Try switching to a different brand or flavor of food to see if it entices your dog to eat.
  • Use food puzzles: Food puzzles are a great way to stimulate a dog’s appetite. These toys require dogs to figure out how to get the food out, making mealtime more challenging and exciting.
  • Don’t leave food out all day: While some dog owners prefer to leave out a bowl of kibble for their dog to graze on all day, this can lead to a decreased appetite. It’s best to stick to scheduled meals and only leave the food out for a limited amount of time.
  • Consider supplements: If your dog is struggling to eat, talk to your vet about supplements that can help stimulate their appetite. These may include probiotics, digestive enzymes, or even appetite stimulants.
  • Be patient: It’s important to be patient and understanding if your dog is not eating as much as usual. Don’t force them to eat, as this can create a negative association with food. Instead, try different methods to stimulate their appetite and continue to monitor their eating habits. If the issue persists, consult with your veterinarian for further guidance.

SEE ALSO: My Dog Is Not Eating After Boarding: Why And What To Do


Q. How long can a dog go without eating but drinking water?

A. A healthy dog can go several days without eating but drinking water before they start to experience any serious health problems. However, it is important to remember that this is only true for healthy dogs, and any dog who has stopped eating should be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Q. When should I worry about the dog not eating?

A. There are a few signs that you should look for if you are concerned about your dog not eating. If your dog has gone more than 24 hours without eating, this is cause for concern, and you should contact your veterinarian.

Q. How do you treat a dog with no appetite?

A. If your dog is not eating, there are a few things you can do to try and stimulate their appetite. First, try offering them a small amount of bland food, such as boiled chicken or rice. You can also try adding a small amount of water to the food to make it more palatable. If your dog still will not eat, you can try gently warming the food to release more of the food’s scent. You can also try hand-feeding your dog or offering them a small amount of a highly palatable treat, such as canned dog food or baby food.

Q. Is it okay if my dog skips a meal?

A. It is generally not a cause for concern if your dog occasionally skips a meal. Dogs may sometimes skip meals due to a change in routine, such as a new environment or stress. If your dog has only skipped one or two meals, it is likely nothing to worry about.


In conclusion, there could be a variety of reasons why a dog may stop eating but continue to drink water. Some potential causes may include changes in their environment, health issues, dietary preferences, or behavioral issues. It is important to observe your dog’s behavior and consult with a veterinarian to determine the underlying cause and provide appropriate treatment. With proper care and attention, your dog should be able to resume their normal eating habits and maintain good overall health.

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