How long Can A Puppy Go Without Eating Or Drinking?

How long can a puppy go without eating or drinking? That’s a common question among new puppy owners. The answer varies depending on their age.

Puppies under 8 weeks old should not be without food for more than 5 hours, while those over 8 weeks can typically last up to 12 hours. As for water, it’s crucial for puppies of any age to only go without it for up to 24 hours.

This guide delves into puppies’ dietary needs, highlighting the importance of regular feeding and hydration for their growth and overall health.

Factors That Affect A Puppy Can Go Without Eating or Drinking

Factors That Affect

Age and Size

The age and size of a puppy play a significant role in how long they can go without food and water. 

  • Younger puppies have smaller stomachs and higher energy levels, so they must eat and drink more frequently. 
  • Smaller breeds also tend to have faster metabolisms, so they may need to eat more often than larger breeds.

Health and Medical Conditions

If your puppy has any underlying health issues or medical conditions, it can impact their ability to go without food and water. 

For example, a diabetic puppy may need to eat more frequently to maintain blood sugar levels. It’s essential to consult with your veterinarian if you have concerns about your puppy’s health and eating habits.

Activity Level

Puppies are naturally energetic and love to play, which means they burn through their energy quickly. If your puppy is highly active, they may need to eat and drink more often to replenish their energy levels. 

On the other hand, a less active puppy may be able to go longer without food and water.


The environment your puppy is in can also affect how long they can go without eating or drinking. 

For example, if it’s hot and humid outside, your puppy may need more water to stay hydrated. Similarly, if your puppy is in a stressful or unfamiliar environment, they may feel uncomfortable eating or drinking.

Tips For Encouraging Your Puppy To Eat

Tips For Encouraging Your Puppy To Drink

If your puppy has gone without food for more than 12 hours or is showing signs of needing to eat, there are a few things you can do to encourage them to eat:

  • Offer a variety of foods: Sometimes, puppies can be picky eaters, so it’s essential to offer them a variety of foods to see what they prefer. You can try different flavors or textures to entice them to eat.
  • Hand-feed your puppy: Some puppies may respond better to hand-feeding, especially if they feel anxious or stressed. This allows you to control the amount of food they eat and provides some comfort and bonding time for you and your puppy.
  • Add warm water or broth to their food: Adding warm water or broth to your puppy’s food can make it more appealing and easier to eat, especially if they are teething or have dental issues.
  • Stick to a routine: As mentioned earlier, puppies thrive on routine, so it’s crucial to establish a consistent feeding schedule for them. This will help them understand when it’s time to eat and create a sense of security and stability for them.

Tips For Encouraging Your Puppy To Drink

Tips For Encouraging Your Puppy To Drink

If your puppy is not drinking enough water, here are a few tips to help encourage them to stay hydrated:

  • Keep their water bowl clean: Puppies can be sensitive to the taste and smell of their water, so it’s essential to keep their bowl clean and free of any debris.
  • Add flavor to their water: Just like with food, adding a bit of flavor to your puppy’s water can make it more appealing to them. You can add a small amount of low-sodium chicken or beef broth to their water.
  • Use a pet fountain: Some puppies may prefer running water over still water, so investing in it can encourage them to drink more.
  • Offer ice cubes as a treat: Puppies love to chew on things, and ice cubes can provide a fun and refreshing way to stay hydrated.

Some Posts You Wanna Read More

Frequently Ask Question


In conclusion, understanding ‘How Long Can A Puppy Go Without Eating or Drinking?’ is vital for any puppy owner. Puppies under 8 weeks should only go up to 5 hours without food; those over 8 weeks can generally manage up to 12 hours. Water is essential for puppies of all ages, and they should only be deprived of it for up to 24 hours. 

Regular feeding and hydration are critical to a puppy’s health and development. Always be attentive to your puppy’s dietary needs, and consult a veterinarian if you notice irregular eating or drinking habits. Remember, the well-being of your puppy depends significantly on your awareness and responsiveness to their basic nutritional needs.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top