Why Is My Dog Not Eating But Drinking Water Only? All Reasons Explained

Is Your Dog Not Eating But Drinking Water Only? Read on to know every possible reason for this problem and how to handle it.

Any drastic shift in your dog’s eating or drinking habits is a reason for worry, but many pet owners find it particularly frightening when their dog suddenly stops eating. It’s worrisome when a dog stops eating, but as long as he’s drinking water he’s probably OK.

In the piece that follows, you’ll learn about some of the most common reasons why your dog might stop eating but keep drinking water. If your dog exhibits this behavior and doesn’t start eating normally again within a day or two, you should take him to the vet or an emergency vet immediately.

It isn’t uncommon to find a dog not eating but drinking water. Many dogs tend to resort to this unusual behavior. But what exactly causes them to stop eating all of a sudden?

Dog Not Eating But Drinking Water Only

Why has my dog not eaten for days?

The medical term for the condition when a dog is experiencing low appetite for several days is Hyporexia. Don’t confuse it with hypoxia. The latter means a lack of oxygen to the brain. Now low appetite can be due to so many reasons like dental issues, nausea, weather changes, etc. As a pet parent, your first responsibility is to identify the reason for your dog’s low appetite. Sometimes it could be as simple as climate change while at other times it might point towards more serious causes like gastro troubles.

Reasons why Dog Not Eating But Drinking Water Only

Upset stomach

If your dog is hesitating to eat the treats which he would gulp down in seconds before then this might point towards an upset stomach. It is very common among dogs to develop an upset stomach.

As a pet parent, you cannot keep a watch on your pet all the time. It is likely that he might have consumed some undesirable substance in your absence. If the dog can drink water then it means he just needs some time to let his stomach get back to normal. Once the nausea and the unsettling feelings go away your baby will be absolutely fine. But don’t linger on things for too many days. A dog not eating but drinking water for several days warrants a visit to the doctor.

Gastro Infection

The second reason for dog not eating but drinking water could be an infection in his gastrointestinal system. Dogs are susceptible to several gastro troubles notably gastroenteritis ( an inflammation of the GI tract). Gastro infections can be troublesome as they can put your dog in immense pain and other symptoms like fatigue, pain, vomiting, etc. If there’s any suspicion about your dog having a gastro infection then you must take your pet to the veterinarian.

Mild sickness

There’s a chance that your dog is a little sick. There are probably a lot of reasons, and most of the time, you don’t need to worry. If your dog is sick, he might miss one or two meals, but then he should go back to his normal diet. Dog not eating but drinking water can make pet parents too worried.

Dogs often get sick after getting their shots. After getting shots, a dog may feel sick for a few hours. This is normal and shouldn’t bother you.

why is my dog not eating his food anymore?

Dietary Changes

Your dog might not want to eat because you just switched brands or because the company that makes his usual food changed the way it is made. He might get an upset stomach because of the change, or he might just not like the new food.

If you change your dog’s diet and he stops eating, he should start eating normally again in a day or two. If your dog is very picky, you may need to go back to the old food and slowly switch him or her to the new one. Dietary changes can be responsible for dog not eating but drinking water.


A dog that can’t go to the bathroom won’t want to eat much. This could happen if your dog hasn’t gone to the bathroom in a while or if you think he’s having trouble getting rid of waste.

my dog isn't eating but acting normal

Constipation in dogs is normal for a few days, but if it lasts longer than that, it should be taken seriously enough to require a trip to the vet or doctor right away. The most likely reason for your dog’s constipation is a blocked intestine, which can be deadly if not handled.

Concern about being alone

If you leave your dog alone in a place it doesn’t know, it may get separation anxiety. Losing your hunger is one sign of being worried. If their owners aren’t there, they might get hungry and refuse to eat. Some animals won’t eat unless their owners are nearby because they feel safe and comfortable when they’re with them. Puppies may act this way if they were raised in an untrustworthy place or if they are suddenly moved to a place they don’t know.

Even though this isn’t a big problem for you and your puppy, training will help them feel more at ease in the future.

Getting Sick for a Short Time

Any rapid illness that your dog gets is called an “acute illness.” An example of a sudden sickness is a lung infection. In the early stages of a bacterial, viral, or fungal illness, many dogs will stop eating but continue to drink. After a few days of treatment, they will go back to their normal eating habits.

why is my dog not eating his food anymore?


When a dog is worried, it might not want to eat. If your dog’s new drinking habits are caused by worry instead of pain, he will probably keep doing them.

The most common cause of pain in dogs is separation anxiety. If your dog is in so much pain when you leave him alone that he stops eating, you should talk to your vet or a professional dog trainer.

Long-term illness

Dogs with long-term illnesses may lose their hunger, but they may still drink water. Most likely, your dog has diabetes if he stops eating all of a sudden but starts drinking a lot of water. By taking him to the vet, you might find out what’s wrong with him and how to treat him.

Managing a dog not eating but drinking water

Give a treat to your dog

If your dog won’t eat the food in its dish, try giving it a treat and seeing if it likes it. This lets you know if they aren’t eating at all or if they just don’t like what you’re giving them. The sweets will help them stop eating until they figure out what to do about food. This can help resolve the problem of dog not eating but drinking water.

So you changed their food, sat with them while they ate, read them their medicine (if they have any), added broth and gravy to their food, and gave them treats, but nothing worked? Then it’s time to get help from a professional. If you’ve tried everything to get your pet to eat, but it’s still not interested in anything but its new bowl of water, there must be something wrong that needs to be fixed right away. If your dog hasn’t eaten for two days or more, you should take it to the vet.


Dog not eating but drinking water could be a sign of something more serious than just being picky eaters. This strange behavior could be the first sign of a disease, like an upset stomach or an infection in the intestines. If not, it could be from a recent trip to the doctor, such as getting shots, having surgery, or getting drugs. Changes in what they eat and how they live will also make them act this way.

As a pet parent, you need to pay attention to these things, figure out which reason is most likely to be true and take the right steps. See your vet right away if you still don’t know why your dog not eating but drinking water.

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