You are obviously aware that food is what actually provides us and other animals with energy to go about all of our daily activities. Even while you are sleeping, your vital organs use energy to keep you alive. This is also true with dogs and all other animals. Without food, your pooches, and literally everything else will just not survive. The same is also true with your beloved four-legged friend – dog.
In this post, we are focusing on dogs. The major question is how long can a dog go without food before it eventually succumbs to the harmful metabolic effects of starvation.
How long can a dog go without food before its body completely shuts down is a question that we can understand best within the perspective of metabolic rates. Because the end goal of consuming food is to utilize the break-down substances or nutrients in various body processes, it is very important that we examine 2 fundamental metabolic rates that are currently used by the scientific community. Let’s take a look at them.
- Resting metabolic rate
Resting Metabolic Rate, often shortened as RMR simply refers to the total amount of calories than the body of an organism – in this case the dog – will need when it is resting and not doing any activity. The amount of calories your dog will need while it is just resting depends on factors such as weight, age, and so on.
- Basal metabolic rate
The basal metabolic rate is the energy the body requires to keep all the vital organs functioning fully. It is often lower than the resting metabolic rate as it is measured when all non-vital organs are inactive completely and only the vital organs are functioning. The vital organs include the brain, liver, kidney, heart, and lungs.
Having explained basal metabolic rate and resting metabolic rate, how can a dog go without food then? Given that your dog is healthy and is in ideal condition, and has normal physiological functioning, it will take 5 days before its body shuts down. But if your dog has some health issues, the length of time it will be able to go without taking any food can significantly decrease.
When trying to figure out how long can a dog go without food, other factors such as change in weather, increase in activity should also be considered because these factors tend to increase the energy expenditure thereby reducing the length of time your dog can survive without food.