Why My Dog Not Eating But Drinking Water

icon May 15, 2023

If you notice that your dog is not eating but drinking water, it can be a cause for concern. Dogs typically have a healthy appetite and enjoy eating their regular meals, so a sudden loss of appetite can indicate an underlying health problem. However, there are several reasons why your dog may not be eating but still drinking water. In this article, we'll explore some of the possible causes and what you can do to help your dog.

Common Reasons Dogs Don’t Eat Food

If your dog is not eating but is drinking water, it could be a sign of a health problem that requires veterinary attention. Here are some potential reasons why your dog might not be eating but is still drinking water:

Picky Eater

The simplest answer sometimes is your dog is just a picky eater. Maybe they were used to eating a specific brand, or a certain type of food, and switching it up made them not want to eat. If you really want to change your diet, do so gradually. Mix the new food with their old one until they slowly get used to it. 

However, just because you think they are being picky, does not mean that there are no other underlying issues for the loss of appetite. If they are refusing food altogether, even their favorite treats, then this is more complex than being a picky eater. 

Upset Stomach

If your dog has an upset stomach, it may not want to eat but may still drink water to stay hydrated. This could be caused by a variety of factors, such as eating something they shouldn't have or a gastrointestinal infection.

Dental Issues

If your dog has dental problems, such as a broken tooth or gum disease, they may be experiencing pain when trying to eat. This can lead to a decrease in appetite but they may still drink water.


A lack of appetite can be a symptom of many illnesses or health problems, such as

  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • cancer
  • infections

If your dog is not eating and shows other signs of illness, such as lethargy or vomiting, it's important to contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.


Certain medications can cause a loss of appetite in dogs.

If your dog is not eating but is still drinking water, it's important to monitor them closely and contact your veterinarian for guidance. Depending on the underlying cause, treatment may involve medication, a change in diet, or other interventions.

What to Try to Help Your Dog?

Treatment modalities for behavioral abnormalities without disease problems

If your dog is not eating but drinking water, there are several things you can try to help stimulate their appetite and encourage them to eat. Here are some suggestions:

  • Offer a different type of food

Your dog may have gotten bored with their regular food, so try offering them something different. You can try a different brand of kibble, wet food, or even homemade food. Just make sure any changes to their diet are done gradually to avoid digestive upset.

  • Add a little flavor

Some dogs may be more tempted to eat if their food has a little extra flavor. You can try adding a small amount of low-sodium chicken broth or a little bit of cooked meat to their food. Just make sure any additions are safe for your dog to eat and don't contain any ingredients that could be harmful.

  • Feed smaller, more frequent meals

If your dog is not interested in eating their usual meals, try offering smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day. This can help stimulate their appetite and make it easier for them to eat.

  • Make mealtime more enjoyable

Dogs may be more likely to eat if mealtime is more enjoyable. Try feeding your dog in a quiet, comfortable space away from distractions. You can also try using a puzzle toy or slow feeder to make mealtime more fun and engaging.

  • Warm up their food

Heating up your dog's food can help release the aroma and make it more appealing. Just make sure the food isn't too hot before offering it to your dog.

Home Treatment of diseases

  • Upset Stomach

Sticking with easy-to-digest natural remedies such as pumpkin, sweet potato, and/or chicken or easy-to-digest dog treats can help get your dog eating and feeling better. Once your dog is back to normal, adding these digestive aids to your dog's daily diet may help.

Puainta® Complete and Balanced Dog Food; Prescription Diet
  • High energy
  • Easy to digest
  • Increase appetite
  • Naturally works with your pet's unique metabolism
  • Helps avoid weight regain after weight loss
  • Helps your pet feel full & satisfied between meals
  • Supports vitality & holistic health
  • Dental Issues

If your dog has a mouth ulcer or periodontal disease. After consulting with your veterinarian that the situation is not serious and that you can handle it at home, there are steps you can take to make mealtime easier for puppies suffering from oral/dental pain. Softening the food is a great place to start! Simply add warm water to the food and let it sit for a short time to soften; this may be just what they need. Or use some natural ingredient oral remedies to help relieve your dog's pain, or give your dog dental supplements on a daily basis to enhance their dental health you can help treat your dog at home with anti-inflammatory medication.

Puainta® Spray for Mouth Ulcer and Mouth Cleaning


Chitosan quaternary ammonium salt, trehalose, cymene, glycerol, plant extracts.

How to use

Spray the affected area once or twice a day; press 3-5 times at a time, for 3-5 days.

Articles you may be interested in Mouth Ulcers in Dogs: Causes, Symptoms& Treatment

When to Take Your Dog to the Vet

Persistent lack of appetite: If your dog hasn't eaten for more than a day or two, or if they're consistently refusing meals, it's time to seek veterinary attention.

  • Changes in behavior

If your dog's lack of appetite is accompanied by changes in behavior such as increased irritability, anxiety, or aggression, it's important to have them evaluated by a veterinarian.

  • History of health issues

If your dog has a history of health issues or is on any medications, it's important to seek veterinary attention if they stop eating or drinking, as this could be a sign of a medication reaction or a worsening health condition.

  • Age

Older dogs may have a reduced appetite due to age-related health issues, so it's important to monitor their food intake closely and seek veterinary attention if they stop eating.


Any dog observed to drink large amounts of water without eating should be evaluated immediately. As a pet parent, it is really most important to be aware of your pet's daily behavior and habits so that you are aware of problems when they arise. If your dog is not interested in food but is drinking plenty of water and not showing any other serious symptoms, you can wait 24 to 48 hours to see if things improve. If you still don't know why your dog is not eating properly, consult your veterinarian immediately!



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