Why is My Dog Drinking Water but Not Eating in Mishawaka, IN

It’s always concerning when your dog’s eating and drinking behaviors suddenly change, but if your dog stops eating altogether, this is a cause for alarm in many pet owners. Going off of food is never a good sign in dogs, but if he is still drinking, your dog is not in immediate danger.

In the article below, you’ll find out some information about the most common situations that may cause your dog to stop eating but continue drinking water. If you notice this behavior in your dog and he does not start eating again within a day or two, contact the vet or emergency vet right away for further assistance.

Dog not eating

Symptoms To Look For


Mild Nausea

Your dog may be experiencing some light nausea. This can occur for a variety of reasons, many of which are nothing to worry about. If your dog is a little nauseated, he may avoid food for a day or two at most, but then should go back to eating normally once again.

One common cause of nausea in dogs is vaccinations. It is perfectly normal for a dog to feel slightly nauseous after having his shots, and this is no cause for concern, but it may mean your pet avoids food for a few hours afterward.



Anxiety may sometimes cause a dog to stop eating. If this is the cause of your dog’s behavioral change, he will likely continue drinking because he isn’t in pain or sick, but is just responding to the source of his anxiety.

Dogs may become anxious for a variety of reasons, but the most common is separation anxiety. If your dog becomes upset to the point of avoiding food when you leave him home alone for too long, this is probably separation anxiety and is something your vet or a professional trainer can help you resolve.

Dog Anxiety Mishawaka


Change in Food

If you have suddenly changed your dog’s food to something new, or if his old food has changed its formula, this could be the cause of his lack of eating. He could just be feeling picky about the new food, or he might be dealing with an upset stomach because of the change.

If a change in food is the cause of your dog’s eating avoidance, the situation will often resolve itself in a day or two when your dog feels hungry. However, some dogs may be very stubborn about their pickiness, so you might need to go back to the old food and transition your dog very slowly instead.



A constipated dog is not likely to feel like eating very much. If you suspect your dog might be constipated, or if you know he hasn’t gone to the bathroom in a while, this is probably the reason why he isn’t interested in food.

It’s okay for dogs to be constipated for a day or two, but if the problem persists, you should take your pet to the vet or emergency vet right away. There is a chance your dog’s constipation could be caused by an intestinal blockage, which can be fatal if left untreated.


Acute Illness

Acute illness is any type of illness that your dog catches suddenly. A respiratory infection, for example, is a type of acute illness. Many dogs will stop eating but will continue drinking if they get sick with a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection, but will return to eating normally after a few days on medication for the problem.

Some dogs may suffer from acute digestive illnesses, just like humans might. If your dog catches a “stomach bug,” you will probably need to just wait it out. However, your vet can give you more specific information about your individual dog.


Chronic Illness

Chronic illness may cause dogs to stop eating but continue drinking. If your dog is avoiding food but is drinking excessive amounts of water—much more than is normal for him—this is a telltale sign that he has develop diabetes. Take him to the vet for a diagnosis and to find out more about his options.

Liver and kidney disease can also cause symptoms similar to those found with diabetes. Dogs may need to drink a lot of water when they have these chronic health problems, but they may be uninterested in eating or unable to keep food down well.

dog with illness Mishawaka


Avoiding food is not a good sign in dogs, but sometimes, the problem causing this behavior may clear up in a day or two. If your dog is not interested in food but is drinking plenty of water and isn’t showing any other serious symptoms, you can wait 24 to 48 hours to see if the situation improves.

Otherwise, however, you should take your pet to the vet or emergency vet, depending on the other symptoms he may be dealing with. Please give our vet a call at (574) 256-1871

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About Lincolnway Veterinary Clinic

Lincolnway Veterinary Clinic is a full service, AAHA accredited veterinary practice located in Mishwaka, Indiana. In addition to general wellness care like vaccinations and wellness exams, we also provide holistic veterinary care such as acupuncture and a variety of alternative medicine options.