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This Shocking Discovery Reveals How Long Can a Dog Go Without Water!

How Long Can a Dog Go Without Water

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Dogs can usually go without water between 48 and 72 hours. But it’s important to remember that just because they might live through it doesn’t mean they should have to go through it. When a dog isn’t getting enough water, it affects every part of its body. If they don’t have enough clean, fresh water, their vital organs will fail, which could lead to death.

Key Takeaways:

  • Dogs can only go for 2-3 days without water before dehydration sets in, making consistent access to fresh water crucial for their health and well-being.
  • Water plays a vital role in dogs’ bodily functions, including lubricating joints, aiding digestion, regulating body temperature, and supporting kidney function.
  • Factors such as size, age, activity levels, and environmental conditions influence a dog’s water needs. It’s important to provide sufficient hydration based on these factors.
  • Signs of dehydration in dogs include excessive panting, dry gums and nose, lethargy or weakness, and loss of appetite. Prompt rehydration is necessary if any signs are observed.

If your dog has been sick for more than a day and won’t drink water, you need to get help right away. Your vet will probably give them IV fluids to keep them hydrated while they figure out what’s wrong and treat it. Find out how much water your dog needs every day, how long can a dog go without water? without getting sick, why the dog won’t drink water, signs the dog may be dehydrated, and what you can do to keep her healthy and hydrated all summer.

Why is Water Important for Dogs?

Why is Water Important for Dogs

Water carries nutrients all over the body and is needed for all metabolic processes, including digestion, brain activity, regulating body temperature, lubricating joints, and cushioning organs.

When dogs urinate, go to the bathroom, or sweat, they lose water. Most of the time, though, healthy dogs can control themselves and know when they need to eat again.

Dehydration happens when fluids are lost without being replaced. This means that your dog is dehydrated if he or she isn’t drinking enough or isn’t well hydrated.


All parts of digestion depend on water. Water in your dog’s body helps make saliva, stomach acids, and bile, and it plays a role in every step of digestion. Without water, your dog’s body wouldn’t be able to separate the nutrients in food.

Also, water helps move nutrients into and through the bloodstream so they can be sent to the right places in the body.

Cell Cycle

One of the most important parts of a cell is water. If your dog doesn’t get enough water, the cell cycle will be slowed down, especially when it comes to cell growth and division. At first, this will cause the skin and coat to be in bad shape.


Water in your dog’s body helps flush out toxins from the bloodstream and during digestion. The water in your dog’s body will filter out harmful toxins and extra nutrients that are water-soluble and get rid of them in the urine.

If your dog isn’t drinking enough water, it’s likely that harmful substances will build up in its body. It can also cause problems with the kidneys and urinary tract if the organs can’t get rid of waste properly.


Most dogs don’t mind warm weather, but in the summer, when it’s very hot and humid, a dog can quickly overheat. Your dog’s natural ability to keep its body temperature stable depends on how well they drink water.

To get rid of heat, dogs sweat through their paws and pant. Both of these things depend on the right amount of water in the body. Other things, like the right dog cooling gear, should be done to keep your dog cool and comfortable in hot weather, but keeping your dog well-hydrated is an important part of the solution.

Proper hydration supports Kidney function

Proper hydration is essential for maintaining healthy kidney function in dogs. Water plays a crucial role in filtering waste products from the body and supporting the kidneys’ ability to flush out toxins.

When a dog is well-hydrated, their kidneys can more effectively regulate electrolyte balance and maintain normal blood pressure. Inadequate water intake can strain the kidneys, leading to reduced efficiency in waste removal and possibly contributing to the development of kidney issues over time.

Ensuring your furry friend has access to clean, fresh water at all times will help support their overall kidney health and keep them happy and hydrated.

Read More: Can Dogs Eat Spicy Food? 

What are The Warning Signs of Dehydration?

If the weather is very hot and dry, or if your dog doesn’t drink much from his water bowl, keep an eye out for these signs of dehydration which might mean you need to take him to the vet.

Too much breathing: Your dog pants to keep their body temperature in check. But if they start to pant a lot, it could be a sign that they are getting too hot.

No longer hungry: When dogs don’t drink enough water, they lose interest in food because it’s hard for them to swallow or digest it.

Lack of interest or tiredness: Water is needed for the blood to flow well. Your dog will feel tired and weak without it.

Dry gums and mouth: Even though a dog’s nose can be dry for many reasons, its mouth and gums should always be moist and wet. When you press on your dog’s gums, they should go back to being pink right away. If it stays white for more than a few seconds, your dog needs water.

Sunken eyes: When a person is very dehydrated, the muscles that hold the eyes in place can dry out and make the eyes look noticeably sunken.

Skin that doesn’t stretch: When you pinch the skin of a healthy dog, it should flatten out right away. If you pinch it and it stays that way, your dog is dehydrated.

Don’t ever leave your dog without giving it water: If you’re going to be gone for more than a few hours or even for a few days, make sure they have food and water. Get someone to check on them, fill their bowls, and maybe even take them for walks. If not, they could not only be lonely but also have health problems that could kill them.

Factors That Impact a Dog’s Water Needs

Factors That Impact a Dog's Water Needs

The size, age, activity levels, and environmental factors can all influence how much water a dog needs. Want to know more about keeping your pup hydrated? Keep reading!

Size and age of the dog

The size and age of your furry companion play a significant role in determining their water needs. Larger dogs generally require more water than smaller ones due to their larger body mass and increased metabolic rate.

Similarly, puppies have higher activity levels and faster metabolism compared to adult dogs, meaning they may need more frequent access to water. As dogs age, especially senior ones, their exercise levels tend to decrease along with their appetite and thirst.

This can result in them not drinking as much water as they used to when they were younger. It’s important to consider these factors when providing sufficient hydration for your dog throughout the day.

Activity levels of the dog

The activity level of a dog plays a significant role in determining its water needs. Dogs that are highly active and engage in regular exercise require more water to stay hydrated compared to less active dogs.

This is because physical activity increases their body temperature, leading to higher water loss through panting and sweating. Additionally, active dogs tend to drink more water as they exert themselves and need to replenish fluids.

It’s essential for dog owners to be mindful of their pet’s activity level and provide them with sufficient access to clean, fresh water throughout the day, especially during periods of increased exercise or playtime.

Environmental factors such as temperature and humidity

Environmental factors, such as temperature and humidity, play a crucial role in determining a dog’s water needs. High ambient temperatures can decrease their ability to regulate body temperature, making them more prone to overheating and dehydration.

Poorly ventilated spaces or sudden exposure to high temperatures can increase the risk even further. Additionally, dogs in humid environments may require more water due to increased sweating and panting.

It is essential for dog owners to consider these environmental factors when determining their pet’s hydration needs and ensure that clean and fresh water is always available. Taking these precautions will help prevent dehydration and support your dog’s overall health and well-being.

Why would a Dog Stop Drinking Water?

Why would a Dog Stop Drinking Water

Several things could make a dog stop drinking water. But, unless something is very wrong, a dog usually won’t go more than a day or two without drinking.

Most of the time, it’s a sore mouth or something else that hurts. If it hurts your dog to drink, it will naturally try to avoid it as much as possible. Checking their mouth should be the first thing you do to figure out what’s wrong.

If their mouth seems fine, you may need to have them checked out for other diseases and conditions. Diabetes, kidney disease, and bladder infections can all make a dog not want to drink, so that’s probably where your vet will start.

Dogs sometimes stop drinking for other reasons, but these problems usually don’t last long. They might stop drinking if they don’t get enough exercise, are afraid of the water bowl, or are nervous about being in a new place. But your dog’s thirst will eventually win out over these reasons.

You can Read: How to Keep Dogs Out of Flower Beds?

Signs of Dehydration in Dogs

Signs of Dehydration in Dogs

Dehydration in dogs can be detected through signs such as excessive panting, dry gums and nose, lethargy or weakness, and loss of appetite.

Excessive panting

Excessive panting in dogs can be a clear indication of dehydration. Dogs pant to regulate their body temperature, but when they’re dehydrated, their bodies work even harder to cool down. This leads to excessive and prolonged panting.

If you notice your dog panting excessively, it’s important to provide them with water immediately and monitor their hydration levels closely. Dehydration can have serious consequences for your furry friend, so always keep an eye out for signs like dry gums, loss of appetite, and lethargy.

Remember, staying hydrated is vital for a dog’s overall health and well-being.

Dry gums and nose

Dry gums and a dry nose can be early signs of dehydration in dogs. When a dog is dehydrated, their body tries to conserve water by reducing saliva production, which can result in dry gums. Additionally, a dry nose may indicate that your dog is not drinking enough water.

It’s important to keep an eye out for these signs as they can help you identify if your dog needs more hydration. Remember, proper hydration is vital for the overall health and well-being of your furry friend.

Lethargy or weakness

Lethargy or weakness is one of the key signs that your dog may be dehydrated. When a dog becomes dehydrated, their energy levels can plummet, leaving them feeling tired and sluggish. This lack of hydration affects their overall vitality and can hinder their ability to engage in normal activities.

You may notice that your normally active and lively pup suddenly becomes lethargic, lacking their usual zest for playtime or walks. Weakness can also manifest as difficulty in standing up or moving around comfortably.

It’s important to pay attention to these signs as they indicate that your furry companion is in need of immediate rehydration.

Loss of appetite

One of the telltale signs that your dog may be dehydrated is a loss of appetite. When dogs are not properly hydrated, they may experience a decrease in their desire to eat. This can happen because dehydration affects their bodily functions and can make them feel weak and lethargic.

Additionally, when their body lacks sufficient water, it can impact their digestion and nutrient absorption, causing them to lose interest in food. It’s important to monitor your dog’s water intake and seek immediate veterinary attention if you notice a loss of appetite as it could indicate dehydration, which requires prompt treatment to prevent further complications.

How Long Can a Dog Go Without Water?

How Long Can a Dog Go Without Water

Typically, dogs can survive for 48 to 72 hours without drinking water, but if the period extends, they may experience severe dehydration.

However, as a responsible dog owner, it is important to ensure your dog consumes water at least 2 to 3 times per day. Water plays a vital role in maintaining proper blood circulation and the normal functioning of their organs, so keeping them hydrated is crucial.

Several factors influence how long a dog can safely go without water:

Age: Adult dogs require more water than puppies, and larger dogs are more prone to dehydration than smaller breeds.

Health: A pregnant dog will drink more water, while a sick dog may avoid the water bowl.

Weather: In mild climates, dogs can go longer without water, but during warm weather, it is essential to refill their water bowl more frequently.

Lifestyle: Less active dogs, such as small house pets, may have a lower water intake compared to more active dogs who need water to regulate their body temperature.

How Long Can a Dog Go Without Water When Sick?

When your dog is sick, it might not want to eat or drink. This is fine for a little while, but if your dog is throwing up or having diarrhea, it could be a problem.

How long the dog can go without water will depend on many things, like what is making it sick in the first place. If any of the above signs of dehydration start to show up, it’s time to call the vet.

If a dog is sick and throwing up, it might not want to eat or drink anything. Even worse is if the dog also has diarrhea, which makes the dog even more dehydrated. If it also has diarrhea, it may need to drink something within 16 to 20 hours. If the dog is just not drinking, you probably have about 20 hours before you need to take the dog to the emergency vet.

Again, it will depend on the dog’s size and health, as well as what is making it throw up. If your dog is sick, keep it inside for at least 6 to 8 hours so it doesn’t eat grass or leaves. For a few hours, give them 1 or 2 tablespoons of water every hour.

You might be able to help calm its stomach by giving it famotidine or omeprazole, but you should check with your vet first. If you keep throwing up, you should call your vet.

How Do I Get My Dog to Start Drinking Water Again?

If your dog won’t drink because it’s in pain or sick, there’s not much you can do besides take it to the vet to treat the problem. You shouldn’t take too long either, because you don’t want your dog to go too long without water.

Sometimes the problem is the water bowl, especially if the dog has had bad experiences with it in the past. In that case, you might need to move the bowl or get a new one.

The Hepper Nom Nom Bowl is a great choice if you’re looking for food and water bowls for your favorite furry friend. This is our product, but we love the whisker-friendly dishes and wide catch tray so much that we had to tell you about them!

The bowls are made of stainless steel and can be cleaned in the dishwasher. This makes it as easy as possible to take care of a pet. Try it out by clicking here!

Also Read: What Accessories Should I Buy for My Dog?

How Much Water Should You Give Dogs to Drink?

If you’re new to taking care of a dog, don’t worry too much if you can’t notice changes in how much water they drink. Measure how much your dog already drinks to see if you should try to get them to drink more.

The American Kennel Club says that for every pound a dog weighs, it should drink one ounce of water. For example, a fully grown Golden Retriever that weighs 65 pounds should be able to drink 65 ounces, which is about 2 liters, of water every day. On the other hand, a 25-pound adult French Bulldog should drink about 750 milliliters, or 25 ounces, of water every day.

Puppies need to drink water in different ways. When they are switching from their mother’s milk to solid food, they will need about half a cup of water every hour. Only after they have been weaned successfully can they switch to drinking like an adult.

Don’t forget that these are just suggestions. Whether or not your dog needs more water depends on a number of things, like the weather, their health, and how much they move around. How much water your dog needs can also depend on what they eat. Make sure you also watch for signs that your dog needs water.

How Long Does Dehydration Last in Dogs?

Your pet can live for about three days without water (three days). But after the first 24 hours, it will show signs of being thirsty. If you go further, your furry friend will slowly start to feel weaker.

How Fast Can My Dog Recover From Dehydration?

When someone is severely dehydrated, it takes longer to get better. How long it takes to get better will depend on two things:

  • How bad the case was
  • The reason why the person was thirsty

For example, your pet may need extra care if it is severely dehydrated and its organs start to weaken. For example, your pet might have to stay at the vet’s office for a day until they get IV fluids and reach a safe level of hydration.

You can Read Also: What You Should not Do in Front of Your Dog?

How Long Can Dogs Go Without Food?

Some vets say 5 days for healthy dogs, while others say it can take up to 10. Keep in mind that this is only for healthy dogs that drink enough water every day. If your dog isn’t in good health, it might only be able to go without food for one or two days.

How long a dog can go without food depends on a number of things, such as their health, how much water they’re drinking, the weather, and how much they’re moving around. Just like people, when a dog’s Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) goes up, its caloric needs go up. This means that your dog has less time to go without food.

Keep Your Pet Refreshed Every Day

Your dog needs water just as much as he needs nutrients like protein and carbohydrates. Make sure your dog gets the right amount of water to stay healthy and hydrated. And if your dog gets too thirsty, you should call your vet right away so that your pet can get the right care.

Want to find out more about keeping your dog healthy so it doesn’t get sick or hurt? Check out the TPLOInfo blog right now.


Water is just as important for animals as it is for people. But animals can live longer without water than people can. How long can a dog go without drinking?

Dogs can go for 2 or 3 days without water without much trouble. But the most important thing is that you shouldn’t go more than a day without giving your dog water. The most time a dog can go without water is two or three days, but you should never let it get to that point because your dog could die from dehydration.

If your dog stops drinking for even one day, that’s more than enough reason to take it to the vet. Don’t forget that taking action can save someone’s life.

Read More: Is Your Puppy Ready for Adult Dog Food?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Why is my dog not drinking water?

A dog might not drink water for a lot of different reasons. This problem can be caused by any illness or problem that makes you feel sick or affects how your body works. Find out more about the many things that could make a dog thirsty.

What happens if a dog doesn’t drink water?

Dehydration can happen if a dog doesn’t have access to water or doesn’t drink enough. Be sure to leave enough water for your dog, even if you will be gone for part of the day.

Can a dog go 8 hours without water?

Normal conditions allow a dog to go 6–10 hours without water without getting sick. Don’t worry if you forget to fill up his water bowl before you go to work or if your dog knocks it over while you’re gone. He will be fine as long as he is inside, cool, and in good health.

Can a doggo 10 hours without water?

A dog in good health can go almost three days without water. So, 10 hours isn’t a lot of work. If your dog is healthy and stays inside, it can easily go 10 hours without drinking anything.

What happens if a dog doesn’t drink water for 2 days?

Most of the time, a lack of thirst is caused by a bladder infection or an infection in the urinary tract. Diabetes or kidney disease could also be to blame. If your pet seems tired and doesn’t want to eat, for example, and you think something might be wrong, you should call your vet to talk about what’s going on.

How much water should a dog drink in 24 hours?

A healthy dog should drink between half an ounce and one ounce of water per pound of body weight every day. So, a healthy Labrador Retriever that weighs 65 pounds should drink between 33 and 65 ounces, or about a quarter to a half gallon, of water every day.

What should I do if my dog is not drinking water?

If your dog isn’t drinking water, there may be something else wrong. Do they have diarrhea or throw up? Lethargic? Call your vet. That’s the best thing to do.

Can dogs drink milk mixed with water?

But, can dogs drink milk? Short answer: maybe. Like many human foods, your dog shouldn’t get too much of this. It’s also important to remember that many puppies can’t handle lactose, so giving them milk can make them sick.

What Else Can dogs drink besides water?

Dogs can have small amounts of fresh juices, coconut water, carrot extract, nut milk, bone broth, and kefir. Make sure you don’t give them anything with extra sugar, salt, or chemicals to keep it from going bad. The safest way to keep your dog hydrated is to give it clean, cool, fresh water.

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