How Long Can a Dog Go Without Water?

How Long Can a Dog Go Without Water

Water is life to humans so it is to dogs. The kettle do need water for them to survive as well and be in great health. However, there are times when the dog will refuse to take water due to a health condition or other reasons. Do you have any idea on how long can a dog go without water?

Although a puppy can stay for long without taking water, they cannot survive for long without water. In most cases, a kettle might go for long without taking water. This happens when their water bowl is not refilled in time. This can make the dog get dehydrated.

In this article, we will be looking more on why dogs need to take water.  We will also look at some of the health risks you might encounter.

How Long Can a Dog Go Without Water?

dog dehydration

Most  people never know how many hours a dog go without water . The body of a dog is made up of 20% of the body mass while the remaining 80% is water.

A slight drop in the composition of water in the body of a dog will leave them dehydrated and expose them to a risk of suffering from serious health complications that will have to be addressed urgently before they worsen.

The maximum number of days a dog go without water  is 2-3 days. However, the number of days can be much higher or lower depending on the current weather temperature, the current health condition of the dog, the type of breed and its genetic makeup.

There are dogs that have health issues like kidney disease are more vulnerable and can suffer from serious consequences if they decide to go without water in the first day.

The current weather conditions like high temperatures or if it is during the summer season can have a great impact on the dogs’ ability to survive for longer times without water. During the summer season,  when dogs do not take water for long, they will get dehydrated much faster than during the winter season. It means  you should never let your dog fail to drink water for long.

Common Dehydration Causes


There are illnesses like kidney disease and diabetes that can make your dog stop drinking water or take less than what is required.

Loss of fluid from diarrhea, vomiting and excessive urination can also make the dog get dehydrated.  Since sick dogs usually feel nauseous, that makes the condition even worse since they never have the urge of taking water.

Cold Weather

The dogs never lose a lot of water during cold weather season as to compare to the amount of water they lose during the summer in high temperature weather. This makes them have very little or no urge of drinking a lot of water. The dogs tend to lose lots of water in the summer months and this can force them drink more water to help regulate their body temperature.


Dehydration can also be influenced by the dogs’ age. Old dogs do have low appetite for food and water. They are lazy and cannot do lots of exercise compared to the younger puppies. They spend most of their time sleeping which means the urge of water is kept low.

Traumatic Experience

Whenever dogs go through any traumatic experience like undergoing dental surgery, an accident or neutering, they normally get stressed and lose the urge of drinking water or even taking food.

Being in a place that is not familiar

There are times when the dog might refuse taking food or drinking water immediately you relocate to a new home or travel with the dog to a new location.

The dogs tend to be very cautious to the new environment and it is very normal for them to keep off from the water bowl until such a time that they will have adjusted to the new environment.

Dehydration Signs in Dogs

Dehydration Signs in Dogs

Most of the dog owners never pay close attention to dehydration signs on their dogs or don’t know about dog dehydration either due to lack of awareness or because they don’t spend enough time with their dogs. Any dog owner needs to take keen interest in the daily activity and lifestyle of their dogs so that they can easily notice where there is change in their routine.

Dog owners need to be aware of the amount of water their dog takes in a day so that they can be in a position of detecting any change in the drinking pattern of their dogs. So, how many days a dog can survive without water to start showing dehydration signs?

Here are some of the dehydration signs in a dog in case you don’t know about that.


This refers to a state of feeling sluggish, fatigued and tired.  When a dog go without water for a long time, their energy levels drop.  This will lead to less flow of blood in their body muscles and the energy level to help in fueling the muscles will also drop.

Low Levels of Appetite

Do you have any idea on how long can a dog go without water to start experiencing  difficulties in swallowing, chewing and food digestion? This is a bit difficult to tell but there are signs  you can always see.

It can become even more problematic when the major food regime is dry causing injuries and sores in the mouth. In case you come across an insatiable dog not interested in food, it can be a dehydration sign.

Sunken Eyes

What duration can a dog go without water to start showing sunken eyes? In case your dog has sunken eyes which were not there before, it can be a sign of dehydration. The sunken eyes usually happen when a dog go without water and are not well hydrated in the muscles holding the eyes in place. In case your dog’s eyes are sunken, it is advisable if you can visit and veterinary official immediately.

Ways to Prevent Dehydration When 

Ways to Prevent Dog Dehydration

Dehydration of dogs is a very risky condition that can easily expose your dog to severe health conditions. If you do not know if a dog survive without water and end up leaving your dog without water for a long time, they can be subjected to life threatening conditions or even death.

Ensure your dog has access to clean drinking water all the times. Here is a way of preventing dehydration in dogs.

Avoiding giving them salty foods

Since you have no idea on dog dehydration. It is appropriate you stop giving your dog salty food. When you give your dog meals that are high in salt, it can lead to excessive thirst. In case the increased thirst fails to entice your dog to take more water, chances are high the dog will be dehydrated.

The salty foods and also lead to health implications such as vomiting, blood pressure and tremors. Snacks like biscuits and popcorns are high in salt and can easily lead to dehydration when a dog does not take enough water.

Use canned and dehydrated dog food

As you have no idea about dog survival limit without water, the dehydrated foods are of great importance when it comes to feeding dogs that are after some form of encouragement to drink water.

This food type does have high protein content since it has been dried to help remove moisture.   Ensure you add warm water, stir and give it 3-5 minutes to hydrate the ingredients before you give them to the dog.

Carry water during walks and car travels with dog

When you  adopt a dog or when you are going for long distance traveling or going for a walk, there are chances that you  don’t know if a dog can go without water. The puppy will be affected by temperature changes and might get dehydrated along the way.

Whenever you are packing your essential items, ensure that you always carry enough water. The water should  last the kettle throughout the entire journey.

Have water placed at strategic locations

If you don’t know how long can a dog go without water, you can  consider placing filled water bowls in visible and strategic locations. This can either be in the compound and inside the house. It is one way you can entice the dogs to drink enough water.

In case your puppy will be spending lots of the time indoors, ensure you place water bowls in one of the rooms that will always remain open. In case your kettle likes playing in the backyard, have water bowls placed in visible points in the garden. This trick will help it is impossible for the dog go without water for long.

Make use of Water Fountains

dog water fountains

When you don’t know how many days a dog can live without drinking water, the best alternatives to water bowl is water fountain.  Water fountains can easily entice the picky dogs to drink more water even when you are not around. The water fountains work by re-circulation and filtering water. This will help it is fresh every time the dog comes to quench its thirst.  With this, puppies will never for for long without drinking water.

What Amount of Water Does Dog need?

The amount of water that is enough for the dogs to quench its thirst depends on the age, weather, and breed and activity level of the dog.  Veterinary officers do recommend that you always provide one ounce of water in every pound of weight on a daily basis.


As you already know, water is an important component of the dogs’ body. It is advisable  for any kettle owner to ensure that their dog takes in enough amount of water. this will help keep them hydrated and healthy.

Despite the amount of water that is suitable for a dog varies from one breed to another, majority of the veterinary officials recommend that a dog can go for a maximum of 2-3 days without water.

Now, we hope that you know how long can a dog go without water. However, it is not advisable to let your dog go without water for that long. This is because it can lead to severe health complications or even death.

Ensure you quickly identify reasons why your dog is dehydrated before its condition worsens . You can seek guidance from your veterinary officer.


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