How Long Can A Dog Go Without Water? – A Vet’s Advice

How Long Can A Dog Go Without Water

Water is essential for any living being to live. It is an important fluid for our kidneys to operate properly. Furthermore, our body is made up of 60% of water. Hence, it is important to have enough water in us to function properly.

Likewise, animals such as dogs also need enough water in a day to function properly. The question here is how long can a dog go without water? It is a curious question & one should know the extremes of what a dog can go. However, we do not endorse neglecting your animals from basic consumables such as food & water since it is an act of animal abuse.

How Long Can A Dog Go Without Water?

How Long Can A Dog Go Without Water


Under the best circumstances, a dog can survive without water for at most 3 days which is the equivalent of 72 hours. This period is similar in all mammals including us. Note that this time duration only stays valid under the best conditions.

If your dog has certain health issues such as kidney problems, heart problems, etc. the duration may be less for it. Similarly, in extreme weather conditions, the duration may be further lessened.

The safe area to operate is between 6 to 10 hours. Dogs can stay without water for this much time without experiencing any ill effects on their health. This may occur in times when you forgot to keep a bowl of water while leaving for work, etc. Don’t make this a habit as water is an important resource for your dogs.

The problem starts to be seen once the 24-hour mark is reached. After one day, your dog will become lethargic & fidgety. This is because it lacks water which cools itself & keeps it hydrated. On the second day, the conditions become to worsen. Here is the point where your dog might stop moving at all. They may experience vomiting, diarrhea, & become more lethargic.

Very little can be done once your dog reaches 3 days without water. Organs fail at this point as they don’t get the necessary water needed to function. Veterinary intervention may help your dog, but that is close to a miracle as the odds are against it since the damage has already been done.

How Much Water Should A Dog Drink?

How Much Water Should A Dog Drink

Water makes up around 70% of a dog’s body. The required water content for a dog to healthily function is over 1 ounce, which makes around 50 ml for every kilogram of their weight. If you are new as a dog owner, you just might be worrying too much.

Furthermore, the amount of water that a dog drinks varies from individual to individual. It depends on their activity level, weather conditions, & their health. A dog who spends most of its time indoors on the rug might not need much water to drink as compared to a dog with a daily running routine who sleeps in his doghouse outside.

Also, the lifecycle stage should be considered following how much water a dog should drink. If you have a puppy who has just shifted to a solid meal from mother’s milk, it might not need much water.

Why Would A Dog Stop Drinking Water?

Why Would A Dog Stop Drinking Water?

There are some usual reasons which result in a dog not drinking water. Most of them are temporary problems that are solved without any treatment.

If you got a new dog or are traveling, for the time being, your dog might be uncomfortable with the unknown surroundings which results in it stopping drinking water. This may also happen if the dog’s owner is unavailable for some time & the dog is very much attached to him/her.

This would also result in the dog stopping eating or drinking for some time. However, these problems are temporary & the dog reverts to its normal eating & drinking routine as thirst & hunger overpowers these feelings.

But if the dog still does not budge & rejects drinking water, the problem might be something else. The most common problem here is a sore mouth or any other painful condition. Your dog will not like to drink water if it is causing them physical pain, in this case, they will avoid doing it as much as possible.

However, the problems maybe something very simple. Some dogs are just moody & might not be drinking water because they don’t like their water bowl or the height it is at. Alter the conditions & you will be surprised to know your dog starting to drink water again.

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