How Long Can A Dog Go Without Water?

Unquestionably, food and water are both mandatory to a canine’s good health and survival. But, between the two, water is more critical than food.

Actually, they can stay alive longer without food than they can survive without fresh and clean water. However, sometimes they decline to drink the water due to an illness or other reasons.

They may not drink enough water because their bowl was empty because it was too small or not filled up regularly enough.

When you go to the office or on a long-distance trip, it is essential for you to make sure they are hydrated. Otherwise, they won’t be able to survive without drinking water for long, just like humans.

Have you ever deliberated about how long can a dog go without water? The majority of pooches, including small ones, can stay alive without drinking water for a minimum of 2 days and a maximum of 3 days.

The number of days can increase or decrease depending on their age, breed, health, and weather.

However, keeping them dehydrated even for a day can be dangerous to their health. Therefore, it is necessary for you to offer them a sufficient amount of water at all times.

Read on to learn more about how long can a dog go without water before getting dehydrated, how to determine they are dehydrated, and how to prevent dehydration in dogs. 

How Long Can A Dog Go Without Water
How Long Can A Dog Go Without Water

How Long Can A Dog Go Without Water?

They can live without drinking water for 2 to 3 days. The length of time is reliant on various factors such as breed, age, climate, and health condition.

A healthy canine can survive longer without water than an ill dog. If he consumes wet food, he can go longer without water.

Besides, in hotter weather, they will certainly require more water. However, in winters, they can survive without water for days.

Age also plays a significant role in how long can a dog go without water after surgery. Growing pups can survive for prolonged periods than mature and senior hounds. 

If a dog stays without water for more than 2 to 3 days, it can trigger the commencement of some detrimental reactions in his body.

It disturbs all the processes in their body. Their important organs could stop working and eventually lead to death.

If your canine is sick and has not touched water for 1 or 2 days, you must take him to the local vet as soon as possible.

The chances are that the vet will keep him hydrated with Intravenous fluids and will also diagnose and treat the root cause of the sickness.   

How Long Without Water Is Safe For A Dog?

Generally speaking, dogs can safely go without drinking water for up to 24 hours if the weather is cold, and apart from feeling thirsty, most of them won’t experience any health-related problems.

At this point, they will start to show the symptoms of dehydration. If he has a kidney problem, he may be more prone to dehydration and may undergo severe consequences if he doesn’t drink water for more than 24 hours.

Climate also has a significant impact on the time they can go without water. In summer, they get dehydrated more quickly than in winter.

What Are The Causes Of Dehydration In Dogs?

It is rare for a mutt to decline to drink water, but there are various reasons why they may stop drinking their water.


Senior hounds have low enthusiasm for food and water. They love to lounge around and don’t perform any physical activity as they did during adulthood.

They spend 18 to 20 hours sleeping, which means they have a low desire to drink water. 


If your mutt is sick, he can quickly become dehydrated.

For example, if he is suffering from excessive urination, diarrhea, or vomiting, it may cause him to lose a lot of water.

In fact, if he is feeling nauseous, he will most probably stop drinking water.

Cold Weather

In winter, pooches don’t lose a lot of water compared to summer. That’s why; they don’t drink a lot of water.

In higher temperatures, they lose a lot of water; this coerces them to drink water to normalize their body temperature.

Traumatic Experience

When they undergo a distressing experience such as an injury, surgery, stress, or accident, they may lose the appetite to eat food or drink water.

Being In A New Place

If you move to a new apartment or go on a trip with your dog, he may refuse to drink fluids due to the new environment.

They are naturally cautious to unfamiliar places, and they may avoid drinking water or eating food until they adjust to the new environment or go back to the familiar place.

Lack Of Access

Lack of access to water, especially in the hot weather, will swiftly make him dehydrated.

How Long Can A Dog Go Without Water
How Long Can A Dog Go Without Water

What Are The Signs Of Dehydration In Dogs?

Low Skin Elasticity

A hydrated canine’s skin recuperates its shape rapidly when pulled.

However, if he is dehydrated, his body will have low elasticity, and it will take a long time to regain its actual shape.

This condition happens due to the lack of enough water in his skin.

Dry Nose And Gums

A well-hydrated mutt has a wet nose and gums. But, if he has a noticeably dry nose and gums, it is obvious that he is dehydrated.

Sunken Eyes

Sunken eyes occur because of the lack of fluid in the eye muscles and the eye itself.

If he has sunken eyes, it means the dehydration is very severe; thus, you should see a vet right away.


It becomes difficult for a dehydrated dog to do most things because his muscles will have less blood traveling through them.

Hence, it causes a drop in energy, so they may look unexpectedly tired and fatigued.

Low Hunger

A hydrated dog can easily digest and even swallow his food. But, if you notice that your canine is not showing any interest in eating his food, it could be a sign of dehydration.

How To Prevent Dehydration In Dogs?

  • Avoid giving them salty foods such as biscuits and popcorn because they can lead to increased thirst and health complications such as vomiting, high blood pressure, and shocks.
  • Feed them wet or fresh dog food as they have a high level of moisture to help provide more water to your hound.
  • Take water with you on walks and road trips.
  • Provide them water 24/7.
  • Their water bowl should be big enough.
  • Don’t allow him to perform too much exercise during high temperatures.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do Dogs Need Fresh Water Every Day?

Yes, they need fresh and clean water every day to stay hydrated. You should clean his bowl daily and fill it with fresh water.

2. Can A Dog Go 8 Hours Without Water?

Yes, they can go 6 to 10 hours without drinking water and without displaying the signs of any illness. If you forget to fill up his bowl before going to work, don’t worry because if the weather is cold, he is completely healthy and is indoors, he will be fine.

3. Why Doesn’t My Dog Drink Water But Eat His Food?

If he is not drinking water but eating his food, various things could be going on. However, the most common reason is bladder or urinary tract infection that is making them show disinterest in water.

4. Does Canned Food Hydrate Dogs?

Yes, it can help you keep your hound hydrated because it contains a higher content of water than dry kibble. Boosting his water intake can help decrease pressure on his vital organs and urinary tract.

5. How Can I Treat My Dog’s Dehydration At Home?

You can treat his dehydration by providing him small sips of water every 10 to 15 minutes. You can mix electrolyte replacement powder in his water. Some people give them ice pieces to lick.


As you can see, water is a significant element of your mutt’s body, so you should make sure that he drinks a lot of water every day to stay hydrated.

If you notice that he refuses to drink water, you should take him to the vet immediately.


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