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How Long Can A Dog Go Without Water?

You’re signing up for a lifetime of wonderful companionship, countless hugs, and long walks when you add a dog to your household.

However, in addition to the wonderful aspects, having a dog entails a significant amount of labor, and it is essential that you are prepared to take on this responsibility for the whole of your little furry’s life.

That means making sure your dog has access to water to drink.

How Long Can Your Canine Friend Go Without Water?

First and foremost, It is essential for its healthy being as it is to humans.

Dogs need a lot of water each day to reduce the risk of dehydration.

Therefore, it is super crucial to provide your canine friend with lots of water at all times.

In a nutshell, a dog can usually go for two to three days without drinking water without experiencing any negative side effects.

Realistically dogs need water regularly to maintain good health; however, there are times when a dog refuses to drink the water due to a health condition or other reasons.

Your canine may also fail to drink water because you are out, and they are patiently at home waiting for you to come and refill their water bowl.

Factors that determine how long a dog will go without water

If your dog has gone more than three days without drinking water, then it will be in a bad state and will require urgent hydration as well as medical interventions to ensure long-term damage is avoided.

The length of time a dog can stay without water depends on the following factors:

  • Age of dog: Puppies can go a long time without drinking water compared to adult dogs.
  • Weather: Just like humans, dogs consume more water during summer compared to Winter Season.
  • Dog breed: Some breeds consume more water than other breeds.
  • The dog’s health: A healthy dog can stay for an extended period without drinking water; a sick dog should not go a day without drinking water.

How Much Water Should Dogs Drink?

Water makes up 80% of your dog’s body weight, so a drop of even 10% in their water intake will have severe consequences on their healthy being.

Dogs need to consume plenty of water a day.

The recommended water intake is about eight glasses of water a day for a human; what about a dog?

A good guideline for dogs’ water intake is about an ounce of water for every pound of dog’s body weight.

A 50 lbs dog needs 50 oz of water, while a 75 lbs dog needs almost 3 liters of water each day.

This may seem a lot, but remember this water intake is spread out through the 24 hours in a day.

Why Is Water So Important to Dogs?

Dogs need to drink a certain amount of water per day for their body to function correctly.

Water is essential in carrying essential nutrients throughout the body.

Water helps in metabolic processes ranging from brain activity, digestion and regulation of body temperatures, cushioning organs, and lubricating joints.

Without sufficient water intake for a dog, they are prone to suffer dehydration.

Dogs lose water when they sweat, urinate or defecate.

Signs Your Dog Is Dehydrated

Recognizing and understanding the warning signs of dehydration will allow you to take action faster, and this could save your dog’s life.

If you are worried that your dog may be dehydrated, here are a few areas to check:

Pasty saliva and dry gums: Check under your dog’s lips and use your fingers to determine if their gums are tacky and dry.

If so, give them a drink. Dry mouth is quite common because dogs sleep with their mouth open.

Do not fret if your dog seems a bit more perched just after waking up from puppy land; just encourage them to head over to their water bowl quickly.

Another sign is if your dog has thick and pasty saliva.

Dry Nose: A dog’s nose is ordinarily moist. If it is dry and cracking, this could be a sign that they are dehydrated.

Excessive Panting: Dogs do not sweat; instead, they pant, urinate, and defecate to expel extra fluids.

However, if your dog pants excessively, they may be dehydrated and need that dish of water right now.

Reduced Appetite: When your dog is dehydrated, it makes it difficult for them to eat food.

If your dog suddenly loses interest in eating their favorite meal, then this could be a sign of dehydration.

Lethargy: Dehydrated dogs are unable to do most of the things.

Your dog’s muscles will have less blood flowing through them, thus less energy to fuel up their muscles.

You will notice they will become more tired than usual.

Causes of Dehydration in Dogs

While a lack of clean drinking water is one of the leading causes of canine dehydration, there are many other reasons why dogs may stop drinking water as they normally do.

Trauma: Yes, you read that right.

Traumatic experiences such as dental procedures, accidents, or neutering can cause stress to your dog, making them lose their urge to drink water or even eat food.

Illness: Certain dog illnesses, such as diabetes and kidney disease and, may cause your canine companion to stop or take less water than they regularly do.

Chilly weather: Water consumption will drastically reduce during the cold season compared to the warmer summer seasons.

Aging: Dehydration goes hand in hand with age; your dog’s metabolism is slower than expected.

They have reduced movements or desire to play; thus, they do not see the need to take in a lot of water.

Being in an unfamiliar place: Dogs do not fare well with relocation or travel to a new location.

You will notice your dog will refuse to drink water or even food due to being in an unfamiliar place. It takes time for them to adapt to the new location.

Choosing The Right Drinking Bowl For Your Dog

It may sound a bit silly or an idea that has never crossed your mind, but the shape, color, and size of your dog’s water bowl may prevent your dog from drinking water!

Of course, dogs have preferences just like us humans do.

It’s possible that the bowl is too deep, forcing them to dip their face in it, or that the bowl is too flat and broad, leading them to bury their ears in the water while sipping water.

The type of the bowl material is also a factor; plastic bowls are easy to scratch and fracture, enabling germs and a foul odor to develop.

For a cleaner and more refreshing drink, try using a ceramic or aluminum bowl.

Lastly, if your furry friend has no problem with dunking their head in the toilet bowl, but will not drink from their water bowl, then you better invest in a good quality water dog fountain.

This will keep their temperature down by a degree or two and may make them take in more water than they usually do!

Bottom Line

To avoid organ damage or possibly death due to dehydration, immediate action is required.

If your dog is unable to drink water, you should take them to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

If your dog is having diarrhea and vomiting at the same time, they are extremely dehydrated and will need immediate medical attention.

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National Canine Research Association of America