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How Long Can Dogs Go without Water? — All You Need to Know

How Long Can Dogs Go without Water? — All You Need to Know

Water makes up to 70% of dogs’ body weight. So, they need to drink water constantly to maintain their body weight.

Furthermore, the more they grow, the more water they need.

For every pound of weight, a dog needs 1 oz. of water daily. This means that a dog that weighs 25 pounds will need 25 ounces of water.

This article gives signs of dehydration in your dog and how to encourage him to drink more water.


How long can dogs go without water?

On average, a dog can go without water for 24 – 72 hours, but we’ll like you to stick with 24 hours because the effects of dehydration will begin to set in after 24 hours. By then, your dog will be slower, weaker, and more aggressive. You won’t notice the aggression because he may be too weak to bark. It is needless to remind you that things will get worse the next day if he still does not drink water. 


Why do dogs refuse to drink water?

There are several reasons why your dog may suddenly refuse to drink. Here are the most common reasons.



Some medical conditions can suppress your dog’s thirst or urge to drink. A simple stomach upset could deter him from taking water. It could also be as serious as a urinary or intestinal blockage. 


Negative experience 

If something bad happens to your dog while drinking water, he may not be too eager to drink water again.

In this situation, his disinterest may not be in the water but in the water bowl or in the location of the water bowl.

Hence, if you notice that your dog no longer drinks water, your first step should be to change both the water bowl and its location. 



Generally, dogs are restless animals. They love to run or play around, and when they do, they get thirsty. When your dog grows older, his agility and mobility may slow down.

And his rate of water consumption will plummet too. This is nothing to worry about. It is a natural phenomenon.


Inactivity/lack of exercise

If for any reason, you decide to put your dog on a leash for several hours, he’ll be restricted from running around, and may not get too thirsty.

Don’t be surprised to find his bowl of water still full or almost full.

The point here is that putting your dog through daily exercise will also increase his water consumption, which is important for his health.



Most dogs won’t take either food or water from strangers. That’s why if you take your dog to visit a friend, don’t be surprised that he won’t drink water from the water bowl presented to him.

This will take some time before he agrees to start drinking water from a strange water bowl. 

Of all, the first reason is the real problem, and that’s what you should focus on. 


How to make your dog drink water

Contact a vet

If after changing your dog’s water bowl and the location of the bowl, he still refuses to drink water, you should contact a vet. It may be caused by an underlying ailment. We are no doctors or vets here on 

That said, if you have any doubt about your dog’s health, you should always make sure to contact your vet.

Remember, without water, your dog has only a few days to live. So, don’t handle this issue with kid gloves.


Hire an expert

You may need to hire an expert because even after your vet detects and treats the medical condition, your dog may not start drinking water immediately. It may still take some time. This is why you need to hire an expert to help out.


Put water in a different bowl

Sometimes, transferring food from one dish to another makes it more appealing to humans. That’s why many companies rebrand their products.

They repackage the product without changing the content and the demand for the product will increase. This strategy works for dogs too.

Changing your dog’s water bowl may make the water more appealing to him. And he’ll drink more water.


Try flavored water

You can add the flavor of your dog’s favorite food to the water by adding a little of the food to it. This flavor may attract him to the water.

However, don’t forget that nothing can substitute fresh, clean, unflavored water for humans and for dogs. This is just a trick to trigger your dog’s interest to drinking of water.

Don’t make it a habit. 


Consider feeding him with wet food

There are several brands of moisture-rich foods for dogs. You can try any of them.

Of course, the moisture content in the foods isn’t enough for your dog, but it sure will reduce the rate of dehydration in your dog.

Dehydration is the biggest reason why you should worry about your dog’s cold feet towards water. Below are signs of dehydration that you must watch out for.


Signs of dehydration in dogs

Dehydration can lead to several life-threatening medical conditions like loss of consciousness, kidney failure, and death. You can prevent these ailments when you detect dehydration early.

This is why you must know the telltale signs of dehydration. Find some of them below.


Dry nose

The nose of all dogs should always be cold and moist. When you notice that your dog’s nose is dry, it may be a sign of dehydration.

Well, this sign alone is not enough to confirm dehydration, but if it comes with any of the following signs, you should be almost certain that your dog is dehydrated. 


Dark-colored pee

When the color of your dog’s urine changes from light yellow to dark yellow, you should be ready to tackle dehydration. 


Dry gum

This is another sign of dehydration. Once it appears with the other two symptoms above, then you don’t need a vet to confirm your dog’s dehydration.



Some dog owners deliberately prevent their dogs from drinking water so that he doesn’t pee around the house.

Now that you know the dangers of dehydration, do you think it is a good idea to dehydrate your dog because he pees around?

Instead, train him to pee in a particular place. In fact, some dogs pee in the toilet and they even flush it by themselves. So, you can train yours to that level too.

Never underestimate the intelligence level of dogs. Finally, although dogs can go without water for 1 -3 days, dehydration begins after 24 hours.