Dogs, like any other pets, need to eat and drink to survive. But how long can a dog go without water?
Dogs can survive without water for around 2 to 3 days. That sounds like a long time before they pass out from not drinking anything.
But keep in mind that this is not absolute. There will be deterioration in the health of your dog if you fail to keep them adequately hydrated.
If your dog is constantly dehydrated, he will lose his vigor and his body would eventually fail. The worst-case here would even be the death of your beloved pet due to dehydration.
Table of Contents
- What is the recommended amount of water to drink for your dog?
- Why is my dog not drinking water?
- What is a safe range of time if my dog is not drinking anything?
- What will happen per day if your dog happens to not drink water?
- What are the symptoms of dehydration for dogs?
- What do you need to do if your dog is dehydrated?
What is the recommended amount of water to drink for your dog?
The amount of water needed by my dogs may not be the recommended amount for your pet dogs.
To help us determine the recommended water per day for our pet dogs, the American Kennel Club provided us with this guideline: an adult dog needs to drink an ounce of water for every pound of their weight. So, a 25-pound adult dog needs to drink 25 ounces of water or roughly 3 cups.
For puppies, the guideline is quite different. Puppies transition from their mom’s breastmilk to actual solid food. Because of this, they should drink half a cup of water every 2 hours. After their weaning period, they can follow the adult guidelines.
These guidelines are very helpful in knowing the amount of water needed by your pets. But keep in mind that other factors also come to play.
Weather, the overall health of your dog, and their activeness will influence if they would need more or less amount to drink.
So if you have noticed that your dog is not consuming the average amount that it should have, you must be very aware and look out for any signs where your dog would need special attention.
Why is my dog not drinking water?
It is possible for your pet dog to just intentionally avoid drinking water.
We do not have one absolute answer to this. It can be due to an underlying illness.
Your dog may have something as simple as a tummy ache, or something as threatening as a form of gastro-urinary blockage.
Either way, if you notice that your dog does not want to drink, immediately attend to it.
What is a safe range of time if my dog is not drinking anything?
Dogs can last up to 72 hours without drinking any water. The first 6 to 10 hours of this period is generally safe for your dogs.
There won’t be any harm to your dog’s health. However, once your dog went 24 hours without drinking water, then some ill effects will start to manifest.
Even going further from 24 to 72 hours can cause permanent damage to the health of your dog.
What will happen per day if your dog happens to not drink water?
Within the first day, you will notice that your dog will be less energetic than usual. Then, he will be panting more heavily in an attempt to cool down his or her body.
On the second day of continued dehydration, your dog will show more weakness and more irritability. Your dog will not be able to move as much as before.
On the third day, this is very critical for your dog, and would probably need IV fluids to recover lost fluids.
What are the symptoms of dehydration for dogs?
Let’s say that it is a very hot and humid day, and then you noticed that your dog is not drinking water.
You should look out for symptoms of dehydration of your pet dog so that you can attend to this and bring him or her to the vet’s office if needed.
This will help a lot in saving your dog from any unwanted complications.
Your dog is panting excessively. Panting is your dog’s way of regulating the temperature within their body.
However, if they are panting too much, it means that they have a very high temperature which needs to be regulated double time.
Dehydration causes your dog to be uninterested in eating. Loss of appetite is often seen as a symptom because dehydration makes it hard for them to swallow food and digest well.
General body weakness is also seen because dehydration negatively affects your dog’s blood circulation.
If you noticed that the nose of your dog is dry, cracked, and flaky, then he or she is probably dehydrated.
Dogs usually lick their noses to keep them moist. But dehydration will make their nose very dry.
Like the nose, your dog’s gums are also naturally moist. To check for dehydration, lift the lips of your dog and use your finger to check if the gums are dry.
When pressed, it should return to a pinkish color. If not, your dog may be dehydrated.
Check the eyes of your dogs. If it looks sunken, then it can indicate severe dehydration.
Loss of water in the muscles that keep the dog’s eye in place sag. The dog’s eyes will therefore look sunken.
Your dog’s skin should be elastic and flattens out if you pinch it. To know if your dog is moderately dehydrated, pinch your dog’s skin.
Grab some skin ideally from your dog’s back and lightly lift it. Release it and then see how it will return to its normal form.
You will notice that the pinched skin holds up that shape. If it just stays like that for a very long time, then your dog may be dehydrated pretty badly.
Note that different breeds of dogs have different thicknesses of extra skin. Very wrinkly breeds like a Shar-pei or a Bulldog can be misleading on this test.
The color of your dog’s pee should also be observed. Normal hydrated dogs will have urine that is light yellow and pale.
However, a good rule of thumb is that if the color of the urine is darker or more yellow, the dog is less hydrated.
Moreover, urine color is indicative of other health conditions of your dog.
If you notice a very dark yellow color, this is very much a concern and warrants professional help.
What do you need to do if your dog is dehydrated?
Dehydration of your dog has different intensities. Of course, very severe cases prompt immediate professional intervention.
You would need to bring your dog to a vet’s office, and they will take care of it from there.
However, in manageable cases, here are the things which you can do if your dog is dehydrated:
- Try giving your dogs some dog food that is enriched with moisture.
- There will be cases where your dog is not recommended to drink anything.
- So, it is best to just give moisture-rich dog food as a remedy.
- Canned dog foods are great for an enriched balanced meal for your dog to avoid dehydration.
If you do not prefer the first option, you may choose to give your dog some fresh fruits and vegetables.
These are also very nutritious and moisture-rich. Though be aware that some products cannot be consumed by dogs.
You can also get creative in giving water alternatives. Adding more flavorful options can encourage your dog to drink more.
You can try adding goat’s milk into his food or making doggy popsicle sticks from bone broth. These options are healthy and refreshing.
Soluble glucose powder for dogs is also available at your nearby veterinary store or animal clinic.
This mixture contains 99.9% of glucose monohydrate which, when given to dogs, can be easily absorbed from the gut and help them prevent dehydration.
Make sure to ask your veterinarian how much of this solution could you give to your dog if he or she gets dehydrated.
If the weather is very hot and humid, you can give your dog frozen treats to address both the dehydration and the hot temperature that your dog may be feeling.
There are many creative ways where your dog can stay hydrated. However, note that these are only alternatives.
There is no better way to hydrate than drinking clean and cool water. This cannot be replaced.
If you happen to give too much of the alternatives, your dog may tend to forget their drinking habits and just be inclined to drink the cool alternatives.
Use these in moderation and make sure that your dog still sticks to drinking clean water.