How Long Can Dogs Go Without Water?

how long can a dog go without water

Have you wondered if your puppy is drinking enough water? A simple but effective test is to examine the color of its pee. If the pee is clear, then there is nothing to be concerned. A dark yellowish color is an indication your dog is not drinking enough water.

Now the question, how long can dogs go without water comes to mind. We will look at dehydration symptoms, what causes dehydration and how we can proactively ward off hydration issues.

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It is believed that a dog can last 2 to 3 days without drinking water, but no clinical testing has been done to confirm. This is similar to humans.Let’s get started and find out how.

What Causes Dehydration in Dogs?

how long can a dog go without water

Dehydration in dogs is a common, potentially life-threatening. Its a result of not getting enough fluid either by drinking or from its food. Untreated it can lead to organ failure or even death.

All pets are at risk of dehydration if they don’t drink or eat properly. There are many reasons why your dog is dehydrated such as illness, fluid loss from excessive urination, vomiting or diarrhea or even panting.

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What Are the Symptoms of Dehydration in Dogs? Warning Signs!

How Long Can Dogs Go Without Water? 1

It’s important to replace your dog’s water every day with fresh, clean tap water or bottled water. This will help you determine when your pet is not drinking frequently. Below are a few warning signs to be aware of.

Sunken eyes:

If your dog has noticeably sunken eyes, it’s likely that their dehydration is severe and they should immediately be taken to a veterinarian.


Your pets muscles will have less blood flow, and therefore less energy to fuel their muscles. Your dog will appear uncharacteristically tired.

Loss of appetite:

A dehydrated dog will find it difficult to digest or even swallow food. If you notice that your usually hungry dog is not eating, this could indicate that your dog is suffering from dehydration. This will be more pronounced for dogs on a dry food diet.

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Dry Nose:

A regular healthy dog will have a wet nose and gums. A dry nose is one of the first signs of dehydration.


If your ordinarily upbeat dog is not interested in its toys, going for a walk or showing excitement when a family member comes home your puppy may be showing signs of depression. Monitor your puppies behavior is the first steps in identifying depression in dogs.

Excessive Panting:

There are several reasons a dog will be panting excessively. One is it is too hot and is normal. Another is when your dog is under abnormal stressful situations like going for a car ride. Providing your pet with a fresh bowl of water should suffice, but if it continues, dehydration could begin to be a concern.

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What Should I Do If I Think My Dog Is Dehydrated?

how long can a dog go without water

You should determine if it’s a medical issue or something related to your dogs’ environment. If you just moved to a new home, you may want to try and move the water bowl to a new location or closer to the food bowl.Another trick is to add a bit of water to your pet’s meal if its dry food is making a sort of gravy. If this doesn’t work and you’re not sure your pet is suffering from an illness, you should contact a veterinarian as soon as possible.

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How Can I Prevent Dehydration?

how long can a dog go without water

Ensuring your dog has easy access to fresh, clean water is a must at all times. My dog Sassy gets nervous when we go on car rides and pants heavily. I always make sure she has water available. She actually drinks more in the car than at home.

  • Make sure the water bowl is full of fresh, clean water daily
  • Try changing the water several times a day
  • Clean the water bowl daily to prevent bacterial growth
  • Purchase a water bowl with a weighted bottom to prevent your dog from knocking it over
  • Bring a water bottle with you on long walks. You can pick up a collapsible water bowl from Amazon with you.’
  • Always have water with you on car rides.

Just how much water does a dog need?

how long can a dog go without water

It all depends on your pets activity level, size, age and the weather, but in general, a healthy dog should drink at least 1 ounce of water for each pound it weights per day.

  • Water helps dogs’ metabolic functions
  • Water flushes toxins
  • Water regulates body temperature
  • Water helps dogs’ sniffing power

Also See:Can Dogs Have Pepto Bismol?

Further Information & Resources

Pet WebMD

Final Thoughts: How Long Can Dogs Go Without Water?

Although dogs can go 2 to 3 days without water, it’s not recommended to wait that long before seeing your Vet.

We all want the best for our dogs. Proper hydration is essential for a healthy dog, especially when they’re puppies. 

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If you notice signs of dehydration, such as dark urine or lethargy, do your best to get your dog to drink fresh room temperature water. 

If you are not able to convince your dog to hydrate, immediately consult your veterinarian.

The next step if your dog is not drinking water is to consult with a veterinarian as dogs are not able to tell us they are sick and need your attention.

I hope I’ve answered the question, “how long can dogs go without water?” to your satisfaction. Please leave a comment or question below. I look forward to responding to your comments.


I'm a self-employed blogger, life-long pet parent, and lover of dogs. I have always loved animals, especially puppies. So when my family got our first dog 15 years ago, it was love at first sight. We named her Sassy because she was so small, cute, and had a sassy personality! Once we got her home, I wanted to know everything about caring for her, so I researched online. Eventually, this led me to create the PUPPYFAQS website, where I write about nutrition, health, and care of puppies and the latest news in the world of puppies. In my spare time, I volunteer at my local shelter, which is run by volunteers who are passionate about helping homeless dogs find their forever homes. If I'm not working or volunteering for dogs, you can find me spending time with my family, friends, and my puppy. I have been writing professionally online since 2009. In addition to PUPPYFAQS, I also write for several other pet-related publications.

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