How long can a dog go without water?

Sometimes we plan quick or sudden trips and unfortunately we have to leave our pets behind. In such cases we plan to leave them with shelter, enough food and most especially water. In order to leave the sufficient amount of water, you need to know how long your dog can stay without water.



Dogs can go up to about three days without water.

This is not the same for all dogs. The number of days depend factors such as;

  • The breed of the dog
  • The weather and temperature in the environment

A dog staying for three days without water is a surviving dog and not a healthy one. Such long periods can result into dehydration over time.

Dehydration in dogs

Dehydration refers to the condition where the body losses excess water. This happens both in human beings and dogs.


Factors that may lead to dehydration

Below are some of the reasons that may lead to dehydration in dogs.

  • Less water sources

The water sources may refer to rivers, pounds, lakes or even water provided at home by their families. The water sources may reduce in the dry seasons or the families may not keep track of their dog’s drinking periods.

  • Wounds in the mouth

The dogs may refuse to drink water due to wounds formed in its mouth when licking or biting something. This not affects its drinking but also the eating habits.

  • Sickness

When a dog is sick, either vomiting or suffering from diarrhoea, they tend to lose a lot of water from their body. Sickness also makes them lose appetite for both eating and drinking.



Signs and symptoms of dehydration

It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of dehydration in order to treat it quickly. Some of them include the following;

  • Dry mouth

This is similar to the sign of dry lips in humans when they are dehydrated. A normal healthy dog should have moist gums unlike a dehydrated one with cracked ones.

  • Loss of appetite

A dehydrated dog will find it difficult to chew and swallow food; in such cases, it will keep itself away from eating. This could be one of the signs of dehydration in dogs.

  • Sunken eyes

If a dog has sunken eyes, then it is most probably suffering from dehydration. This is because there is less water in the eye and the muscles behind it.

  • Lethargy

A dehydrated dog becomes extremely exhausted in no time. This is because there will be less water hence less blood flowing all over its body. This is one of the most common signs a dog is suffering from dehydration.

You can find water mountain for dogs here.

How to prevent dehydration in dogs

The dog has to have access to clean water all the time. It is best to make them their special water bowls at home. This way they will not have to look for water around in the house when they need it.

This is extremely important. Because the dogs get pretty active and start sweating. To cool down and prevent water loss, having them quenched during these activities will help prevent dehydration.

Avoiding salt is another way to avoid dehydration. This is because salt increases thirst, so if water is not provided immediately to quench the thirst, it may lead to dehydration.

Make sure to monitor the dog’s water intake. This way if they start drinking less water, then you will be able to fix it.


A dog may go for three days without water but it is not advisable. Once it happens frequently it may lead to dehydration. Thus when planning a trip or even when at home, it is important to make sure the dogs get more than enough water to keep them healthy.

Further reading: Best Foods for Dogs


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