How Long Can Dogs Go Without Water?

Last Updated on November 14, 2022 by Becky Roberts

When you add a dog to your family, you are signing up for a lifetime of cuddles, long walks, and brilliant company. In addition to the good parts, however, there is a lot of responsibility which comes with owning a dog, and it is important that you are prepared to take this on for the duration of your pet’s life—and they can live for a long time.

Many health issues occur without the owners noticing, as the signs can be subtle, but the consequences severe. Dehydration is incredibly dangerous for dogs, and you should take every possible precaution to prevent it from occurring.

Dogs need water

How Long Can Dogs Survive Without Water?

If you have dashed off to work without remembering to top up the water bowl, chances are your dog will be fine for the duration of a workday. In general, dogs can survive for up to three days without access to water.

It is important to note, however, that ”surviving’ does not equate to good health. A dog who deprived of water for this long will require immediate hydration, will be in poor health, and will need urgent medical attention to prevent long-term damage.

Your dog’s body consists of around 80 percent water, and a loss of 10 percent could have serious consequences. If this is not rectified straight away, the consequences could be fatal.

If your dog is usually dehydrated, consider buying the Best Wet Dog Food because they have high moisture content and can be helpful to fight dehydration.

What are Some of the Causes of Dehydration?

Preventing dehydration starts with understanding the most common causes, and taking steps to rectify this as soon as possible.

Sore mouth

The most common reason for a dog being reluctant to drink is because they are in pain. If they have been playing fetch with sticks, they may have wood caught in their mouth and tongue or a cut as a result of their play. This injury will be painful, and they will likely avoid eating and drinking as a result.


If your dog is suffering from vomiting and diarrhea, dehydration is a likely side effect. Both of these acts will cause them to lose a lot of water very quickly, and this can be very dangerous.

Symptoms of Dehydration

Understanding and recognizing the warning signs of dehydration will allow you to take action more quickly, and this could save your dog’s life. Some of the most common warning signs are:

A reduced appetite

If your dog is dehydrated, they will struggle to digest or swallow food. Any change in appetite should be noted and monitored, as it could be a sign of something more serious.


Dehydration will mean that there is less blood flowing through your dog’s muscles, and this means they will have less energy to fuel them. They may appear uncharacteristically tired and lethargic, uninterested in usual activities – even playing with their favorite toys.

Excessive panting

Dogs cannot sweat, so excessive panting is a sign they are hot and thirsty. If ignored, this can result in dehydration.

Dry nose and gums

Your dog’s nose should be nice and wet. If it is dry or cracking, this could be a sign they are dehydrated.

Becky Roberts

Becky Roberts

One of Becky's favourite things to do every morning is to browse the top pet-related forums, looking for issues and questions that people have. She then shortlists the most common ones, and turns them into blog posts for Fuzzy Rescue. She's had over 4 cats and 2 dogs over the past decade, so she does know a thing or 2 about raising/training, and more importantly, loving them. She's the only one on our team that doesn't like coffee, but it seems to us she really doesn't need more energy :). We're very fortunate to have her on board as she does most of the heavy listing for the site, outputting an insane amount of content each month. Read More

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