We all know that staying hydrated is an important part of overall health. As a dog owner, it's important to ensure your dog has fresh water available at all times. But what if your dog runs out of water while you're away from home? What happens when your dog refuses to drink? How long can dogs go without water?

Dogs, like humans, can go much longer without eating than they can without water, so it's important to avoid your dog losing access to water if possible. Let's take a look at the role water plays in keeping your dog healthy and how long they can survive without water.


How Long Can a Dog Go Without Water?

Typically, a dog can go 48-72 hours without water but in order to keep your dog healthy they should never go more than 6-10 hours without water. It is important to understand that your dog needs water in order to survive. Water is important for digestion, kidney function, blood flow, and brain function. It's also one of the primary ingredients in urine production. So you can see why keeping your dog hydrated is so important!

How Much Water Do Dogs Need?

It’s important to know how much water your dog needs, especially if you have one of the breeds that are prone to dehydration. Dogs need about 1/2 cup of water for every 10 pounds of body weight, so a 20-pound dog should get around 10 ounces (or 2 cups) per day.

If you want to make sure they get everything they need in addition to their food and treats, you can mix canned food with dry kibble – it’s easier on their stomachs than wet food would be and provides more moisture too!

What Factors Impact How Long A Dog Can Go Without Water?

As a responsible dog owner, it's important to ensure your furry friend has access to clean water at all times. However, there may be times when your dog goes without water for longer periods of time compared to others. There are a few factors that can impact how long a dog can go without water. These are important to understand so you can make sure your dog always has enough water to keep them satisfied.

Below are a few of the factors that will impact how long dogs can go without water:

Size & Age of Your Dog

The overall size as well as the age of your dog will impact how much water they need to consume on a daily basis but will also impact how quickly they get dehydrated. Some smaller dogs will have a faster metabolism compared to bigger dogs which can require them to consume more water. On the other hand, larger breeds will require more water in general as they need a higher quantity of water to help regulate their bodily functions because of their larger size.

Puppies will typically require larger amounts of water because of their rapidly growing bodies, fast metabolism, and fast digestive system. Along with puppies, many elderly dogs will require more frequent access to water as they may have underlying health issues that affect their ability to regulate their body fluids.

Your Dog’s Activity Levels

Activity level is another factor that can impact how long a dog can go without water. Dogs that are highly active, such as those that regularly go on long walks or participate in vigorous exercise, require more water to replenish fluids lost through panting and sweating. In contrast, dogs that lead a sedentary lifestyle or spend most of their time indoors may be able to go longer without water.

This is important to think about if your dog is lost as their activity levels might be sporadic or unpredictable as they search for their way home or go on an outdoor adventure.

The Temperature and Humidity Levels

Similar to humans, the temperature and humidity levels in the environment can also impact how long a dog can go without water. In hot and humid conditions, dogs are more prone to dehydration and may require more frequent access to water. Additionally, dogs that spend a lot of time in direct sunlight or in hot vehicles are at a higher risk of dehydration, even in moderate temperatures.

Why Is It Important for a Dog to Drink Water?

Dogs that don’t drink enough water are at risk of suffering from dehydration, which can lead to serious health complications. When you sweat, you lose both water and minerals, including sodium and potassium, that are crucial to regulating your blood pressure and maintaining your electrolyte balance.

When you’re dehydrated, your blood vessels constrict to send more blood to your vital organs, but your pooch doesn’t have that luxury. They rely on water to regulate their body temperature and flush out toxins and impurities, which is why it’s so important for them to drink water.

If your dog doesn’t drink enough water, they’ll be at risk of developing kidney and urinary tract diseases, joint damage, and heart failure.

Dehydration in Dogs

Did you know that dehydration is the most common preventable disease in dogs? It can be a serious condition, especially in the summer. Dehydration often results in weakness due to loss of fluids and electrolytes.

If your dog is eating a low-fluid diet or has some health issues, he’s at an increased risk of developing dehydration. To understand how dehydration affects dogs, let’s take a look at what causes it and how you can prevent it from happening.

What is Dehydration in Dogs?

First, we need to understand what dehydration is. The condition occurs when the amount of water decreases in the body. It can be caused by a number of reasons including diet, exercise, and health issues. By measuring the amount of water in the body, we can accurately monitor dehydration. Measuring the amount of water in the body is known as “hydration status”.

Dehydration occurs when the amount of water in the body decreases. It can be caused by a number of reasons. One of the most common causes is a sudden change in environment, such as a sudden weather change. This can be a big problem, especially for dogs who spend most of their time outdoors.

Waiting for a taxi, this pup came up and I could help but give him some water and cookies.

How Does Dehydration Affect Dogs?

Dehydration can have an immediate and long-lasting effect on dogs. It can cause a range of health issues. The most serious of these is an increased risk of a fatal infection. Dehydration is not a disease itself, but rather a symptom of an underlying problem. Therefore, it should be treated as a precursor to a more serious condition.

If your dog is showing any signs of dehydration, you need to act as soon as possible to prevent it from developing into a more serious condition. Dehydration can have an immediate and long-lasting effect on dogs. It can cause a range of health issues and can be especially dangerous for puppies and senior dogs.

How To Prevent Dehydration in Dogs

One of the best ways to prevent dehydration in dogs is by increasing their water intake. Dogs who are at an increased risk of dehydration, such as puppies, senior dogs, and dogs with health issues, should be drinking more water than the average dog.

You can encourage your dog to drink more water by adding water to their food or finding a more enticing water bowl. Additionally, if your dog is spending a lot of time outdoors during the summer, it’s important to monitor his water intake to ensure he doesn’t become dehydrated.

You should also keep an eye on your dog’s poo. If it’s watery or if your dog is having trouble pooping, it could be a sign of dehydration.

Symptoms of Dehydration in Dogs

If you notice that your dog is showing any of the following symptoms, he could be dehydrated. Make sure to take your dog to the vet as soon as possible if you notice any of these symptoms. The sooner dehydration is treated, the less likely it is to develop into a more serious condition.

  • Loss of appetite - This can be a sign that your dog is fighting off an infection. If he doesn't eat, his body won't have the energy it needs to heal and fight the infection off.
  • Lethargy - If your dog is lethargic and has less energy to play or exercise, this can be a sign that he's not drinking enough water.
  • Trouble standing - Dehydrated dogs can experience weakness due to loss of electrolytes. They also risk falling and injuring themselves.

Excessive panting - If your dog is overheated, they will naturally pant to cool themselves off. Unfortunately, too much panting can lead to a dehydrated dog. To avoid your dog becoming severely dehydrated, make sure they have ample opportunities to drink and cool down in hot weather. Like humans, a dog's water needs increase along with the temperature.

Carl the dog.

What Causes Dehydration in Dogs?

If your dog is at an increased risk of dehydration, make sure to closely monitor his water intake and limit his outdoor time during the hottest parts of the day. You can also help prevent dehydration in dogs by closely monitoring their diet.

If your dog is eating a low-fluid diet, he may not be getting enough water. This can lead to dehydration. There are a few health issues that can cause dehydration in dogs. These include kidney disease, diabetes, and urinary tract infections.

What To Do If Your Dog is Dehydrated

If you think your dog is dehydrated, get to the vet immediately. Your veterinarian will be able to determine if your dog is suffering from dehydration and recommend treatment. Severe dehydration will require IV fluids. If your dog is showing signs of dehydration, contact your vet as soon as possible. Untreated dehydration will ultimately lead to death if it's not addressed promptly.

If you have access to an electrolyte solution such as Pedialyte, use it until you can get to a vet or another medical professional. You can also give small amounts of water using a syringe (or squirt bottle). Some people have luck feeding their dogs ice cubes or canned pumpkin--both are high in water content and may help rehydrate your pup quickly without having to visit the emergency room every time they get thirsty!

There are also glycerin suppositories available through most pet stores (yes, really). While not all vets would recommend using one on your own accord due to possible complications with digestion after rectal administration of medication (and because there are other products that can do this job just fine), some say these things work like magic when it comes time for dogs who need serious rehydration efforts done quickly.

How Long Can Puppies Last Without Water?

As with adult dogs, puppies require access to water at all times to maintain their health and wellbeing. However, due to their small size and fast metabolism, puppies can become dehydrated more quickly than adult dogs. Generally, it is recommended to provide your puppy with access to water every few hours during the daytime in order to make sure they are hydrated enough to support their growth and development.

Once your puppy is around 12 weeks of age, they should typically be able to make it through the entire night without drinking water, but this might vary depending on your specific puppy. Prior to going to bed, you should make sure they have a chance to drink water, as well as a chance to use the potty. For many puppies,, you will notice they will run to the water bowl first thing in the morning to replenish their fluids.

How To Encourage a Dog To Drink More Water

Dogs will naturally regulate their water intake but in certain circumstances, a dog may not drink enough to meet its needs. This can be the case in hot weather or if your dog is unwell or recovering from an illness. Helping your canine friend drink more won’t necessarily solve the problem, but it’ll help to mitigate the symptoms of dehydration and speed up the recovery process.

A dog’s drinking habits are also strongly influenced by their upbringing and experiences as a puppy. If you adopted your dog from a shelter, don’t be surprised if they’re reluctant to drink water at first; many dogs associate drinking from a bowl with being left alone and neglected. Keeping fresh water available at all times will encourage your furry friend to stick to their hydration routine and keep them happy at the same time!

Tips to Encourage Your Dog To Drink Water

  • Offer fresh clean water at all times and make sure your dog always has access to water
  • Try a different water bowl
  • Put rocks in the water bowl to make it easier for your dog
  • Schedule a vet visit to make sure there isn't an underlying health condition causing your dog to go without water. A healthy dog won't restrict water intake on their own.
  • Exercise them regularly. Getting enough exercise will make it easier for your dog to regulate their body temperature and promote drinking.
  • Check the water temperature. You should refresh your dog's water every day. Check the bowl to make sure the water isn't too hot or too cold. Most dog's prefer drinking water that is at room temperature.
  • Add water to dog food by mixing in wet food or adding an ounce of water to dry kibble.

What If My Dog is Lost and Can't Find Water? How Long Can a Dog Go Without Water?

While a hydrated dog can survive for up to three days without water, this is less than ideal. Most dogs who go for 24 hours without drinking water will show signs of severe dehydration. They can survive for several days without food, but not water.

It's important to note that dogs rely on their instincts and are very resourceful in meeting their body's needs. Their instincts will tell them to find and drink water wherever they can, so they are unlikely to go without a drink for too long.

To avoid this worry, you can prevent your pet from getting lost by using a GPS collar. GPS collars, like the Fi collar, connect to a cellular network and give you the ability to locate your pet at anytime. Fi GPS collars give owners peace of mind, so they don't have to worry about a lost pup.


How long can a dog go without water? Dogs can go without water for up to three days, but your dog may show signs of illness after just 24 hours without drinking water. It's very important not to let your dog go without water for extended periods of time. Dehydration can be dangerous for dogs. If you suspect that your dog is dehydrated, contact your vet ASAP.

For more helpful articles and tips, check out the Off Leash blog at TryFi.com.

Want to know more about TryFi.com? The Fi Dog Collar is a GPS tracking collar that not only keeps track of your dog’s location, activity levels, and sleep patterns, but it also alerts you if your dog escapes your backyard. This is the fastest way to find your dog after an escape. Try the Fi Dog Collar today!