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How long can a dog go without water?

How long can a dog go without water?
how long can a dog go without water

Dehydration in dogs is a serious issue many might not even be thinking about. Just as water is crucial for the health of humans, it is as important for your dog’s health too! But what if they don’t want to drink? How long can a dog go without water?

It’s a fact that without enough access to clean water, your dog’s vital organs will fail which could potentially lead to death!

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Many dog owners whose pooches do not want to drink wonder, enerally speaking, how long can a dog go without water? And in this article, we are going to answer that exact question.

How long can a dog go without water?

There are many reasons why someone would be researching how long a dog can go without water. If your dog is simply refusing water and food or if you have gone to work without refilling your dog’s water bowl.

Both of these scenarios are very possible to happen but stay calm. Generally speaking, a dog can go between two and three days without water and up to five days without food.

The number of days how long dogs can go without water is different from dog to dog.

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If a dog has health issues, like problems with its kidneys, it will be able to go fewer days without water. But generally, three days is the maximum.

This being said, we need to add that, just because your dog CAN go three days without water, that doesn’t mean they SHOULD!

Dog drinking water out of owner's hand
Dogs need to drink plenty of water in order to stay healthy!

Signs of dehydration in dogs

Dehydration does not only occur when your dog hasn’t been drinking anything for three days straight. Dehydration is actually quite common, and many dog parents don’t even know the signs of it.

It’s important to be able to tell when your dog is dehydrated, to know the signs, in order to help your dog before it’s too late.

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The signs of dehydration dog owners need to look out for are:

  • Poor appetite
  • Lethargy/low energy
  • Sunken eyes
  • Excessive panting
  • Dry gums and nose
  • Low skin elasticity

If you notice any of these signs, please contact your veterinarian as soon as possible, he might be able to help your dog.

Causes of dehydration in dogs

There are many causes and reasons for dehydration in dogs, it’s not only when they don’t have access to clean, fresh water.

  • Cold weather – Dogs tend to drink less water during the colder months of the year. When it’s hot dogs drink plenty because water regulates their body temperature. However, during the colder months, dogs aren’t losing fluid as they would during the summer, therefore they aren’t drinking enough.

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  • The shock of being in an unfamiliar place – If you’ve gone on vacation and left your dog with friends or family this can actually cause your dog to be nervous or cautious. As a result, your dog might refuse to eat and drink.
  • Some kind of disease or illness – Diabetes and kidney ailments for example can cause your dog to either minimize his water intake or stop drinking altogether.

Excessive water drinking

Another problem dog owners face related to water consumption is excessive water drinking. Some dogs tend to drink so much water that their owners wonder “Why is my dog drinking so much water?”.

Just as it is a problem if dogs aren’t drinking water, drinking too much water can also be a problem.

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First we need you to know that if you notice your dog is drinking much more water than usual, please immediately contact your veterinarian.

Your vet will check your dog for the most common medical reasons for excessive thirst which are:

  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Kidney Disease
  • Cushing’s Syndrome
  • Diarrhea or Vomiting
  • Pyometra

Other causes of excessive thirst in dogs:

  • Dehydration
  • Liver disease
  • Cancer
  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Medications, including steroids and diuretics
  • Heatstroke or hyperthermia
  • Diabetes insipidus
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Parasites
  • Hypercalcemia

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In conclusion, dogs can go between two and three days without water. But just because they can, doesn’t mean they should.

You as a responsible dog owner, need to be aware of how much water your dog is drinking and make sure he or she drinks enough.

Try to encourage your dog to drink more water by putting more water bowls around the house, and also feed them canned food.

Lastly, if you think that your dog is drinking more water than usual, or excessive amounts of water contact your veterinarian. Your vet will do necessary tests in order to find the reason why your dog is drinking more and whether it’s due to something serious.