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How long can dogs go without water?

If your dog doesn't drink enough water it can seriously affect their health and if not resolved quickly, can lead to organ failure. Our Perry vets share the signs of dehydration in dogs and the importance of ensuring that your dog has access to water at all times.

Dehydration in Dogs

While your dog may drink frequently, they are also losing water constantly. If your pet does not drink enough water, it can lead to dehydration and cause various health problems. Lack of fluid intake in your pet's body could restrict blood flow and lessen the amount of oxygen that reaches the organs and tissues. This makes access to water, to keep your dog hydrated, crucial at all times.

Why do dogs get dehydrated?

Here are some of the most common causes of dog dehydration:

  • Heatstroke or fever
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Pain
  • Vomiting, diarrhea, or panting
  • Frequent urination caused by kidney failure and diabetes

What are the signs of dog dehydration?

While there are many symptoms associated with dehydration in dogs, some of the most common are:

  • Less elastic skin
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting with or without diarrhea
  • Less energy
  • Fatigue
  • Panting
  • Hollow and dry-looking eyes
  • Dry nose
  • Dry and moist gums
  • Thick saliva
It's never a good idea to let your dog be dehydrated for too long, so make sure you give your dog some water and contact your vet promptly if you notice any of these signs.

How much water does my dog need?

Water makes up more than 70% of a dog's body weight, so they must drink plenty of water every day. A good rule of thumb for dogs is to drink one ounce of water per pound of body weight. A 25-pound dog requires 25 oz. (or 3 cups) of water per day, whereas a 75-pound dog needs nearly 2 liters. This is spread out throughout the day, and there are other ways to meet their hydration needs besides giving them small amounts of water.

How long can dogs safely go without water?

Under normal conditions, a dog can go 6 - 10 hours without water without becoming dehydrated. So don't worry if you forget to refill his water bowl before leaving for work, or if he knocks his bowl over while you're gone.

The general rule of thumb is that a dog can go 72 hours without water, but dehydration symptoms appear after the first 24 hours. Though some have suggested withholding water to keep dogs from urinating in the house or in their crate all day while their owner is at work, you should never leave your dog alone without water for any reason.

Ensuring that your dog is hydrated and fed is crucial to their health and survival, so if you plan on leaving your dog alone for a while and are wondering how long can dogs go without food and water then you may want to consult with your vet or book them a stay at a kennel.

What if my dog won't drink?

Healthy dogs are generally good at controlling their water intake, but if they refuse to drink water, it could be due to an underlying issue such as a stomach upset or an intestinal or urinary blockage.

It is critical to take action to get a dog to drink water, especially if the dog has been vomiting or experiencing consistent diarrhea. This is especially dangerous because it loses moisture quickly without consuming enough water or food to compensate.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Has your dog stopped drinking water? There may be an underlying issue at hand. Contact our Perry vets today to schedule an exam as soon as possible.

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Looking for quality veterinary care in a warm and friendly atmosphere? Westmoreland & Slappey Animal Hospital in Perry, GA is accepting new patients! Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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