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How Long Can a Dog Go Without Water?


How Long Can a Dog Live Without Water?

When it comes to your dog, they are going to naturally be a very active animal.  They love to run around, jump, and can even do some very acrobatic things that will surprise you no matter how many times they have done them.  However, as with any animal or even yourself, you are eventually going to see that your dog is huffing and puffing, in need of a nice cool drink of water.

Did You Know This?

The body of a dog is going to be made of about 80% water, which is actually going to be a few percent higher than that of a regular human.  Humans are only going to have around 65-70% of their body being made of water.  So, when you see that your dog is consistently drinking all of the water that you have set out for them in their bowl, it is because they need more water than we at any given time.

With that being said, if you ever notice that your dog is looking as though they are in serious need of a drink, you should always do your best to give it to them as quickly as you possibly can.  This is going to be especially true if they have been doing any type of intense activity, or if they are simply outside on a day that is just too hot.  Think of your dog just like you would yourself in the sense that if you do not meet your daily requirement for getting enough water, it is possible that they will become dehydrated.  If you have to leave your dog alone for whatever reason and they do not have access to water, there is a very good chance that they will end up having some form of dehydration.

So, you may be wondering exactly how long your dog can actually go without having any water?  The answer to that question is going to be not long.  

Signs Your Dog May be Dehydrated

One of the best sings that your dog will give you to let you know that they are dehydrated is going to be how they look.  If your dog is dehydrated, you are normally going to see them panting with their tongue hanging out, they are going to have a nose that is dry, their eyes will look as though they are sunken in, and they will have various agitated movements (this is going to be something that they do while they are actively looking for water to drink).

But even with these signs, they are not necessarily going to give them all off when they are dehydrated.  If your dog is sick or has any type of serious illness, they can very well be dehydrated without showing any of the above listed symptoms.

What this means, is that you as a dog owner are going to need to investigate a little bit further in order to determine whether or not your dog is actually losing fluids and is dehydrated.  This means that you will need to get a little closer to them and see if they still have saliva or if that same saliva is thick, or if their mouth has simply run dry and has no saliva at all.

Another sign of dehydration in your dog is going to be their skin.  If your dog’s skin has lost any of its elasticity, it can mean that they are dehydrated.  You can easily measure your pup’s skin elasticity by measuring how much of your dog’s scruff you can pull.  If their skin takes a little bit of time to get back to its original form, there is a very good chance that your dog needs some water as they are dehydrated.  Another indicator that your dog is dehydrated is going to be if your dog is apparently lethargic and is refusing to drink any water at all, even if there is water that is sitting right in front of them.  If this is the case, you are going to need to move quickly and be sure that your dog gets some much-needed water before their condition gets any worse.

What Causes Dehydration in Your Dog?

One of the very first reasons that your dog may become dehydrated is going to be because they simply do not have any water available to them.  This is something that can happen if you leave your dog at home by themselves for an extended period of time, not leaving them enough water to make it through the amount of time that they are going to be by themselves.  So just remember that very similar to humans, water is going to be something that must be made available as it is going to be very important for your dog to have access to it at all times.  This is because water is going to help your dog by:

  • Helping carry numerous nutrients in and out of your dog’s body cells
  • It will help aid them in their food absorption
  • It helps support all of their joints
  • Water aids in your dog’s ability to have solid bowel movements
  • It keeps them nice and refreshed throughout the day

As mentioned earlier, if your dog is ill, they can still be dehydrated and not show any of the ‘normal’ signs that a non-sick dog would show for dehydration.  In fact, there are even going to be some illnesses that include diarrhea and fever, that are actually going to drain your dog of fluids that much faster than when they are normal and healthy.  If they are suffering from either of these conditions, they will begin to vomit or even urinate much more than they normally would.

Another big factor that people tend to forget about when it comes to your dog and dehydration, is going to be the weather.  If it is extra hot out on a particular day, be sure that your dog has more than enough water to help them stay cool and refreshed.


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