How Long Can a Dog Go Without Water?

Dogs are very resilient. This is due in large part to the fact that they were once wild animals that needed to survive without basic needs at times due to weather and other conditions. However, it is important to remember that even though a dog may be able to survive a couple of days without water, that doesn’t mean that they won’t have health issues if that occurs.

In all reality, there really isn’t a set amount of time that a dog can survive without water. Every dog is different and the answer to this question depends on a large number of factors. If the dog was very hydrated before it was unable to get more water it could be able to survive a couple of days. This is especially true if they are not exposed to extremely hot or cold conditions. In other cases, a dog could not be able to last more than one day without water due to their health or weather conditions.

Dehydration in Dogs

A dog really is going to have the best health if they have access to water at all times. All animals have a tendency to become dehydrated rather quickly. Water is essential for all organ function and while it is possible to go without it for some time, doing so is going to put the animal at a higher risk of developing more serious conditions in the future.

Dog Dehydration Symptoms

The effects of being dehydrated too often can be rather severe. The kidneys are an organ that can face serious damage if the body does not have enough water. It leads to toxicity to build up, overworking the organ. Kidneys are critical for health, which is just one reason it is important for a dog to have access to water at all times.


The water needs of a dog can vary a great deal. The size of the dog of course plays a large role in how much water it will need each day to remain in good health. The weather in the area that they live is an important factor as well. Not only does heat and cold weather extremes lead to faster dehydration, but particularly dry climates can pull a great deal of water out of the dog.

The general guideline is that a dog should have about an ounce of water for each pound that they weigh each day. Of course every dog is different and some simply will not have a desire to drink that much. If you find that your dog is drinking a great deal more water than that then it could be a sign that they are facing a serious health condition such as diabetes, and definitely need to be seen by a vet as soon as possible.

While dogs can usually go for a few days without water, it definitely is not a good idea to allow them to do so. Just like humans they should be regularly drinking water through the day. Keeping this in mind can help to ensure that they remain in the best health possible.