How Long Can a Dog Go Without Water
How long can a dog live without water? If you are asking yourself this question, the chances are that you have noticed that your canine buddy is not drinking water. Or, you may have left home for work and forgotten to leave some water for your dog. Whatever the case may be, if you are concerned about your dog not drinking enough water or any water at all, then you are worried about dog dehydration. Dogs can stay without water for a certain period of time. However, just as it has been said that water is life, after a particular period of time, dehydration will put the life of your dog at serious risk.
How Long Can a Dog Go Without Water?
The simple answer is, a dog can survive for three days without water. However, by the third day, it will be in very poor health and bad physical condition. In fact, such a long period of dehydration can cause some permanent damage to some of its organs. Therefore, it is critical that such a dog be taken to the vet as a matter of urgency as it will require hydration immediately. Just like their human owners, dogs are mammals and, therefore, require a lot of water on a daily basis. In fact, eighty percent of a dog’s body is composed of water. And, although a dog’s body is able to derive moisture from the food it eats, this comes nowhere near the required amount of water it needs. A dog’s body needs to be so well-hydrated that even a ten percent reduction of its water content is enough to put its health at serious risk. Thus, if you notice that your dog is not drinking water, you should not hesitate to visit the vet.
How Much Water Is Enough for a Dog?
If you have ever asked yourself the question how much water should my dog drink, you first need to understand that not all dogs can consume the same amount of water a day. How much water each dog consumes depends on the specific dog breed. However, there is a general rule of thumb to keep in mind – a dog should have at least an ounce of water every day for every pound that they weigh. Therefore, if your dog weighs twenty pounds, for example, then it should have at least twenty ounces of water in a day. If you do not know the weight of your dog, a simple weighing scale will help. Ensuring that your dog consumes the right amount of water every day is absolutely vital for its health. Hydration is the keyword, and aside from drinking water, there are other ways of ensuring that that your dog is hydrated. If you have a large dog, the chances are that it will consume a lot of water. Thus, you need to find ways of getting extra water into their daily diet.
Causes of Dog Dehydration
Generally, dogs love to drink water. Thus, it is very unusual if your dog rejects water. However, on the very rare occasions that it refuses to drink, here are some factors that may be behind it.
- Sore mouth: A dog’s mouth may become sore due to injuries. This could range from a cut on its tongue to a fragment of stick stuck in its gum. In this situation, the pain will cause your dog to refuse to drink water or eat any food.
- Illness: Just like humans, dogs feel awful when they’re ill, and this affects their appetite and drinking habit. Also, if your sick dog vomits a lot out of ill health, then its body will lose a lot of water. Other causes of loss of water from a dog’s body are diarrhea and nausea.
- Access: Before your dog can drink water, it needs to have access to it. If water is not available to it, or the dog cannot access the water sauce, it will become dehydrated.
- Warm weather: Dogs, in general, lose a lot of water quickly during hot and warm temperatures.
Warning Signs of Dog Dehydration
It is very important to track and document how much water your dog drinks in a day. Doing so will help you notice early when your dog starts drinking less. However, there are some warning signs of dog dehydration to look out for.
- Lack Of Appetite: When a dog is dehydrated, swallowing food will become a problem – a painful one. Even if it manages to get any food down, it will be difficult to digest it. Thus, if you notice that your dog is refusing to eat its meals, it could be suffering from dehydration.
- Lethargy: Dehydration can cause your dog to lack energy. Inadequate supply of water to its body can affect the amount of blood that is fed to its muscles. This will cause your dog to lose energy and become lethargic.
- Panting Excessively: Dogs pant when the weather is hot, and their bodies begin to lose water. But when you notice that your dog is panting excessively and non-stop, it is a strong indicator of dehydration – and one you should not ignore.
- Sunken Eyes: When your dog begins to have sunken eyes that are noticeable, this is a red alert for serious dehydration. It needs immediate attention.
- Low Skin Elasticity: If your dog’s skin does not bounce right up when you tug at it, it means that its body is lacking moisture.
- Dry Nose: The gum and nose of a healthy should always feel moist to touch. When a dog is dehydrated, the nose and gums will become dry. The nose will also become noticeably cracked.
Prevention is always better than cure. There are a few things you can try to ensure that your dog is not dehydrated. The first thing is always to make water available next to the dog’s food. Your dog’s water bowl should also be big enough to contain more than the amount of water it needs in a day. Also, ensure that your dog’s diet contains a lot of wet food. This is because a dog’s body can absorb moisture from wet dog food. You can also simply mix their dry dog food with some water. Avoid feeding salty food to your dog, as this will cause it to become excessively thirsty. Ensure that there is always enough ventilation at home to prevent your dog from becoming very hot often.
In a nutshell, a dog can go for three days without water. However, it will be in a very poor physical condition by the third day. And, if nothing is done immediately, this will be fatal. A dog’s body needs a daily supply of adequate water to keep it functioning and healthy. Also, be sure to monitor your dog’s daily water consumption as this will help you notice early when something is wrong.