Betty's dog blog

How long can a dog go without water

April 19, 2020


Why is my dog not drinking enough water?

There are many things that can cause your dog to not drink their water including:

  • Them having an underlying health condition
  • A change in their routine or their surroundings
  • A lack of exercise
  • When they’re recovering for surgery

It’s also important to note that dogs that eat wet food will not need to drink as much as dogs that eat dry food as wet food provides them with a source of hydration.

How do I know if my dog is drinking enough water?

In general, they will drink what they need and it is not something you need to be concerned about at all. Just make sure their water is changed daily and always available to them and they’ll take care of the rest! Betty’s drinking habits are far from routine. She will sometimes go all day and then, all of a sudden go for a mammoth drink that’ll last about 5 minutes!

If you are inclined to do so, you can calculate the rough amount they should be drinking per day using the calculation of:

60ml of water per kg of weight.

So Betty is 19kg:

19 x 60 = 1,140ml of water per day

Betty mainly eats wet dog food so that will reduce this daily figure, but she is quite active so this will increase it somewhat. You also need to factor in the time of year. In hot summer months, they’re likely to need more water. So, on balance I’d be happy if Betty drank anywhere around 500ml to 2,000ml per day. To visualise it, small bottles of water you buy from the supermarket are usually 500ml.

How can I make my dog drink water?

On occasions, we’ve run into an issue where we’ve noticed our dog is not drinking much or at all. Most recently was when Betty was recovering from surgery, but after 24 hours she was back drinking normally. We found putting some water in our hand from her bowl to her mouth encouraged her to take some water on. Here are some other things to try:

  • Giving their water bowl a good clean
  • Changing their bowl for a different material - plastic or ceramic
  • Try adding some food into the water
  • Try giving them an ice cube as a treat
  • See if they’ll eat a seedless watermelon

How long can my dog go without water?

The length of time a dog can go without water depends on their size, breed, age and health. In general, they can go no longer than a few days without water, but they should really never go more than a day without water. If they do you should contact your vet for some advice.