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 Brooklyn vets share the signs of dehydration in dogs and the importance of ensuring that your dog has access to water at all times.
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 crucial at all times.
Why does my dog get dehydrated?
Here are some of the most common causes of dog dehydration:
- Heatstroke or fever
- 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
- Hollow and dry-looking eyes
- Dry nose
- Dry and moist gums
- Thick saliva
How much water does my dog need?
Water accounts for 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 one ounce of water for every pound of body weight. So a 25-pound dog requires 25 oz. (or 3 cups) of water per day, while a 75-pound dog requires nearly 2 liters. This is spread out over their day, and there are other ways to supplement their hydration needs rather than offering them small amounts of water.
How long can dogs 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 the effects of dehydration become apparent after the first 24 hours. Though some have suggested withholding water to prevent dogs from urinating in the house or their crate all day while their owner is at work, it is critical to 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 has had consistent diarrhea. This is especially dangerous because it rapidly loses moisture while not 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.