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How Long Can a Small Dog go Without Water?

Being a dog owner can be nerve-wracking because you are always worried about the health of your pet. The diet of your dog plays a crucial role in its health. Just as water is important for humans, it is important for dogs. You might think that animals do not drink much water; however, the truth is that dogs require the same amount of water as humans to prevent dehydration.

Large dogs can survive for at least 2-3 days without water. However, this time interval is different for small dogs. In this article, we will be specifically discussing how long a small dog can survive without water.

How long can a small dog go without water?

If you have a small dog like a Maltipoo, you might be thinking if it drinks the exact amount of water as large dogs. Owners of small dogs are more worried as they need to take appropriate steps for the well-being of the dog. The truth is, small dogs require less water than large dogs. This is mainly due to its small size and less body weight.

The length of time a small dog can go without water ranges between 2 and 3 days. Larger dogs may survive longer than that.

However, this length of time depends on other factors as well. These factors include:

·        Breed of the dog:

Small dogs have further many breeds. The water requirement differs in each breed of dog. However, the average time a small dog can survive without water is 2-3 days. If you want to know the exact period, you should search for your dog’s breed specifically. In this way, you can get a more precise answer.

·        Environment:

If you live in a cold area, your dog might not need to drink water regularly, and it would be able to go without water for a long time. On the other hand, in hot areas, the dog will feel dehydrated after staying out and might drink more water than usual. In this condition, it will be difficult for the dog to go without water for a long time.

·        Health:

A healthy dog can survive for a longer time without water as compared to an ill dog. If your dog is sick, try to keep it inside and don’t let it go out of your site. It is because ill dogs might not be able to do without water even for one day.

·        Age:

The age also matters when you want to know the time your dog can go without water. Puppies can go without water for a longer time as compared to adult dogs.

What happens if a small dog goes without water for a longer time?

It is not good for dogs to go without water for a long time as water plays a significant role in the functioning of the body. If your dog stays without water for 2-3 days, it can give rise to certain undesirable reactions in the body.

According to research, a dog’s body is made up of 60% water. A drop of even 10% of water in the body can lead to severe consequences. The dog’s energy will drain, and if you don’t realize this situation on time, it can prove fatal for your dog.

What causes a dog to stay without drinking water?

Water is required in bulk by dogs every day. They will drink it from time to time. However, if you notice that your dog is not drinking water for days, it can be a sign of worriedness for you. A few reasons that may cause a dog to go without water are:

·        Tainted water:

Dogs can detect odors and tastes in water which humans cannot. If your dog is not drinking water, it may be because it is not clean or contains dirt. Prefer giving pure, clean, and dirt-free water to your dog.

·        Illness:

Illness is the most important factor that stops the dog from drinking water. Urinary tract infections cause this illness.

Urinary tract infections badly affect the urinary system, especially the kidneys. Your dog might also start urinating more in this condition. The symptoms of urinary tract infections are:

·         A high concentration of urine.

·         Inability to have a regular flow of urine

·         Lack of power

·         Weak immune system

Such infections are more common in female dogs. Their pain is so severe that it can cause a dog to avoid water even for days.

·        Injury:

Any injury in the mouth or bacteria accumulation in the teeth can hurt the dog, and it won’t be able to drink or eat properly. The injuries can be:

·         Periodontal disease

·         Tooth root abscess

·         Fracture

·         Dislocation

·         Mouth cancer

This condition should not be left unchecked. Mouth cancer is usually common among older dogs. However, it can occur irrespective of the age of the dog. Biting a hard object can also cause a tooth to break.

What happens when a small dog becomes dehydrated?

Dehydration is not good for the dog, and it can prove fatal, especially for puppies and small dogs.

Due to prolonged water deficiency, the internal organs can get damaged. If the condition lasts for too long, the organs such as the kidneys and liver start to shut down. It will lead to death shortly.

The symptoms of dehydration include:

·         Sunken eyes

·         Lethargy

·         Dry nose and gums

·         Depleted skin elasticity

·         Reduced appetite

·         Abnormal panting

Dehydration should remain unchecked as it can become fatal in a short time.


Small dogs can usually go for 2-3 days without water. However, the time period differs depending on the environment, breed, and health. Some health conditions can also lead to less water intake. If your dog does not drink the required water, get it checked by a vet as soon as possible. If left unchecked, it can lead to dehydration and become fatal.

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