How long can a dog live just drinking water? Here’s the Answer

How long can dogs go without food when sick?

Have you ever wanted to throw up at the smell of food when sick? Your dog can relate. Dogs often stop eating to help themselves recover faster when sick – the less energy spent digesting food, the more energy spent fighting illness!

While this is something that is beneficial for your dog, it is also something to monitor. More than two days without food can make situations worse. The American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition carried out a study in 2015 that looked at 490 dogs hospitalised for one day. They found that dogs who ate enough food to cover their resting energy requirements were more likely to be discharged alive. Those who didn’t came off not as fortunate.

Photo by Marek Szturc on Unsplash

How long can a dog go without water?

Just like humans, dogs won’t survive long without water. Your dog may go without water for three days, however a healthy dog should never go without water for a day. If your dog goes three days without water they will need immediate hydration and medical intervention.

A general rule of thumb to follow is twice the amount of water to food.

‘If scruffy eats two cups of food, he will need five cups of water.’

More water may be required depending on the temperature. If it’s hot outside and you’re thirsty, good chance your dog is too.

It is important your dog has access to fresh clean water at all times. If you notice they haven’t drunk water from their bowl in 12 hours, contact your vet. This can result in dehydration which unfolds a plethora of problems.

Photo by Marian Kroell on Unsplash

Change in the environment

Small changes in your dogs environment can bring on a loss of appetite. If you notice this, look for environmental changes such as:

  • Travelling
  • New family members
  • Change in weather
  • Change in feeding schedule
  • Absence of family member
  • Moving houses
  • How would you feel if you had to eat the same meal day in and out? Exactly. This is how your dog feels. If your dog begins to eat less or refuse food they have eaten in the past, they’re most likely bored with what they’re eating.

    On the same note, if a new food is refused they most likely do not like what you’re putting down. Some experts in the field recommend playing the waiting game as your dog won’t starve itself to death. However, if you’re new to owning dogs and feel uncomfortable with this, try these solutions:

  • Try different flavours
  • Try different brands
  • Try different foods
  • Your dog may also refuse food when you go from home-cooked meals full of flavour, to flavourless wet kibble. Check to see the food is not spoiled, and consider if the smell and taste is different to previous given food.

    Photo by Robert Eklund on Unsplash

    Can You Survive With Only Water?