Why Don’t Dogs Drink Water

There are numerous potential causes for your dog’s refusal to drink water.

Change in Weather

A change in the weather is one factor that could be causing your dog to drink less water. Many dogs will reduce their water consumption in the fall, alarming their owners. It’s likely that the cooler weather has just made them less thirsty. This is also true if your dog hasn’t had a lot of activity.

They might not be as eager to slop up a gallon of water as soon as they reach their bowl if there isn’t a lot of effort involved. As long as your dog doesn’t entirely stop drinking, this is completely normal.

Unfamiliar or New Places

Your dog may generally act differently if you’re in a strange or new environment. They may not be as animated and may not eat or drink as frequently as they usually do. Dogs have extremely sensitive nostrils, and if they detect the smell of an unfamiliar water source, their genetic makeup may warn them that it is unsafe. One of the many survival strategies they had acquired over the years was this.

Try taking a water bottle or bowl from home if you’re going somewhere new to make him feel comfortable.

Health Problems

The amount of water your dog consumes can also be affected by a variety of health conditions. The two main causes of decreased thirst are bladder infections and urinary tract infections. Diabetes or renal problems are further possibilities.

It’s crucial to call your veterinarian and discuss the situation if you detect any further symptoms, such as lethargy and lack of appetite, and you suspect something may be wrong. Call an emergency vet straight away if your vet isn’t accessible and your dog needs care right now. Keep track of how much water your dog is consuming so that the vet can determine what’s wrong.

Old Age

Your dog may begin to consume less water as he ages. It can be because entering the other room requires a lot of work or just because his thirst and hunger receptors are beginning to wane. Dogs who are older typically get less exercise and exert themselves less than canines who are younger. It’s normal for your dog to drink less water at this time.

If your dog is older, you should still make sure they are getting enough water. It could be a good idea to switch to wet food at this time to allow for some water intake that isn’t just gulping it down from the bowl.

Associate the Activity with a Negative Experience

Some canines might associate drinking water with unpleasant experiences. If you adopt a dog from a shelter, he might not want to drink from the same dish the shelter gave him because he equates it with a bad memory.

There are several possible causes for his unpleasant emotions. It’s also possible that he’s just extremely finicky and doesn’t like the bowl’s design or position. If you think this might be the case, consider getting a brand-new dish with a completely different appearance and setting it somewhere else. This might immediately resolve the situation.

Injury in Their Mouth

Your dog’s mouth injury is another another potential cause of his refusal to drink water. If you find that he isn’t drinking, look inside his mouth for rocks, plastic, or splinters. You might be able to remove it on your own or you might require your veterinarian’s assistance.


Another possible cause of your dog’s refusal to drink water is anxiety. One of the children may have departed for college, there may have been a death in the close family, or there may have been a divorce. Your dog is clearly suffering from extreme separation anxiety in this situation. Your dog’s partner may lose the desire to eat and drink as a result of that kind of adjustment.

This could also be problematic if you’ve just moved into a new home. Your dog may need some time to adjust to the sights, sounds, and smells of the new environment. Just like it is for us, it might be overwhelming for them, and one response might be to disregard his water bowl.

If my dog won’t drink water, what should I do?

Every situation calls for a dog to drink frequently. Your dog can become dehydrated if you don’t. There are a few things you can do to further entice your dog to drink water if they aren’t doing so now:

  • Positioning: Sometimes, simply shifting the location of the water bowl will help.
  • Food mixing: Combining wet dog food and water is another option. Your dog won’t drink from the bowl, but if you combine water with food, he may happily do so.
  • Additionally, it is important to check that the water bowl is clean. Even if it’s easy to do, it might be effective.
  • Change the water bowl: Try to stay away from metal bowls because your dog can be afraid of the noise. If at all feasible, use a glass water bowl.

Why doesn’t my dog need water?

There are a variety of causes for dogs to drink less water. Similar to us, some dogs naturally consume more water than others. If YOUR dog experiences an abrupt change, that is the main worry. It is cause for concern and a reason to call your veterinarian right away if your dog’s water intake abruptly stops or significantly decreases.

For the following reasons, some dogs will typically drink less:

  • Diet. Dogs who eat canned food will drink less water because canned food contains 80% water and dry food 10%.
  • Lifestyle. Dogs who lead inactive lives could drink less water than dogs who have active lives. Fluid loss is a natural side effect of exercise.
  • Environment. Dogs that spend most of their time indoors and in temperate temperatures require less water. As the seasons change and the weather cools, some dogs will drink less.
  • Stress and anxiety. Water intake might be reduced as a result of stress and anxiety brought on by new experiences or situations.
  • Health issues. Any condition that makes a dog unwell can reduce thirst. This includes conditions that cause nausea, mouth discomfort or damage, arthritis, cancer, kidney disease or failure, bladder infection, viral or bacterial infection, and more.
  • older age. Pets who are older typically drink less water. This may be particularly true for pets who have movement challenges and find it challenging to reach their water bowl.
  • Water source change. If a dog is used to drinking from the faucet, a well, or bottled water, they won’t drink from anything else.

Why is my dog drinking water yet eating?

Your dog may require less water if the weather is cooler and there is less activity. Also bear in mind that fresh and canned dog food contain significantly more water than dry food and may provide the majority of your dog’s daily water requirements.

Additionally, even though it may seem disgusting, many dogs prefer to drink from sources other than the bowl for a variety of reasons, including convenience, taste, and behavior. So even though you might be thirsty when you arrive home from the lake, your dog could have easily consumed enough water for the day if they were swimming with you.

While some dogs prefer water that tastes like a pond or a swimming pool, others are picky about their water source and may decide not to drink from a bowl that they perceive as being filthy or having a strange flavor. For instance, many dogs will steer clear of water containing chemicals like dental health vitamins. Or perhaps a home’s new water filter needs to be adjusted so that your dog can drink from it.

Some dogs won’t drink from the water bowl because it’s inaccessible or unsettling, like the laundry room when the washing machine is running.

On occasion, one house pet will keep an eye on the water bowl to prevent access by other animals. If that’s the case, adding more water bowls will help while you call your veterinarian to resolve the behavior issue with your other pet.

There are just a few medical explanations for why a dog won’t drink water but will eat food. Pain in some place is the first. A dog only drinks when he is already at the food bowl to eat because additional trips to the water bowl may be difficult due to joint or muscular pain.

An unwillingness to eat or drink is also likely to be brought on by mouth or throat pain. In addition, even though they can feed regularly, some puppies may be born with a congenital condition that makes it difficult for them to sip water. (Thank goodness, this ailment is uncommon.)

A veterinarian should examine your dog if it isn’t eating or drinking, as this indicates a medical problem that is far more likely to exist.

Can a dog go without water all day?

Your pet can go for around 72 hours without water (three days). After the first 24 hours, though, dehydration symptoms will become apparent. If you go above that, your animal friend will start to get progressively weaker.

A dog can go for eight hours without water.

Your dog is a treasured family member who needs to drink a lot of water every day, just like the rest of your family. However, in our haste to get to work, we forgot to restock our dog’s water bowl before leaving. Your dog may occasionally show no interest in drinking water owing to an illness, a change in lifestyle, or overall nervousness. How long can your dog go without drinking without getting dehydrated?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer for evaluating how long your dog can go without water. Here are a few things to think about:


A puppy, for example, can go longer without water than an adult dog since a puppy requires far less water per day. Long-term dehydration will definitely worsen your elderly dog’s health problems, which already exist.


Make sure your dog drinks water every day if they have any health difficulties, as dehydration in dogs affects every organ and makes any condition worse. Obviously, a pregnant dog will also need to drink a lot of water every day.

Weather Conditions

Your dog will survive longer without water if you reside in a warm area than if you do in a hot, dry, or humid region. Keep in mind that increased panting during heat causes increased water loss.


Breeds with thick, long coats, breeds that are more active, and breeds that drool frequently would require extra water each day to make up for typical water loss. Your dog will require more water replacement as time goes on because of normal activities and behaviors that cause water loss.

Overall Lifestyle

Your dog might be able to tolerate the situation for longer than a more active dog if she is a couch potato (we love them!). In general, the more active your dog is, the more water he’ll require, and the worse off he’ll be if he goes for extended periods of time without getting any.

A dog may go 6 to 10 hours without drinking normally without experiencing any negative effects. Don’t freak out if you forget to refill his water bowl before you leave for work or if your dog knocks it over while you’re away. He will be OK as long as he is indoors, cool, and in good health.

Your dog can generally go for up to 72 hours without water, but after the first 24 hours, the consequences of dehydration will start to show. Beyond that, you can be harming someone permanently. Maintaining the health of our dogs requires the same level of commitment as maintaining the health of our own and our families.

Although some people have suggested depriving dogs of water to prevent them from eliminating indoors or in crates all day while their owners are at work, it’s crucial to never purposefully deprive your dog of water for any reason.

What Happens to a Dehydrated Dog?

You are aware of the benefits of being hydrated, but due to unavoidable circumstances, your dog may not have access to water or may not want to drink because of an illness. Examine what a dog might go through daily as he becomes more and more thirsty.

Day 1

Your dog can be less energetic than usual after a full day without water. You might see him panting more heavily as he becomes more and more dehydrated. Your dog uses this method to calm down.

Provide tiny amounts of moisture-rich meals and fresh, chilled water on a regular basis. This will assist in cooling a dog’s body gradually and helping to rehydrate him.

Day 2

Dogs who go two whole days without drinking water will experience more severe signs of dehydration. You’ll probably detect certain flaws and behavioral problems. Lethargy may limit mobility, so it’s best to confine your dog to a small, calm, and quiet part of the house while you give him fluids.

Bring him some water and foods that are high in moisture to get him to drink. You can dab some water on his gums using a fresh, damp washcloth. He might be inspired to take a sip as a result.

Day 3

Your dog is in serious condition after three days without any water or food that contains moisture. Your dog requires intravenous fluids in order to safely rehydrate. Your dog will be frail and incredibly lethargic at this critical period. He probably won’t be able to walk at all or very far.

Intervention is required right away to stop organ damage and perhaps death. You should take your dog to the vet right away if he is flat and unable to drink. Your dog needs immediate medical assistance if he vomits or has diarrhea during this time because he is very dehydrated.