Can You Leave a Dog Without Water Overnight? The Pros and Cons

It is only by nighttime when you have to remove his water bowl, especially if your dog is still a puppy. We understand this may sound concerning to you, but this is advisable to avoid him from urinating or defecating in the house.

Keeping your dog hydrated at all times is vital in maintaining his good health, but free access to water must be given during the daytime. This is when your dog gets the most active plus the weather can also be a driving factor for him to ask for a refreshing bowl of water. Help him associate nighttime with rest rather than a period to drink.

Of course, there is an exception to this and we’ll find out what that is by reading further…

For How Long Can Your Dog Go Without Water?

There is no uniform answer when it comes to how long a doggo can go without water. Various factors would generally dictate how often a dog would drink, however, and that would tell us a hint on how long he can go without drinking.  To avoid life-threatening dehydration, it is best advised that you refill his water bowl, as often as needed, with fresh, clean water throughout the day.

Photo from: maiseyjane21 (IG)

The length of time of a dog not guzzling varies depending on the given factor. We’ll discuss it in detail below:


Puppies need more water intake compared to adult dogs. This would mean that the playful little doggy can’t go out and about without frequenting his water bowl. On the other hand, the adult dog typically would need an ounce of water per pound of his body weight, so depending on how much he gulped, the period on which he can go without water will differ.


A dog that lives in a hot, humid, and dry environment would need to drink water more often than the same dog breed that lives in a mild climate. Dogs regulate their body temperature by panting and nothing is better than cooling down with fresh drinking water.


Pregnant dogs will have a surging thirst for water. They would need access to it at all times. Watch out for those who are sick as well since dehydration can make any illness severe. Lack of water can affect every organ in the body, so be sure that your dog is properly taken care of.


Is your doggo energetic? If he loves to play in the yard outside the sun, then he would not do well without water for long periods. Couch potatoes, however, can last longer since they are not sweating off the water inside their bodies. 

Why Is Water Important for a Dog?

The American Kennel Club (AKC) tells us how important it is for dogs to stay hydrated. Water helps in a doggo’s metabolic system process which includes breathing, blood flow, brain activity, and digestion. Water also clears the body of harmful toxins and regulates the normal flow of oxygen throughout the body through blood. 

Most of the things your dog does such as playing, pooping, peeing, and panting mean losing water. If his body lacks 10% to 15% of it, he can end up getting sick and potentially suffer from organ failure.

How Much Water Should a Dog Drink Daily?

Puppies would generally need about half a cup of water every 2 hours. Adults require 30 ml for every pound. Meanwhile, senior doggies need about 15-30 ml for every pound as well. The total portions need to be dispersed throughout the day.

Of course, you don’t have to just fill the bowl with the typical amount of water he needs but rather fill it to the top! Since there are several dog breeds of different sizes, you can talk to your vet and ask how much your pet doggo would need.

The Pros and Cons of Leaving Water Overnight

Pros: Your dog will be able to prevent himself from experiencing dehydration if there is readily available water in his bowl in the corner.

Cons: Untrained dogs, puppies most especially, can end up soiling the house. If your pet has not been trained yet to control his bladder, it would be a disastrous idea to place a bowl of water in his crate.

Realization: Leaving water overnight is good for dogs who are already potty-trained. Puppies, however, can cause frustration to owners once they find out that their carpets need washing again. Therefore, it is considered a disadvantage to give water to a pup at night. 

Watch Out for Dehydration Signs

You might think that you are doing the right thing by taking away the water bowl from your dog at nighttime. Unfortunately, each case is unique and your dog is an individual. It is still possible that despite following the general advice, your dog would seem to not do well with it, so watch out for signs of dehydration which can be the following:

  • Pasty saliva
  • Dry gums
  • Dry nose
  • Poor skin elasticity
  • Little pee
  • Dark yellow pee
  • Lethargy or low on energy
  • Dry and sunken eyes
  • Poor appetite

What to Do if Your Dog Is No Longer Drinking

It should cause an alarm once you observe that your dog is no longer taking in water for his body. The longer this gets, the closer he is to getting dehydrated and this can, in turn, end up in death. So what should you do if he’s no longer drinking?

DAY 1: A full day without water can cause a huge difference to your dog’s body and energy levels. The more he refuses to drink, the heavier his panting will be. This behavior is his way of keeping his body cool and coping with the lack of water.

WHAT TO DO: Frequently offer him foods that are rich in moisture in small doses. Give him fresh and clean water as well to rehydrate and revitalize his body.

DAY 2: Two full days without drinking have more serious repercussions. Your dog will be more lethargic and he will exhibit behavioral and mobility issues. To minimize stress, keep him in a calm and peaceful room.

WHAT TO DO: Use a clean cloth damped in water and dab it onto his gums. This may encourage him to drink again. Keep on offering him moisture-rich food and water.

DAY 3: A Dog that is showing no progress by the third day is already in a critical condition as his symptoms get worse.

WHAT TO DO: He will need IV fluid by this time. Intervention is necessary, so bring him to the vet right away or even before the third day. Immediate medical attention can save you from bigger worries.

Frequently Asked Question: Is Tap Water Alright for a Dog?

It depends. Water quality is different wherever you go, so be careful before you run the faucet. If you are guaranteed that tap water in your area is safe for drinking, then go ahead and use it for your doggo. If you’re not sure, either opt for water bottles or set up a home filtration system.