How Long Does It Take To Rehydrate a Dog?

Dogs and humans are somewhat similar despite people’s lack of fur – namely, we both need water to survive. But what happens when a dog isn’t getting enough water? Are there signs you need to look out for, and how long does it take to rehydrate a dog? 

There’s no specific amount of time to rehydrate dogs. Each dog requires different amounts of water depending on its size and how dehydrated it is. For example, a 5-lb (2.27 kg) dog needs 5 oz (147.87 ml) of water a day. If your dog’s dehydration isn’t better after a few hours, you should call a vet. 

It’s important to know if your dog is dehydrated and what you need to do to fix it. Read on to learn more about canine dehydration and how to avoid and remedy it. 

How Long It Takes To Combat Your Dog’s Dehydration

Typically, you can treat dehydration at home, provided you know what you’re doing. I’d like to clarify that although there’s no specific amount of time it takes for canines to recover from dehydration, it shouldn’t take longer than a few hours. 

If your dog isn’t feeling better after that, then you should call your vet. Severe dehydration will require intravenous fluids administered by the veterinarian. 

To alleviate dehydration, bring your dog inside, get them to drink fluids, and monitor them. Dogs that show signs of recovery should be allowed to rest in a cool, indoor location.

How Much Water Do Dogs Need?

The average human adult male needs about 15.5 cups (3.67 L) and an adult female 11.5 cups (2.72 L) of water daily. Dog’s hydration needs work a little differently, though. The amount of water a dog needs corresponds directly to its weight. 

Dogs’ daily water requirements differ depending on the circumstances. The typical adult dog will need as much water as their weight in ounces. Puppies need a half cup (0.12 L) of water every two hours. Water intake may differ if a dog is ill, in pain, or eats food with high moisture content. 

If you have a Pekingese dog and aren’t sure how much water to give it, ask yourself how much it weighs. Most Pekingese will weigh between seven to 14 lbs (3.18 to 6.35 kg). So if you have a nine-pound. (4.08-kg) Pekingese dog, it’ll need one oz (29.57 ml) of water per pound of weight each day. (i.e., A nine-pound dog will need nine oz (266.16 ml) of water.)

Pregnant dogs often drink more water than usual. If you’ve got a pregnant dog that’s been hitting the water bowl more often than normal, there likely isn’t cause for alarm. However, you can ask your vet any questions about the pregnancy and water intake to be safe.

Puppies have higher water requirements than adult dogs. Newborn puppies get hydrated by their mother’s milk, but weaned puppies will need about half a cup (0.12 L) of water every two hours. 

How To Tell if Your Dog Is Dehydrated

Dehydration happens when your dog’s body doesn’t have enough fluid to sustain its standard functionality. Heat, sickness, exercise: There are many reasons why your dog may be dehydrated. Dehydration could also explain a dog that’s recently been drinking more.

There are various ways to tell if your dog is dehydrated, including checking their skin’s elasticity. A well-hydrated canine’s skin will immediately snap back. It takes two days for dogs to start displaying signs of dehydration. Slowly rehydrate your dog; drinking water too fast can cause vomiting. 

Lack of proper hydration is detrimental to your canine friend. We’re going to talk about how to spot dehydration and what to do if your dog needs water.

Signs of Dehydration

Usually, dehydration causes and symptoms go hand in hand. If your dog displays vomiting or fever, odds are they’ll show some of these signs and vice versa. If your dog isn’t showing any of the causes of dehydration listed above, there are observable signs that’ll tip you off. 

Here are a few physical symptoms of dehydration that you should look out for:

  • Dry nose
  • Dry and moist gums
  • Thickened saliva
  • Lack of energy
  • Vomiting (sometimes combined with diarrhea)
  • Fatigue
  • Sunken, dry eyes
  • Skin lacking elasticity
  • No appetite

Causes of Dehydration

There are various reasons why a dog might be suffering from dehydration. None of them are good, admittedly, but some are worse than others. We’ve put together a list of factors that can result in dehydration. Call your vet in the event your dog is experiencing any of these:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Panting
  • Heatstroke
  • Fever
  • Urination caused by kidney failure and diabetes

Checking for Dehydration

It may not be too apparent if your pup is suffering insufficient levels of hydration. Some dogs may not display sunken eyes, and they may not urinate excessively either. There are two ways you can check if your canine companion needs more water. 

The first thing you can try is gently pinching their skin and pulling it upward. Softly let go of your dog’s skin and see how quickly it snaps back into place. Dehydrated dogs’ skin takes longer to set back against their bodies. 

The second way to check your pups’ hydration is the “gum check.” Do a fast, gentle poke against your pets’ gums with a finger to perform the gum check. Healthy, hydrated dogs’ gums will turn white then flush pink in rapid fashion. 

A dog in need of hydration’s gums will take longer to turn back pink.


Like people, dogs need hydrating fluids to function and survive. At most, rehydrating your pup shouldn’t take more than a few hours. Attempts to rehydrate that take longer than that are likely severe, and you should consult with a vet. They’ll likely want to see your dog themselves.

If you’re not sure your dog is dehydrated, then look out for sunken eyes, non-elastic skin, vomiting, and lack of appetite. Causes of dehydration are frequent urination, vomiting, nausea, and fever. To avoid dehydration, make sure your pup gets their daily water intake. Give them an ounce for every pound they weigh.

And as always, Live, Love, Laugh, and Scratch our bellies often!

Love you guys,


P.S. If you’re new to this world, you may want to check out my Ultimate Guide for First Time Dog Parents. It’s a great reference to get you started on this journey.

This article has been reviewed by our Editorial Board and has been approved for publication in accordance with our Editorial Policies.



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