Does Your Dog Not Drink Water After Dental Surgery? [Vet Advice]

Dog Not Drink Water After Dental Surgery

As a true dog lover, you likely worry about any health issues your furry friend may encounter. It’s especially stressful when our pets become sick or aren’t feeling well.

So, it can be quite upsetting if your dog isn’t drinking as much water as usual after undergoing dental surgery or tooth extraction.

Typically, dogs refuse to drink water or eat food after dental surgery due to immense pain from the surgical site in the oral cavity. There may be other reasons, such as the effects of anesthesia. However, if your dog has gone without water or food for more than 24 hours, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian.

If you’re concerned about this circumstance, don’t worry! I’m here to help you encourage your dog to drink water after dental surgery. Stay with me and I’ll do all I can to help you tackle this problem in this article.

Why does your dog not drink water after dental surgery?

As I know, there is no specific reason why dogs are not drinking water after a dental surgery apart from pain.

Not drinking water or not eating foods can be caused after any surgery. Possibilities would be anesthesia and pain that coming from the surgical site.

This is the typical nature of any surgery. The only difference in oral surgery is that the pain comes from a susceptible area used for drinking and eating.

The pain that comes from the oral cavity decreases water consumption significantly. If he’s had teeth pulled, his mouth will, of course, be sore as well.

When a dog undergoes surgery, they are given anesthesia to block pain or render them unconscious. This is obviously helpful while the dog is in surgery for pain relief and helping it to stay relaxed.

But after a while, pain relief that controls from anesthesia will decrease, and the surgical site will be again painful.

After dental surgery, any dog will be lack an appetite for food and water. This is a  post-surgery effect, and it can extend to several days before a dog is fully back to normal.

Should you worry if the dog not drinking after dental surgery?

Are you worrying too much about your pet when he is not drinking water or not eating any food…YEAH, Surely you will be in a panic mood😣.

Because I also had this bad experience when my 8 months little dog Shadow was infected from parvovirus, and he refused not even water and chicken meat.

But after the dental surgery, the case is somewhat different. It’s completely normal for a dog to refuse to drink in the first day or two after surgery or tooth extraction.

The vet will advise you that the doggy might not eat or drink for the first day or two, and he will become to his usual behavior tomorrow.

This is mainly due to the post effects of surgery and after-effects of anesthesia, which cause it to feel unsteady, illnesses, and lethargic mood.

However, it’s still essential to encourage the dog to drink whenever possible in order to prevent dehydration. There are a couple of ways to check his dehydration.

Ex: check the gum, conjunctiva. The best is the gum. It should be moist and pink; tacky gum is bad.

After the dental surgery, exactly his normal behavior will be changed. He will be,

  • Aggressive
  • In pain
  • depressed mood and also it can feel nauseous or dizzy.

They are some normal reactions of their systems. So what can you do?…

As a responsible dog owner, always watch your dog’s behavior. Not wanting to eat or drink after the surgery or even vomiting can be normal effects of the procedures or the anesthesia itself.

A dog can survive at least 48-72 hours without water. Give it a day, give him his freedom, so it can recover appropriately on its own, and don’t force it to eat or drink something; it might make it more nauseous and make the symptoms worse.

However, if it stays in that way for more than a day, take him to the vet. It might be something more serious, for example, an oral infection, and Veterinarians will give saline to a dog to prevent the dog from getting dehydration.

Dehydration can be dangerous on its own at this time. For now, just keep calm and keep your eye on it! Wait unless the next day and see how he goes…

Suggested Reading: Here is why does your dog afraid of you after the surgery.

What to do if your dog not drinking after dental surgery?

Usually, we try various things to give some water to the dog. But unfortunately, he may be refuse some of our tricks. Then how can we encourage the dog to drink water?

I will give you some supportive information on what to do if your dog does not drink after dental surgery.

First, make him get easy access to drink water.

Place some clean water bowl near to the dog. If he refuses to drink on his own, you should have to do some tricks to ingest water into his body.

1. First attempt

Did you try to feed wet food? Switched his food to wet food adding much water to the food. You can make a ‘soup’ by mixing warm water with dry food.

This procedure will absorb more water from the gastrointestinal tract, increase the water concentration of the dog’s body, and prevent the dog from dehydration.

2. 2nd attempt

Try to feed Yoghurts, Curd. Actually, dogs love to eat yogurts and curd, and also, there is high water concentration in these foods.

Anyway, this is also a small trick to rehydrate the dog.

3. 3rd attempt

Give him diluted meat flavored broth or water ( chicken, chicken liver, beef, pork).

I am sure this may be more efficient, and he may be drinking. Because any dog like the smell of meat

A higher concentration of meat broth definitely encourages your dog to drink.

If your dog refuses these all methods, now it’s time to take things into your own hands.

4. 4th attempt

Use a syringe. Fill the syringe, tip the dog’s head upwards, and place the syringe into the corner of its mouth.

Slowly drip the water in the syringe into your dog’s mouth and then close the mouth to make sure it is swallowing.

This photo will show you the best place to place the syringe on his mouth.

You should have to repeat the process quite a few times (at least 5 – 10 times) to hydrate the dog properly because syringes typically only carry a small amount of liquid.

5. It will be better if you do this process once  per an hour .

Unfortunately, some dogs just not only refuse to drink water, as well as they refuse to eat after dental surgery.

This may be a more dangerous situation because of how it gain energy without any food or water. Doggy will be more week.

Then what we you do…

Using a syringe is the only method that we can use, as I mentioned above… In this critical scenario, it is not enough to inject only water.

You should give him some energy drinks also. I suggest you give him glucose and oral rehydration salts mixed with water as an oral treatment for dehydration.

Note – If your dog has refused to drink anything for over 48 hours, that’s a severe situation; call your vet and talk to them about this exact situation; take it to see the vet as soon as possible for best treatments.

The vet will inject saline or syrup/ glucose directly into the blood via a cephalic vein.

By the way, here is what to do if your dog throws up medicine.

Things to be aware of.

1. Don’t make him depressed

Not only in dental surgery but also after any kind of surgery, any animal will be mentally depressed, he will not be active as usual, he may not eat or drink as usual.

So in this mental condition, if you force him to drink water or eat food, surely it may increase his mental depression more.

2. If he vomit,

😥The situation is not easy now…

Actually, vomiting can be caused as a post effect of surgery.

And also, force-feeding a dog right after surgery can result in more vomiting. Instead, monitor it closely and give it a day or two to recover at its own pace.

But if he frequently vomits an abnormally, he will be dehydrated more. Even though they are throwing out, we have to continuously feed them and do some kind of force-feeding to give water with high nutritional soup for rehydration.

He needs to get both nourishment & hydrations, especially after surgery or an illness.

3. Aftercare of your doggy

This is a must. Always keep an eye on him after you take him to the home after the surgery.

4. Pain relief

Very important to discuss pain relief advice in detail with your veterinary dentist before taking your pet home and to follow the instructions to best homecare

5. Give him warm water

Don’t give him much cool or hot water when you give him water; always try to provide some mild water. Otherwise, that will increase the dog’s pain from the surgical site in the oral cavity.


I suggest you let your dog recover on its own.

As a Vet student, I need to tell you, do not try to force-feed and give water just after the surgery. Let him be as he wants but keep a close eye on him.

Try your full strength to encourage the dog to drink water as soon as possible and as regularly because water is essential to the healing process, and rehydrate the dog.

I hope your dog will recover soon and make sure to give him the best take care…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *