How Long Can Animals Live Without Water?

How long can animals live without water? No animal can live without water, but some animals can stay for up to a month, even a year without it!

Some animals stay hydrated by their food intake while others can absorb liquid through their skin.

Let’s take a look at how long various animals can go without water:

Desert Animals

Deserts normally expose its habitats to scorching weather due to little or no rainfall over a long time and no water holes.
This explains why these areas are less populated.

Animals who reside in the desert get their water from their food.
So, to adapt to this extreme heat, their bodies store water and absorb it when needed.

Some of these animals include:

1. Camels: 2 Weeks

How long can animals live without water?

Camels have adapted a way of separating food from the water in their stomachs, breaking down fats and secreting concentrated urinary excrete.

They use the humps on their backs, which are filled with fatty tissues to generate water through metabolism.

These fatty tissues are used to energize and hydrate the body and also serve as a source of energy to the camel’s body.

The failure of the camel to make use of these fatty issues will cause the fat to be packed full and can lead to a swollen hump.

Thus, camels can stay without water for 2 weeks.

2. Giraffes: 3 Weeks

How long can animals live without water?

Giraffes do not have the bodily resources to store water so, they get their water from the intake of plant sources.
Their plant food intake is much and contains a very big portion of its water intake too.
Its main plant food source is the Alacia leaves.

The Giraffes can stay up to 3 weeks without water but, can take up to 54 litres of water in one sitting.

3. Desert Tortoise: 1 Year


The Desert Tortoise is divided into two major species.
The Gopherus agassizil, which is often found in the southwestern part of the United States and The Gopherus morafkai, which is found in the northwestern part of Mexico.

Its hard shell which is oftentimes mistaken for rocks is also the part of its body that stores a huge quantity of water for a long time.

This creature can survive at least a year without water.

4. West African Lungfish: 5 Years


West African Lungfish

The West African Lungfish also called Living Fossils are ancient animals that have been able to survive for over 400 million years.

The Lungfish uses its gills to obtain oxygen from the water and gets nutrients by digesting its muscle tissues.

These prehistoric animals can live 5 years without water.

5. Kangaroo Rat: 10 Years

Kangaroo Rat

The Kangaroo rat also called the Genus Dipodomys, can go its entire life without water.
The little creatures’ kangaroo-like characteristics like its long legs which it uses to search for food and water in long distances is the reason behind its name.
Its kidneys also help in conserving water in its body by extracting water from its urine, which is five times more concentrated than human urine.

This feature makes them survive without water for their entire life span which is 10 years and above.

How Long Can Domestic Animals Live Without Water?

Domestic animals are known to be fed and nursed by their owners but some domestic animals can stay hydrated even without taking water after a particular time.

A Chicken can stay 8 hours without water.

A Sheep can go 5 days without water.

A Dog can stay hydrated for 3days without water.

A Pig can stay 2 and a half days without water (36 hours)

A Rat can stay hydrated for 1 month without water.

A Cat can stay 3days without water.

A Cow can survive 1 week without water.

Other Common Creatures That Can Go A Long Time Without Water Include:



House Fly – A Housefly can survive 48 hours without water.

Donkey – A donkey can go 3days without water.

Lion – A Lion can stay hydrated for 4 days without water intake.

Elephant – An elephant can go 4 days without water.

Cheetah – A cheetah can survive 10 days without water.

Bat – A bat can go 6months without water.

Scorpion – A scorpion can stay hydrated for 1 year without taking water.

Tortoise – A tortoise can go 1 year without water intake.