Do Dogs Suffer When They Drown?

Dogs are by nature, water animals. Yet when they try to swim in deep water, their legs seem to become entangled in the currents and they drown. Dog owners who have lost a pet in this accident wonder if dogs experience pain and suffering during drowning.

People have long debated whether or not dogs suffer when they drown. It is hard to be certain, but most people believe that dogs suffer physically and mentally while they are drowning.

Do dogs suffer when they drown, are you among the most asked questions about dogs? If you too want to know the answer to this question then read on.

What I Will Learn?

Do Dogs Suffer When They Drown?

Most people believe that dogs do suffer pain during drowning. Just like humans, dogs panic when they find themselves in trouble because of something beyond their control (such as being stuck in water). During drowning, the dogs try to get air but are unable to do so. This frightens them even more until they are exhausted and die.

While drowning dogs lose their physical strength to swim any longer. Therefore, it can be said that drowning causes extreme distress and panic before death in dogs.

What Happens To Dogs When They Drown?

When a dog drowns he feels as if he is suffocating. As a result, he usually tries to swim as hard as he can to the surface of the water to breathe some fresh air into his lungs. However, because of being exhausted from struggling, it becomes difficult for him to do so. Eventually, this uncontrollable stress exhausts them and causes death by drowning. Dogs do suffer from fear, panic, and even pain when they are deep in the water.

Do Dogs Drown Easily?

Yes, according to many veterinary experts, dogs drown easily. This is probably because of the following reasons:

1. Dogs have a curved spine and their legs are placed very close together, and this makes it difficult for them to swim fast.

2. The shape of their snout is such that when they open their mouths to breathe in air (while they are in water), the flow of water comes into their throat, causing them to choke.

3. They cannot swim easily because when they try to move their legs, the currents change direction and push them back.

4. Most of these breeds have very little hair on them, so they get cold quickly in water (and once they are wet, it becomes difficult for them to adjust to water temperature).

How Do You Save A Drowning Dog?

You need to help the dog regain his balance in the water. This is done by repeatedly throwing in a lifebuoy or rope that has a handle attached to it. After sniffing around for it, the dog will probably grab hold of the handle and will swim towards the shore with you supporting him. There are many cases when dogs were rescued successfully in this manner.

How Do You Prevent A Dog From Drowning?

You can prevent a dog from drowning by not keeping him in water that is above his head. Always keep a watch on your dog when he is playing around the pool and immediately bring him out when he starts struggling for life. Also, do not let your dog play with the garden hose as this may result in him swallowing too much water.

How Long Does It Take For A Dog’s Body To Float After Drowning?

The exact time it takes for a dog’s body to float after drowning depends on many factors, including the temperature of the water and the dog’s age and breed. However, in most cases, it takes around five days for a dog’s body to be fully submerged by water.

What Happens To A Dog’s Body When It Drowns?

After a dog has drowned, the body will take on a bloated appearance caused by gas (air) building up in the lungs and other organs. This usually starts to appear within 30 minutes after death but can take longer depending on other factors such as the temperature of the water.

Some bodies also change color during this time, they turn blue, purple, or red. This change of color is known as cyanosis and usually begins around the lips and nails of dogs.


With this, we hope that now you know a detailed answer to do dogs suffer when they drown. Just like other living beings, dogs also feel pain and suffocate when they are drowning. It is important to keep an eye on your dog or any other dog near water and to follow the right course of action upon seeing a drowning dog.


How long does a dog take to drown?

It depends on the dog. Small dogs take only a couple of minutes to drown, whereas larger dogs can take several minutes. Female dogs tend to drown faster than male dogs, as they are smaller. On average, a dog takes around five minutes to drown.

Can a dog recover from water intoxication?

A dog can recover from water intoxication. However, it is very less likely especially if the dog has been underwater for more than 15 minutes. The time within which a dog can remain alive without breathing in water is 2-3 minutes. That means after remaining underwater for more than 3 minutes, a dog cannot survive.

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