What Do Snails Drink?

Snails require a lot of moisture to thrive. It’s why they can often be found in dark, dingy and damp corners of the garden. We know plenty about what food snails eat, but what do snails drink?

Like all animals, snails also require water for survival but they tend to get this water through the food they consume and not directly through drinking it. 

Snails need water to survive like all animals. Usually, snails get their water intake from the food they eat. Snails feed on juicy leaves which are filled with water. Moreover, snails will also drink water from small puddles on leaves or on the ground. 

Do Snails Need to Drink?

It is important for snails to look after their water intake and have enough water for survival. Snails’ bodies contain a certain level of water and that level must be maintained for survival.

If the environment is dry, the snails will retract into their shells to reduce the loss of moisture but this is not something that can help for too long.

Do Snails Need Water to Survive?

Like most living creatures, water is essential to life for snails too.

However, as long as the surroundings are humid, water is not that necessary. Snails do like to have some form of water in the garden as they sometimes like to drink and even bathe in it. 

But, if the snails remain damp from rain or humidity, having water nearby is not essential to them. When snails are not getting enough moisture during sunny days and drier times, they will retract in their shells to not lose any. 

How Do Snails Drink Water?

It can be surprising to know about the ways snails drink water. Spoiler alert, it is not how you think it will be.

When snails feel dehydrated, they move to a water source and flatten themselves against it for some time. During this time, the snail absorbs the water through its body. This entire process is known as contact rehydration.

Snails do not drink the water through their tentacles nor through their mouths. Rather these slimy animals use their bodies to absorb the water which directly enters their bodily fluids. 

How Often Do Snails Require to Drink Water?

One of the common queries people have is if water is important for a snail’s survival, how often does it need to drink it?

While water is important for snails, you must know that they will not indulge in drinking it often. Snails do not drink water until they need to. Snails are not required to have water until they are 60% to 70% dehydrated.

If their habitat has enough moisture, they will absorb it and will not be required to drink water. If there is no dampness in the environment, then only will snail wish to drink water. 

How Long Can Snails Survive Without Water?

Snails need water for their everyday needs like secreting slime and moving around. Hence, snails require sufficient water every day, whether it is in the form of a separate water body or humidity from the surroundings.

Snails can spend 10 to 24 hours without water, but snails can survive as long as 72 hours on land in some circumstances. 

How long a snail spends time without water depends on various factors such as temperature, humidity level and species:


An important factor that will determine whether a snail can survive outside the water for longer periods is temperature.

When the day is hot, it is understandable that the snail will lose more moisture, and it will be harder to survive for longer periods without water.

On the contrary, during colder days, snails lose less moisture and therefore can spend more time without water. 

Humidity Levels

Humidity is important for a snail’s survival. If the snail has to live longer, it needs a place where the air has more precipitation. The snail’s skin is permeable, which allows it to soak moisture if the air is humid to rehydrate its body. 

By rehydrating its body, the snail will produce mucus which helps it to move around and perform important functions. Therefore, if there is high humidity, land snails will have no problem.


How long a snail can survive without water will also depend on its species. There are thousands of species of snails. Hence, it is understandable that each has its own way of dealing with water loss.

For instance, garden snails can survive outside water and do not require a large pool to rehydrate. 

However, the aquatic species of snails depend only on water and will die if they do not find a big water body to rehydrate. 


Like all animals, snails also require water and drink it for survival. Usually, snails do not need a separate water body to get their water intake, and they will absorb moisture from the environment.

The reason why gardens are the best place for snails is that it is filled with moisture. Water is essential to life, and snails need it to produce mucous to move around and conduct their bodily functions.

Interestingly, snails do not drink water from their mouth; rather, they absorb water through their body. 

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