Many people are not aware of how much water their dog should be drinking on a given day. Dogs need to stay hydrated to be healthy, and your pet will need to intake a certain amount of water every day to be protected from things like heatstroke or GI issues. Knowing how much your dog should be drinking is key so that you can be aware if they are falling behind in their water consumption.
If you are taking your pet with you on an adventure like a hike, always be sure that you bring water and a collapsible dog bowl with you. Dogs need a lot more water than you might think, and you will be surprised at just how much water a dog can drink when they are exerting. Even dogs at rest probably drink more than you think that they do if you have not been paying attention.
Knowing more about dog hydration is key, and every dog owner should be aware of the amount of water that their pet needs to consume each day.
How Much Water Should Dogs Drink Each Day?
Dogs need to drink about 1 ounce of water per pound that they weigh each day. This means that a 10-pound dog will need about 10 ounces of water each day to stay healthy. Dogs that have had surgery have just had puppies, or are older, might need even more water than this. Puppies often need to intake more water than older dogs while they are growing as well.
Offering your dog free access to water is essential, and you need to be sure that your pet has a bowl of water that is clean and free from debris open to them at all times. One of the common mistakes that pet owners make is providing water but not keeping the water clean. While many dogs will drink dirty water anyway, some will not, leading to dehydration.
If you have a bowl of water in the home, be sure that you refill it throughout the day, and don’t just address the amount of water in the bowl at feeding times. Your pet might be unable to lap up water at the bottom of the bowl for one reason or another, and you should make it easy for your pet to get the water that they need whenever they are thirsty.
Preventing Dog Dehydration
As mentioned above, dogs need access to lots of water, and they need to be given clean water to drink. If your dog lives outside, they need a clean bowl of water to drink from at all times of the day. You might need to place a jug-type bowl in your home or yard for big dogs so that they will always have enough water. Just placing water in a regular bowl can lead to your pet drinking the bowl dry and being without water for hours.
Dogs also need to be hydrated while they are exerting. If your dog is playing at the dog park or has gone on a hike or a long walk with you, you need to make sure that you bring water with you. Not all public places have dog watering stations with bowls. Make sure as well that you bring a collapsible bowl with you so your dog can drink safely. Not all dogs are able to uptake water from a water bottle or a running hose.
Signs That Your Dog is Dehydrated
If you are not sure if your dog is dehydrated, there are some common signs that you can look out for that will indicate this quite clearly. Doing the “tent” test with your dog’s skin can be a good way to see if they have become dehydrated. You simply pinch a bit of skin between your fingers and lift. If the skin does not snap right back into place, your dog is dehydrated.
Your dog’s gums can also tell you if they are dehydrated. You can press a finger gently against the gums and see if the gums pink up again. Hydrated dogs will have a good capillary response within a couple of seconds. Dehydrated dogs might not pink up again at all, or the response will be slow.
You can also look for signs like a dry coat, sunken eyes, or a sense of lethargy or confusion. Dogs with these symptoms might be experiencing heatstroke or some kind of organ problem that is impacting their hydration and their health. Never ignore symptoms like these and call your veterinarian right away. Dogs with heatstroke need immediate medical attention, or they could die. Likewise, dogs with serious organ problems could pass away without responsive treatment.
Dog Hydration is Key for Dog Health
You need to be sure that your dog is staying hydrated at all times. There are many health risks associated with dehydration that can be avoided just by making sure that your pet is getting enough water every day. Keeping dog bowls clean and filled up with water and making sure to bring water on adventures like hikes and long walks is also a good way to hold off dehydration.
If you have more than one pet in the home, or you have a very large dog, consider getting a larger-capacity water bowl like a jug-dispenser type bowl. This will help ensure that your pet never runs out of water, even if you are gone for a few hours or have not noticed that they have been drinking a lot of water.
Remember that your pet needs to drink about an ounce of water per pound of body weight. You can track this quite easily with certain kinds of water bowls, and you might want to be sure that you know if your pet has reached this marker each day or not. The more prepared you are to track your dog’s drinking habits, the easier it will be to tell if your dog has become dehydrated or not.
Welcome to Kryder & Harr Veterinary Clinic! Our animal hospital has been a fixture in the Granger community since 1981, practicing full-service veterinary medicine for all our pet parents and their furry family members. At KHVC, we pride ourselves on our history, of providing excellent customer service for our clients, along with dedicated, compassionate, and exceptional medical care for all of our patients.