How much water should a dog drink each day? How many times a day should I give my dog water? How much water should a dog drink in one sitting?
These are all legitimate questions, and while there is some general guidance that’s worth considering, every dog is different. Some dogs will have a higher activity level than others, and they’ll need more water.
Additionally, dogs who are fed fresh or canned food, are getting a lot of their water from their food and will drink less from the water bowl. So, there’s no “one size fits all” number that works for each and every pooch.
Here’s some information on the right amount of water intake for your dog. Be sure to talk to your veterinarian to get the best idea of how much water is the right amount each day. Other than you, no one knows your pup better than your vet.
How Much Water Does My Dog Need Each Day?
A lot of factors go into answering the question of, “How much water should a dog drink?” One rule of thumb is that a dog should drink one ounce of water for each pound of body weight each day.1
But your focus shouldn’t necessarily be on the exact amount of water per pound you’re providing to your pup. Your priority needs to be making sure your dog always has access to plenty of clean water.
Potential Reasons Your Dog Is Drinking Less Water Than Usual
While the most important thing is to give your pup a steady supply of fresh water, you’ll want to also pay attention to how much your dog is drinking. If they’re not drinking as much water as they normally would, that could be a cause for concern. More than likely it’s just temporary, but keep an eye on things just to be sure.
Here are just a few reasons why your dog might not be visiting the water bowl as often as they normally do.
- The weather has changed – Just as your water intake might drop a bit when it’s not hot outside, your dog may not drink as much when the weather turns cooler. It’s normal for dogs, especially those who don’t get a lot of exercise, to not feel the need to drink the same amount of water as they would if it were warmer.
- Potential health issues – There are some instances when a dog not drinking water could be suffering from a health issue. If your dog also isn’t eating, or is acting lethargic, and you notice a reduced water intake, it’s time for a visit to your vet.
- They’re experiencing anxiety – Has someone recently left your household, such as a child who has gone away to college? Has there been some other type of major change at home? Have you recently moved? Your dog may be experiencing anxiety because of it – and they may reduce their water intake.2
- You changed their food – If you’ve changed your dog’s diet from dry food to wet food, you might notice less time spent at the water bowl. There’s usually nothing to worry about – the wet food is mostly water, so they should still be getting enough.
Additionally, increased water consumption can also be a sign of a problem or medical issue as well. Again, if you have any concerns, check with your vet.3
Is It Safe For Your Pooch To Drink Tap Water?
Concerned pet parents might wonder whether they should let their dogs drink regular tap water. In the vast majority of instances, tap water is completely safe. It’s thoroughly treated before it ever arrives at your home.
If you’re still concerned, there are a few things you can do for your peace of mind. For example, certain products can add a further layer of treatment to your tap water. These include special pitchers or devices you can mount on your faucet. A water treatment professional can also install a special filter that treats all of the water in your home.4
The Importance Of Keeping Your Pet Hydrated
All mammals need water in order for their bodies to work as they should. Water helps keep the joints lubricated, helps the body digest food properly, and it also helps control body temperature. If a dog’s body loses more water than it absorbs, that’s known as dehydration – and this can potentially be serious.5
It’s perfectly fine to ask yourself, “How much water should a dog drink in one sitting?” or “How many times a day should I give my dog water?” But again, what’s most important is to make sure your pooch has a steady supply. Never leave a water bowl empty for an extended amount of time.
If your dog’s body becomes dehydrated, that reduces their amount of fluids and also decreases blood flow. When this happens, the tissues and organs can’t get enough oxygen. Dehydration also robs dogs of many of the minerals they need in order for their bodies to function. These include chloride, sodium, and potassium.6
Know The Signs Of Dehydration
Even though dogs can’t tell you they’re thirsty, there are many ways you can tell whether they’re dehydrated. Here are a few indicators of severe dehydration. If you notice any of them, seek medical care for your dog.
- Your dog suddenly collapses.
- Their gums look unusually dry.
- They’re lethargic.
- They seem to be extremely weak.
- Their eyes seem to be sunken.7
Another way to check to see if your dog is dehydrated is to test their skin. Using your forefinger and thumb, gently pinch their skin at the back or on top of the head. If the skin immediately springs back, your dog is likely well hydrated. If the skin only gradually goes back to its original position, they might be a bit dehydrated. If the skin doesn’t move back into place at all, your dog may have severe dehydration; they need immediate medical care.8,9,10
How Much Water Should a Dog Drink? Talk to Your Vet to Learn More
Again, as long as you keep a steady supply of fresh water available, your pup is likely to stay avoid dehydration. You’ll also want to make sure that whenever you and your pup leave the house, you bring a water bottle (and bowl) just for them. If you’re concerned about how much (or how often) your pup should be drinking water, talk to your veterinarian. They’ll be able to advise you on what’s normal for your dog.
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