Is My Dog Getting Enough Water? How Much Water Should a Dog Drink?

Is My Dog Getting Enough Water? How Much Water Should a Dog Drink?

It’s important that we humans get enough water every day. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition says mammals are about 70% water, and Mayo Clinic recommends that we drink at least between 2.7 and 3.7 liters of water a day to help get rid of waste, regulate body temperature, and lubricate joints.

Just like with people, dogs rely on water to maintain proper bodily functions. However, it’s difficult to know exactly how much and how often your dog should be drinking.

In this guide, we’ll be answering these questions, as well as pointing out some signs that your dog may not be getting enough water.

How Much Water Do Dogs Need?

According to Emancipet, normal dog water intake is about 1 ounce per 1 pound of body weight every day. So, for example, a 30 pound dog should drink about 30 oz of water in a 24-hour period. Your dog is unlikely to drink all of this water in one sitting, so have a water bowl that you’re regularly refilling so that your dog can drink whenever they get thirsty. It’s ok to have excess water available to your dog, but keep an eye on them if they’re draining it at a rate higher than what’s normal for their weight. They should be drinking water throughout the day, not rapidly draining it at any given opportunity (unless they’re hot or exercised recently).

The portable, roll-up dog bowl from BarxBuddy holds 10 ounces of water. So, a 30-pound dog would drink three bowls a day.

What Kind of Water Should I Give My Dog?

Tap water is usually fine for dogs, but if you live in an area with particularly unsafe tap water or unclean well water, you may need to explore other options for your dog. Note that it isn’t ok for dogs to drink from the toilet. Toilets can have bacteria or mold buildup, which can make your dog sick if they drink from it too often.

How Often Do Dogs Need Water?

Dogs drink water throughout the day. Most sources we consulted say to leave fresh water for adult dogs accessible throughout the day. Healthy dogs self-regulate water intake.

Feeding your dog wet, canned food can sometimes reduce the amount of water they drink. This is because canned food can be made up of 65-80% water. You may notice your dog drinking less if you’ve recently switched from dry food to wet.

However, water consumption above or under the 1 oz per 1 pound standard may be a sign that your dog is sick or suffering from some sort of bodily pain.

Over-Hydration: How Much Is Too Much Water For a Dog?

Many canine diseases result in excessive drinking, or over-hydration, which can be hard to notice if you aren’t diligent. Here are some signs provided by the American Kennel Club that your dog may be over-hydrated:

  • Loss of coordination/staggering
  • Bloating
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Pale gums

Over-hydration may be a sign that you need to regulate your dog’s water intake. It also can be the symptom of a dangerous underlying condition that causes them to be thirsty all the time. If you have multiple pets but are concerned one of them is drinking too much water, consider separating them and tracking how much each pet is drinking per day.

Consult a veterinarian if you’re concerned that one or more of your pets are drinking too much water (or not enough).

Is My Dog Dehydrated?

Not drinking enough water is another issue entirely. It’s likely a sign that they are sick, and you’ll need to take them to a veterinarian straight away to avoid dehydration.

For more about this condition, you can check out our article on preventing and treating dehydration. However, here are some key takeaways.

Dehydration can be caused by other diseases, conditions, and activities such as:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Heatstroke
  • Diabetes
  • Exercise

As a pet owner, it’s your job to be paying attention to the signs that your dog may be suffering from dehydration. Some of these signs are:

  • Panting
  • Dry nose/mouth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sunken, dry eyes
  • Vomiting

To prevent dehydration, make sure your dog always has access to a clean water source. If you’re exercising with a pet, make sure to bring along extra water and a collapsible bowl for your dog.

What About Puppies?

How much water does a puppy need? Unlike adult dogs, puppies haven’t learned to self-regulate their water consumption yet. They need your help so they don’t have to go out too often. According to the American Kennel Club, the youngest of puppies will get all of their hydration from their mother’s milk. However, once they begin to wean and start eating solid food, they’ll need to find their own sources of water.

The AKC recommends that young puppies drink about a half a cup of water every two hours. Older puppies that have already weaned can begin drinking the regular 1 oz per 1 pound amount of water.

However, part of house training is regulating your puppy’s water intake, which means removing the water source at night. You should consistently remove the water bowl 2 to 3 hours before bedtime, which provides the opportunity for one last potty outside before bed. During the day, you’ll need to be less restrictive, so your puppy doesn’t dehydrate. Consult a trainer about specific amounts of water that your puppy should get during regular house training.

The information in this article and throughout BarxBuddy’s website is for informational purposes only, and should never be mistaken for professional medical veterinary advice.

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