We all know about the importance of supplying our pups with clean, fresh water on a regular, daily basis, and to wash out their water dishes on an equally regular basis. The latter prevents bacteria growth, and, let’s face it, some pups are just really messy, slobbering drinkers, and who wants to drink out of a dirty bowl?
We are aware of the fact that water is as important to man’s best friend as it is to us. Humans and dogs alike consist of about 80% of water. How do we know how much water our respective pups should drink though?
How much water does my dog really need?
While we should drink anywhere between 2-4 liters (67 to 135 oz) per day, depending on our lifestyle and age, the rule of thumb for our dogs is about 1 oz of water for each pound of body weight. This number will be influenced by our dogs’ activity level, weather, and age.
Puppies & lactating dogs will drink more water as their adult, non lactating counterparts. Dogs who exercise a lot will also require a greater water intake.
Our pups Missy & Buzz weigh 52 & 72 lbs, respectively. Missy’s 52 lbs translate into 6.5 cups of daily water intake, while Buzz’s 72 lbs require him to drink about 8 cups of water every day.
As mentioned above, the pups’ water needs depend on their level of activity. When hiking with them or playing an intense game of fetch, we always offer fresh, clean water in between. That’s when our collapsible outdoor water dishes come in very handy!
How do I know if my dog is dehydrated?
There is an easy way to check your dog’s hydration level: Gently pull up some of the skin on the back of your dog’s neck; If it stays up or only goes back down very slowly, your dog is dehydrated. If the skin goes back down right away, he is doing just fine.
What to do if my dog is dehydrated?
If you’re dealing with a mild level of dehydration, say after a tiring walk, offering him fresh, cool, clean water should do the trick. Another option might be to give him an ice cube or two to lick/crunch on. Our boy Buzz is a sucker for those!
Should Fido be seriously dehydrated, he will need to go see a vet, who will likely hydrate him intravenously, and run some tests.
What are the signs of a seriously dehydrated dog?
- Pale gums
- Sunken eyes
- Dull looking coat
- Non-elastic skin
- Loss of appetite
How to entice your dog to take in water
Some dogs may not be drawn to their water dish, so you may have to get a bit creative to ensure he’s staying hydrated. Adding some wet food as well as some water to his daily meals is one option. Another one is to offer him ice cubes. You can take the ice cube option up one level by placing small treats into an ice cube tray prior to adding the water.
Can you think of any other ways of enticing Fido to drink more water? We’d love to hear about them in the comment box at the bottom of the post!