We all know about the importance of supplying our pups with clean, fresh water on a regular, daily basis, right along with washing their water dishes to prevent bacteria growth. But how do we know if our dogs drink enough water?
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 per day. 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.
My 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 bowls 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?
The following are 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:
- If your dog is kibble fed, adding some water to his daily meals is the most obvious option
- A better option is to top his meals off with raw dog food
- Better yet is to make the switch to a 100% raw, balanced diet. That’s because raw fed dogs need to drink less water as their raw food contains a lot more water than dry dog food.
- Offer refreshing snacks like ice cubes and watermelon (without the seeds). Some dogs really like ice cubes, and you can take the ice cube option up one level by placing small treats into an ice cube tray prior to adding the water.
How do you ensure your dog drinks enough water? We’d love to hear about them in the comment box at the bottom of the post!