Keep Your Dog Hydrated: Here's How Much Water They Need

Make sure your pup always has access to clean, fresh water, even if it seems like they drink a lot every day.

Published May 16, 2023
French bulldog drinking it waters down in a source

Your dog's a thirsty pup. And you want to keep them hydrated. Fresh water is best, but there are a couple of other options if your dog refuses to drink from their bowl.

How Much Water Should Your Dog Drink?

Dog drinking water

As a general guideline, your dog should drink one ounce of water per pound of body weight each day. But this is only a minimal guideline: always provide your dog with as much water as they want to consume. Don't try to restrict their access to water, or "budget" their water.

Quick Tip

If your dog wants more water, you should let them have it. Always give them full access to water - as much as they want to drink.

If Your Dog Isn't Drinking Enough

If your dog isn't drinking enough, there could be a few reasons:

  • Anxiety: Move your dog to a different area if they're anxious.
  • Diet: Dogs that eat wet or raw food may not need as much water.
  • Weather: Your dog may not drink a lot of water on cold days.
  • Neck pain: Your dog's neck may be hurting, causing them not want to bend down.
  • Oral pain: Your dog's teeth or gums may hurt.

How to Check for Signs of Dehydration

When it comes to dehydration in dogs, it's important to know the signs and symptoms so you can take prompt action.

Early Stages of Dehydration

Portrait of a short coated brown and white dog

In the early stages of dehydration, your dog is likely to appear apprehensive or overly sleepy. You may notice these additional signs:

  • Excessive panting
  • Sunken eyes
  • Dry gums
  • Dry noses

If you notice any of these signs, provide your dog not only with fresh water but also with hydrating foods. If your dog refuses to drink, visit your veterinarian to avoid dehydration from advancing.

What Can Dogs Drink?

 golden retriever drinking water

Although fresh water is your first, best choice, there are a few other options you can offer if your dog absolutely refuses water. These include raw goat's milk and bone broth. Both options have nutrients that could be beneficial to your dog while providing them with some added hydration.

Quick Tip

Fresh water is always best. Drinks like sparkling water can contain too much sugar or sodium.

The Benefits of a Drinking Foundation

One of the best ways to encourage your dog to drink more water is by providing a fountain for them to use. Here are the reasons dogs are more prone to drink from a water fountain:

  • Dogs are likely to drink more water if it's constantly available - and a flowing fountain tends to remind you it's there.
  • Dogs are more likely to drink water that is fresh and constantly cycled.
  • Normal bowls are full of stagnant water that can become stale.
  • Fountains have been shown to help dogs with kidney disease, bladder stones, and urinary tract infections.

Keep Your Dog Well-Hydrated

Monitoring your dog's water intake is important to prevent dehydration. Take a mental note of how many times you fill your dog's water bowl. Or, if you have a large water jug, keep an eye on how much your dog is drinking through the day. Your pup will thank you with better overall health and a happy disposition.

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Keep Your Dog Hydrated: Here's How Much Water They Need