Given that dogs tend to be messy sloppy and randomized water drinkers it can be difficult to know just how much water they are actually taking in during the course of a day.
When it comes to water a general rule of paw is one ounce of fluid per pound of bodyweight, so for example a 20-pound dog needs a little over 2 cups of clean water each day. This rule however is very flexible in nature as more active dogs, puppies or lactating dogs may need more water.
There are many things that can affect how much water your dog consumes or needs to consume:
When it comes to weather if it is a hot summer day and your dog is outdoors exercising this can lead to dehydration and it is important to ensure your dog is consuming enough water.
Exercise is another very important indicator of thirst levels for dogs. If you have been out playing, hiking or even talking a long walk your dog may drink more water than usual. It is always a great idea to have water handy while out on your adventure.
If your dog is taking any type of medication this can also be a reason a dog will drink more water or need to drink more water. It is always a good idea to check with your vet whether new medications will have an impact on your dog’s hydration levels.
Certain illness in dogs have symptoms that include dehydration. If you notice significant decrease in your dog’s daily water drinking habits monitor it and definitely check in with your vet.
Many different processes throughout your dog’s life will change how much water he or she needs. Puppies tend to need a lot of water to support their growth and activity levels. Dog’s that are lactating and feeding young puppies will also need more water.
Your dog’s diet can also be an indicator of thirst levels. Dry food diets and diets with increased sodium levels can lead to increased thirst. It is important to note that “People food” tends to contain more sodium than dog food and can increase thirst levels and also be quite toxic for your dog.
If your dog s dehydrated it can be very dangerous and even life threatening. If your dog seems dehydrated give him or her a little amount of water and see if they respond. If your dog seems very dehydrated but is not vomiting it is best to try to give them small amounts of water every 10-15 minutes for a few hours. It is not a great idea to give a dehydrated dog lots of liquids as drinking too much water all at once may cause vomiting. It is always best to contact your vet when you are concerned.
Here are 5 tips to ensuring your dog has enough water and also a great way to keep an eye on your dog’s hydration levels:
1. Fill your dog’s water dish with the same amount each day
2. Monitor how much water is left after each day compared to how much you gave your dog
3. Try to refill the water dish at the same time each day
4. Keep an eye on your dog’s urine colour- super dark urine can be indicative of a need for more water.
5. Keep water on hand when you are doing physical activity