Do you fill up your pup’s water bowl throughout the day without giving much thought to how much water he’s drinking? Same! But today the question is, how much water should our dogs drink in a day? Although most dogs drink what is necessary to meet their individual body requirements, there are some who drink too much or too little. Since water balance is essential to good health, everyone should know the basic water requirements for their canine kids.
How Much Water Should My Dog Drink?
In general, the average healthy pooch needs approximately 1 ounce of water per 1 pound of body weight daily. So a 10 lb dog would need about 10 ounces of water a day. Of course there are lifestyle factors that come into play here. Your pooch will need a varying amount on extremely hot days, if he’s exercising a lot, or if he’s ill.
If you’re going on an outing—like to the beach or for a hike—make sure to have water close by that you can offer your pooch. Dogs don’t sweat like humans, so when you see your canine kid panting excessively, be aware that he’s blowing off water content.
The Purpose of Water In The Body
A dog’s body is made up of approximately 80% water. Water is essential to life and keeps your dog’s tissues, organs, and systems functioning properly. Some functions of water in the body include:
- Promotes healthy circulation for transport of nutrients and oxygen into the body’s cells and removing metabolic wastes
- It helps to regulate body temperature
- Assists in digestion, absorption, and waste removal
- Helps moisturize body tissues, such as mouth, eyes, nose
- Helps lubricate joints
- Aids in flushing toxins from the body
Always Provide Clean, Fresh Drinking Water To Your Pooch
Don’t Let Your Dog Drink From:
- The toilet bowl – For the most part, it’s the cleansers used to clean the bowl that pose a risk. If you happen to use disinfectant tablets—the ones that sit in your toilet tank or on the inside of your toilet—then you should definitely keep the toilet seat down and not let your pooch anywhere near that water. Those tablets are toxic.
- Ponds, creeks, lakes, or any standing water can be filled with parasites, like Giardia, that can be transmitted to your pooch.
Let’s Talk Dehydration
Dehydration is caused by a loss of body fluids. The greater the loss, the greater the risk to your pooch.
In its very early stages of dehydration, if your dog is able to drink, eat, and replenish his fluids then that may be enough. If your dog is lethargic and refuses to drink—because he’s become weak and doesn’t have the energy to do so—then it’s time to call your vet. If this happens he will need medical attention to help him rehydrate.
Dehydration causes electrolyte imbalance and if not treated can progress to organ failure and death.
Possible Causes of Fluid Loss and Dehydration
- Heat Stroke
- Kidney Disease
- Pregnant or Nursing Dogs
- Decreased Water/Food Intake
Symptoms of Dehydration
- Decrease in skin elasticity. If you lightly pinch a chunk of skin between your fingers, normal hydrated skin will bounce back when you let it go. In a dehydrated state the skin will not bounce back.
- Decreased moisture in mouth, gums become dry, and saliva becomes thick/sticky
- Dry nose
- Decreased appetite
- Decreased urine output/ concentrated dark colored urine
- Sunken eyes
- Severe dehydration can lead to organ failure and collapse
Again, if your dog is not drinking, or is unable to drink his fluids and is exhibiting signs of dehydration, it is important that you contact your vet. This is a medical emergency!