Dogs need water to function and they need more of it because their bodies are composed of 80% water.
Without water, your dog’s body will not function properly and they can easily become dehydrated.
This can happen if your dog isn’t drinking enough water because they are sick or injured.
You should also always monitor how much water your dog drinks on a daily basis so you can easily spot if they are drinking more or less water.
If you live in a multiple-dog household, you should try to make mental notes of who is drinking and when.
It’s a good idea to remember how many times your filling the water bowls around your house with fresh, clean water.
So how much water should a dog drink?
How Much Water Should a Dog Drink Per Day?
Human bodies are made up of about 55%-60% water.
It’s a well-known fact that humans should drink about 8 glasses of water a day to stay healthy and hydrated.
A dog’s body is made up of 80% and veterinarians recommend that dogs should drink 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight each day.
However, every dog is different and lives a different lifestyle so that amount can vary……. a lot.
A few common reasons that the amount of water may differ between dogs are:
- Size. My Newfies drink more water than my Corgi.
- Diet. Dogs that eat a diet that is high in will get some of their required water intake from their diet so they might not make as many trips to the water bowl. These could be homemade diets or mostly canned food diets.
- Age. Puppies and senior dogs will often require more water than healthy adult dogs.
- Activity level. Active dogs need more water because they’re losing water faster.
- Weather conditions. Most dogs will drink more water when they’re hot therefore many dogs will drink more water during the warmer months.
Unless a dog has a severe medical condition, most veterinarians are not going to recommend that dog owners measure how much water their dog is drinking a day.
For instance, Newfies drink a lot of water but they’re also big dogs weighing on average between 120-150 pounds.
That’s about 150 ounces of water (40 cups).
My Newfies don’t drink 40 cups of water a day every day but they do drink a lot of water.
What Happens If a Dog Doesn’t Drink Enough Water?
I’m not worried that my Newfies aren’t drinking 40 cups of water a day but I would worry if they weren’t drinking water at all.
Just like with humans, if a dog isn’t drinking enough water it can get dehydrated.
When a dog becomes dehydrated they become sluggish or lethargic.
In severe cases of dog dehydration, organs can become affected.
Since a dog’s body is made up of more water than a human’s body, dehydration can happen faster.
Water makes a dog function
- It helps digestion, the brain, the lungs, the muscles and it helps blood flow through the veins.
- Water flushes toxins through the body. When a dog drinks water it flushes toxins out through the kidneys. If there’s no water moving through the dog he absorbs these toxins.
- Water regulates a dog’s body temperature. When a dog pants they are losing water and need to have that replaced!
According to Dr. Patrick Mahaney, even a 10% loss of water from a dog’s body can lead to serious health issues.
How to Check If Your Dog Is Dehydrated
There are several ways that you can check if your dog is dehydrated right from home but the easiest way is to do the skin tent test:
- Gently pinch the skin between the shoulder blades.
- Pull the skin up gently and release it.
- Watch for the skin to fall back into place.
In a dog that is hydrated and getting enough water, the skin tent will fall back into place instantly.
If a dog is dehydrated, the skin will slowly fall back into place or it may stay in the tented position for several minutes.
Common Reasons Why a Dog Might Drink Less Water
There are several reasons why a dog might drink less water one day or not drink as much water as your past dogs.
Some of the more common reasons why dogs drink less water are:
- Injury or illness
- Less activity
Helping Your Dog Drink More Water
If you or your veterinarian feel that your dog could benefit from drinking more water, there are serval easy ways that you can make that happen!
Some of the easiest ways you can get your dog to drink more water are:
- Offer more water bowls throughout the home
- Offer fresh, clean water
- Moisten their food with water
- Offer flavored water
- Bring water with you on outings
- Make sure the water is cold
- Make sure they have easy access to water at all times
p.s. Since Newfoundlands are prone to bloat we monitor excessive drinking around here especially after eating and exercising. For more information on bloat please visit here.
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