Did you know that most of a dog’s body is composed of water?
Adequate water ingestion and hydration are important for them to maintain proper circulation as well as the health of organs and tissues, including the heart, brain, liver, kidneys, lung, intestines and pancreas.
A lot of people believe that dogs drink what they need but in fact, they drink what they are given and sometimes they aren’t big fans of what we give them!
The good news is that if you don’t think that your dog is drinking the right amount of water that it should and you want to make sure they stay hydrated, there are some really easy ways to increase their water intake right now.
How Much Water Should Dogs Drink a Day?
The veterinarian experts say that “dogs should drink approximately 1 ounce of water (1/8 of a cup) per pound of body weight each day.
However, there are many factors that can affect how much your dog will drink, so you should not be restricting your dog’s water intake.”
Medical conditions such as kidney disease, diabetes, or cancer may cause a dog to become dehydrated quicker than healthy dogs.
During the summer months, a dog’s water intake usually increases in temperature so pet parents should make it a priority to check their dog’s bowl regularly and make sure they have cool and fresh water to drink.
Why Isn’t My Dog Drinking Water?
Dogs can stop drinking water for a number of reasons and understanding why they aren’t is crucial in addressing the issue.
A lack of water intake can lead to dehydration, which can cause a range of health problems.
Some of the more common reasons why a dog will stop drinking water can be:
- Change in routine
- Lack of activity
Medical conditions such as diabetes or kidney disease can some dogs to stop drinking water or not drink enough water.
Oral issues like gum disease or a broken tooth can also cause a dog to not drink as much as it should.
If you’ve recently moved or you and your dog are in a new location, the water might smell or taste different which can cause a dog not to want to drink it.
If a dog isn’t exercising as much due to weather or not feeling well, their water intake can decrease.
Older dogs might not drink as much water because they don’t want to get up and stroll to the water bowl or because they’re in pain.
Sometimes a dog can become fearful of its water bowl.
This can happen because their collar is hitting the bowl when they take a drink or in some cases because they were injured near their bowl.
Your dog may also be less inclined to drink if their water bowl is dirty, or if the water is not fresh.
By identifying the root cause of your dog’s reluctance to drink water, you can take steps to encourage them to drink more and prevent potential health issues.
However, sometimes dog owners aren’t able to find the cause of their dog not drinking enough water so it’s very important to consult your veterinarian for advice and a proper diagnosis.
Easy Ways To Get A Dog To Drink More Water
Regardless of the reason a dog is not drinking the amount of water they should, there are some things you can try to increase its water intake.
Here are a few ways to get your dog to drink more water throughout the day:
- Offer more water bowls
- Get a variety of water bowls
- Make the water easy for the dog to get
- Add water to your dog’s food
- Add flavor to the water
- Clean the bowls regularly
- Change the water often
- Give ice cubes or frozen DIY treats
- Buy a dog fountain
- Bring bottled or filtered water with you when you travel
Offer Several Bowls of Water Throughout the House
We have 4 water bowls in the house and a pet fountain outside.
Basically, almost every room has a water bowl in it so they don’t have to go far to get a drink.
Make sure that your dog has easy access to its water.
This is super important for senior dogs or dogs that are injured!
Offer a Variety of Water Bowls
Some dogs like to drink from ceramic bowls, some stainless steel bowls, and some plastic or glass bowls.
Keep a variety of bowls in the house or stick to one style that you know your dog likes.
If your dog doesn’t drink a lot of water try switching your dog’s water bowl.
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Make the Water Easily Accessible
If you have a senior dog maybe it hurts for them to bend down and grab a drink.
An elevated bowl might be more comfortable for older dogs to drink from
It’s suggested that a dog or cat’s bowl is raised to a level above the wrist and below the elbow.
At this height, less stress is put on the muscles, ligaments, tendons, vertebrae, and intervertebral discs of the neck because the head remains at a normal level instead of having to stretch to the ground to lap water or grasp food and then lift back up to swallow.
You can do this without buying an expensive product.
Add Water to Your Dog’s Food or Add Canned Food to Their Diet
If you don’t think your dog is getting enough fresh water on its own try helping them out by adding it for them.
Wet food is normally made up of 70-80% moisture, dry kibble contains about 10% moisture.
Add Some Flavoring to The Water
Besides clean water, dogs can also drink a few other liquids.
Low-sodium chicken broth or low sodium beef broth (minus onions) or bone broth added to plain water may entice your dog to drink more.
Does your dog like carrots?
Try some of those!
A few weeks ago I made frozen carrot and bone both treats and they were a big hit!
While I give these mostly as cool treats during the day I’ve also dropped a few in the water bowl and crushed them up with ice.
The boys love this and the smell is enticing.
You can also purchase flavored water made specifically for dogs and add it to their food bowl.
Make Sure the Water and Dog Bowls Are Clean
Do you drink dirty, warm water?
Why should your dog?
It’s a good idea to change your dog’s water frequently throughout the day will keep the water fresher, cooler and healthier.
Make sure you’re washing the water bowl regularly and if you haven’t bought a new bowl in a while, try and snag one.
Slime build-ups on the bowl over time and can contain harmful bacteria.
Offer Ice Cubes
Ice cubes can be a great summer treat for dogs on a hot summer day and there’s no harm in them.
You can even add some dog-safe fruit to them for an extra special treat or mix some water with low sodium chicken broth or bone broth.
The Honest Kitchen makes a product called Ice Pups that you combine with water and serve to your dog warm or cold.
You can even make flavored ice licks.
Invest in a Pet Fountain
Most dogs love drinking moving water so give it to them!
A water fountain is an easy way to get your dog more interested in water!
A big plus is you’ll be changing the water less frequently and its filtered water so it can remove some of those harmful chemicals lurking in tap water!
Water fountains are a win for everyone!
We have the Drinkwell Indoor Outdoor Pet Fountain.
It holds 3.5 gallons of cool water and the free-falling water stream entices pets to drink more.
My dogs love it!
Make Sure You Bring Water With You on Outings
Make sure to bring fresh cold, water with you when you’re planning to explore a new place and avoid letting your dog drink from a potentially contaminated water source like ponds, rivers, streams, and lakes, especially in the summer.
These bodies of water can contain toxic blue-green algae that can be very harmful if ingested by dogs and other animals.
There are several different types of products out on the market today that this shouldn’t be an issue.
Don’t want to buy one of those?
Bring along a water jug.
I fill half with water and half with ice and it stays nice and cool for a long time!
*Bonus tip-If you have a bigger dog, fill up a bucket full of water and add some ice cubes or frozen fruit and let them go bobbin for some fat-free healthy treats! If you have a smaller dog, try a pail!
How Long Can a Dog Go Without Drinking Water?
Dogs can usually go without water for 2-3 days but this would be based on the size of the dog, their health and their age.
No dog should ever go without water for long periods of time.
Lack of water can lead to a urinary tract infection and dehydration.
Dog owners should always know the first signs and symptoms of dehydration.
“Proper hydration is essential to your dog’s overall health, and is particularly important during the summer months or when your dog is engaging in physical activity.
Make sure your dog always has access to fresh, clean water and monitor their water intake to ensure they are staying hydrated.” – Dr. Jerry Klein, Chief Veterinary Officer of the American Kennel Club (AKC)
This post does not replace veterinarian care.
Remember to always consult with your veterinarian first if you’re concerned that your dog is not getting enough water.