How Much Water Should a Dog Drink?

Two dogs drinking out of a water bottle

Some dogs approach their water bowls with enthusiasm, while others may need a bit of a push to drink their water. In either case, water is necessary to keep your dog healthy and to help your dog’s body function. Read on to learn how much water a dog should drink and how to keep a dog hydrated.

How Much Water is Enough?

The amount of water a dog should drink is dependent on how active they are, their breed size as well as the weather during the day. Generally, your dog should drink one ounce (30 ml) of water daily for each pound that he weighs.

If you’re exercising your dog, especially in warmer temperatures, your dog may need double the typical amount of water. Make sure you’re giving a small amount of water every 15 to 20 minutes to ensure he is hydrated while exercising.

How to Keep a Dog Hydrated

It’s important to make sure that fresh water is always available to your dog. This means making sure to refill your dog’s water bowl with fresh water multiple times a day.

If you find that your dog is reluctant to drink water, here are alternate ways to keep your dog hydrated and entice him to drink water:

  • Doggie Water Fountain. While most dogs enjoy drinking still water, a water fountain can encourage your dog to lap up some extra H2O during the day.
  • Ice Cubes. Yes, we know that ice cubes are just frozen water. However, some dogs much prefer licking a nice, cold, ice cube to drinking from their water bowl.
  • Add Water to Kibble. You can soak your dog’s kibble in water to ensure he’s getting the daily dose of hydration he needs.
  • Wash Bowls Daily. A dirty water bowl may have your dog turning his nose up at his water. Make sure to clean out your dog’s water bowl on a daily basis.
  • Switch to Wet Food. While wet food is not a complete replacement for water, it can help keep your dog hydrated. You can either switch to wet food completely or mix it in with your dog’s kibble.

Signs of Dehydration

If you’re worried that your dog isn’t getting enough water, there are two ways that you can check for dehydration.

  1. Check his gums. Your dog’s gums should be moist and pink. If you find that they are dry and pale, he is most likely dehydrated.
  2. Check his skin. Gently lift your dog’s skin at the back of his neck and let go of it. If your dog is well-hydrated, his skin should bounce back immediately to its original shape. A dehydrated dog’s skin is less elastic and takes more time to bounce back.

Also, be on the lookout for the following signs of dehydration:

  • Little to no energy
  • No interest in food
  • Dry mouth
  • Sunken eyes

If you have any concerns that your dog is dehydrated, make sure to offer him water immediately and contact your veterinarian. We hope these tips help keep your dog hydrated, healthy and happy!

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