So, you’re having some doubts about how much water your dog should be drinking through the day, and how exactly you can go about making sure that happens.
Depending on how easily accessible you make drinkable water to your dog, your dog might drink all the water they need during the day by themselves, or they might not be getting the minimum amount they need to stay healthy.
Surprisingly enough, even some dogs with easily accessible drinking water made available to them don’t take advantage of it and end up drinking way less amounts of water than their body actually needs throughout the day.
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Why Is Drinking Water Important For Dogs?
The same way that drinking water is very important for you and I and our health, drinking water is also very important for your dog’s health.
Before going over why water is important for your dog and beneficial for their health, let’s cover some of the most common things that could happen when your dog is dehydrated for a long period of time.
- Development of kidney stones
- Urinary tract infections
- Failure of organs
Now, why is drinking water important for dogs?
- Body Functions: Nearly every body function that happens in your dog’s system has some requirement or another that’s related to sufficient water levels. Be it breathing, proper processing and transporting oxygen to the brain, proper functions of the organs, proper pumping of the blood and many other functions, sufficient water levels in your dog’s blood have a large say in all of these.
- Detox: The same way water flushes unwanted toxins away from our bodies and makes sure our systems are as clean as can be, water does the exact same for your dog’s body and system.
- Stool: Constipation, anyone? It ain’t fun for you, and it sure ain’t fun for your dog either! Just like you and I get constipated and have a very hard time in the bathroom when we slack off on drinking enough water (and hate ourselves for it when it’s too late), the same thing happens with your dog, and you don’t want them to go through something so painful to them.
How To Ensure Your Dog Stays Properly Hydrated
- Training: If your dog has never been trained to drink water when they’re told to via a command, then you’ve got some work to do.
- Ease Of Accessibility: Make it as easy as possible for your dog to get access to water they want to drink, meaning ensure it’s right there staring them in the face whenever they feel like they’re thirsty.
- Flavorings: If your dog gives you a hard time when it comes to drinking water, you can try out some products designed for dogs that flavor their drinking water. However, you have do your due diligence here and make sure that no toxic substances/elements/ingredients are included in these flavorings.
How Much Water Should A Dog Drink?
Now, exactly the same way that your dog should be getting adequate amounts of water throughout the day to maintain their health, they shouldn’t over-do it and drink more than their body can handle at a time, because that will cause health problems as well, most common of which is water toxicity.
A lot of factors come into play when it comes to determining why your dog is over-drinking or under-drinking and the best amount of water that your dog should be drinking.
- Weight and Size: Larger and heavier dogs may need much more water than smaller dogs in size and weight to remain properly hydrated
- Diet: If you’re feeding your dog an unhealthy diet (think fried food high in sodium), not only will you be putting them at risk of developing deadly diseases, but they’ll always be much more thirsty than they should be, and hence will want to drink much higher levels of water than usual. However, if you’re feeding your dog a high quality diet made up of high quality dog food (and you’re keeping them away from all the fried stuff and food rich in sodium), then their bodies will be requiring less amounts of water throughout the day. Also, dogs which are fed moisturized dog food will be getting decent amounts of water from their food, while those which are fed dry dog food won’t.
- Physical Activity: The more physically active a dog is, the longer they exercise throughout the day and the more intense their physical activity is, the more water their bodies will require throughout the day to remain properly hydrated.
- Seasons: Hot summer days will have both you and your dog requiring higher levels of water throughout the day than, say, cold winter days.
- Sickness: Ilnesses, infections and diseases such as liver disease, kidney disease, Cushing’s disease, viral infections, fever, diabetes and cancer may have your dog either under-drink or over-drink.
- Medication: Some medications that your dog might be taking to treat a certain condition they have might be increasing/decreasing their thirst as a side effect. This is why it’s always important and recommended that you communicate to your veterinarian any changes that happen with your dog when they take any medication.
Generally speaking, most dogs require between 1 ounce of water for every 1lb for their body weight.
Some of the most common symptoms of dogs that over-drink on water are:
- Tiredness and decreased activity
Some of the most common symptoms of dogs suffering from dehydration (not drinking enough amounts of water) are:
- Dull and dry gums
- Dry tongue
- Dryness around the eyes area
- Dry coat
- Thick saliva
If you notice that your dog is either drinking excessive amounts of water or not drinking adequate amounts of water, this could be a sign of a sickness your dog is suffering from, and you should definitely talk to your veterinarian about it.