Dogs, like humans, need an adequate intake of water per day. Water regulates your dog’s body temperature, as well as aids in digestion and waste removal.
Dogs tend to only drink when they’re thirsty. However, this doesn’t always mean your dog will drink enough throughout the day. On warmer days, when your dog is running around the yard, they may need extra water. Some dogs get dehydrated when they’re stressed or anxious, so this should be taken to account as well.
Some Dog Drinking Guidelines
There are a few things to consider when thinking about your dog’s hydration habits. How big are they? How old are they? Are they more active or sedentary? Here is a general guideline for dog hydration. Consider the following:
On average, a healthy dog should consume about ½ to 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight per day.
A healthy diet is just as important for your dog’s overall health as it is to their hydration. Dogs that eat dry food will need more water compared to those that eat only wet food. Be sure to steer clear of any added sodium, as this can increase your dog’s thirst.
Compared to adult dogs, puppies need about ½ a cup of water every two hours, and need to be closely monitored. Senior age dogs tend to be able to monitor their own water intake.
The temperature outside can drastically change your dog’s hydration needs for the day. If it’s hotter than usual, or if you notice a higher heat index, make sure you plan your dog’s day around this.
Just like certain human medications, some canine medications can increase dry mouth and cause your dog to drink more as a result. Make sure you ask your vet if a new medicine might interfere with your dog’s thirst levels.
Signs of a Dehydrated Dog
When we look at hydration guidelines for dogs, it’s important to also discuss ways to tell if your dog is dehydrated. Dehydration in dogs is not as obvious as it is in humans, and therefore you should pay close attention if you suspect your dog is dehydrated.
Check your dog’s:
A healthy dog’s gums are bright pink, wet, and slobbery! If your dog’s gums are dry or sticky, this suggests dehydration.
When you pull on the skin of your dog’s neck, does it quickly fall back down? Or, does it form a sort of tent? If you notice the latter, your dog is dehydrated.
Ways to Keep Your Dog Hydrated and Happy
Just like in humans, dehydration can cause lethargy and loss of appetite in dogs. Here are a few ways you can keep Fido hydrated, healthy, and happy.
Provide more water bowls––If you want to ensure your dog drinks more water, try to set up water bowls in multiple locations in your home.
Make a doggie smoothie––if you’re interested in sharing your morning smoothie with your dog, you can! As long as you avoid any unsafe ingredients and try to moderate their intake of lactose and dairy, they’ll be fine. Sweet fruits like strawberries, blueberries, and apples are all healthy snacks to share with your dog. Let ‘em lick the spoon, too!
Soak kibble-–Kibble is naturally a dry dog food. If you want to make it more hydrating for your dog, you can always soak it in water before feeding them.
Wash your dog’s bowl often––Dogs are muddy creatures that love messes and all things dirty––except when it’s in their water bowls. To avoid a dirty, murky bowl, wash your dog’s bowl a few times during the day.
For more hydration tips for you and your four-legged friends, visit our blog.