How Much Water Should A Dog Drink Per Day

How Much Water Should A Dog Drink Per Day?
Written by Graeme Hall

Just like humans, dogs comprise nearly 80% water, if your dog isn’t drinking enough water every day they can suffer. In fact, drinking too little or even too much water can cause some expensive veterinary bills for your pooch.

The good news is that most dogs instinctively know how much water per day they should be drinking. With that said, there are dogs that either under-drink or over-drink; if your dog is drinking too much water, this can lead to electrolyte imbalances, water toxicity Hyponatremia, and even stomach bloat.

On the other hand, if your dog isn’t drinking enough water throughout the day they could suffer from organ failure, kidney stones, or sometimes even death.

It’s important to note that if your pooch is having problems drinking water (either too much or too little) it could be a sign of an underlying illness and you should ideally have your buddy checked over by your local veterinarian.

Some common illnesses that could make a dog drink less water per day can be Pancreatitis, Parvo, and Leptospirosis. Over-drinking could indicate that your dog has a bladder infection, diabetes, or another type of infection.

Keeping an eye on your dog's drinking habits each day will ensure proper hydration, help improve their well-being, and even prevent illness.

Just How Much Water Does A Dog Need?

How much water should a dog drink per day really depends on the size, age, weather conditions, and activity level of your dog? But typically an average dog needs to drink anywhere from 55 to 110 milliliters (8.5 to 17 ounces per 10 pounds) of water per kilogram per day.


How much water should a dog drink per kg?

Let's say a dog weighs roughly 23 kilos, that dog would need between 1.25 to 2.5 liters per day of liquid refreshment to stay hydrated and happy.

During the summer months, it’s essential you closely monitor your dog to make sure enough fluids are being consumed in the day.

Dehydration In Dogs

How To Check For Dehydration In Dogs And Over-hydration In Dogs

Your dog might look perfectly fine and is most cases you won't even be able to tell if your dog is dehydrated or over-hydrated. However, if your dog is not drinking enough water, there are actually a few telltale signs that could alert you that your pooch might be in trouble.

If you're cornered that your dog might be dehydrated, gently grab a piece of the skin at the back of your dog's neck. Give it a squeeze and then let go if your dog is fully hydrated the skin will quickly go back to how it was before.

However, if your dog is dehydrated, you'll notice that the skin will stay raised up in a tent formation. This is also the same way “us humans” can tell if we are suffering from dehydration - see we aren’t that different after all!

Another simple way to check if your dog is dehydrated is to take a quick peek at the gums. Dull, sticky gums may suggest that your dog needs water, while wet, slippery gums are a good sign all is okay.

If you notice that your pooch is vomiting, acting confused and lethargic, he may have had too much water and is over-hydrated.

Tips To Keep Your Dog Properly Hydrated

Using a simple formula (remember: 55–110 milliliters per kg per day) you should be able to work out if your dog is an under-drinker or an over-drinker and how much water they should drink per day.

Below are a few ideas to help keep your pooch correctly hydrated throughout the day.

If Your Dog Is An Over-Drinker

  • A simple way to monitor and limit the amount of water your dog drinks in a day is to use “Lick” bottles, just like the one's horses use.
  • Try rationing the amount of water your dog has in the day, you can still leave the dog bowl out but just make sure there is someone around the top it up.
  • Another solution for night time water dispensing is to use a rabbit water bottle feeder which allows only a few drops of water out at a time.
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    You could opt for a fully automated option - however, the problem with most of the automatic water dispensers is they fill up whenever the water gets low making it difficult to control to amount of water your dog drinks in a day.

If Your Dog Is An Under-Drinker

  • One of the best ways to get your dog to drink fluids is to disguise it in a liquid - chicken or beef broth are great ways to give your dog fluids.
  • Give your dog a lot of praise when he has a drink of water from his bowl, maybe even offering him a tasty treat!
  • try to keep water available near his food, bed or anywhere else he often lays down and relaxes.
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    If you have a good hunt around in your local pet shop, you should be able to get your hands on some flavor packets such as beef, bacon, and chicken that you can add to your dog's water to make it a little more tempting to drink.

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About the author

Graeme Hall

Graeme is the founder of Doggytastic! which is where he blogs about dog training, health, nutrition and anything else related to keeping a dog happy and healthy. Want to know a little bit more? Make sure to check out his full bio.

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