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How Much Water Should a Dog Drink?

All living things need water to survive. It’s essential that your dog gets the right amount of water each day in order to keep them happy and healthy to avoid dehydration. Looking for information on how to keep your dog hydrated? Read on!

Basic Hydration Guidelines for Dog Owners

Most dogs need one ounce of water for every pound they weigh. When determining how much water your dog should drink, consider your dog’s breed, diet, exercise levels and any medication they take. Dogs with high energy levels, pregnant dogs or dogs with new puppies typically need more water.

How to Ensure Your Dog is Drinking Enough Water

There are a few ways to ensure your dog gets enough water each day. If your dog doesn’t drink enough water, you may have to get creative.

Give Your Dog Ice Cubes

Some dogs love ice—and for a good reason! Because they don’t sweat, dogs sometimes need help cooling down. Feeding your dog a few ice cubes help them to regulate their temperature, while also increasing their water intake for the day. After a strenuous play date or a game of fetch, try placing a few ice cubes in their water bowl.

Motivate Your Dog

Dogs that are food-oriented may need the incentive to drink more water. By rewarding your pup with a treat after drinking water, they’ll associate drinking water with a delicious snack. Only reward your dog when they drink a decent serving, not just a few drops of water.

Flavor Your Dog’s Water

Your dog may not enjoy the bland taste of water, but that’s nothing a bit of flavoring can’t fix. Sneaking a tablespoon of low-sodium chicken or beef broth into your dog’s water may entice them to drink more. Be wary of flavor enhancers that are toxic to your dog’s health, such as onion powder, garlic powder, artificial sugars, etc.

Check for Dehydration in Your Dog

To check for dehydration in your dog, consider performing the skin dehydration test. Lightly pinch your dog’s scruff, and if the skin quickly bounces back, your dog is adequately hydrated. Dehydrated skin won’t bounce back as quickly and may even stay in its place.

If you’re unsure about performing a skin dehydration test, other common signs of dehydration include:

  • Dry gums
  • Lack of salivation
  • Dry and sunken eyes
  • Dry skin
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting with or without diarrhea
  • Reduced energy levels and lethargy
  • Excessive panting

What are the Dangers of Improper Water Intake?

Dehydration can be serious for a dog and can lead to brain damage, kidney damage, heart failure or even death. Other side effects may include difficulty breathing, coma and seizures. It is crucial for you to take action if your pet is showing signs of severe dehydration. If dehydration symptoms persist for an extended period of time, contact an emergency veterinarian immediately.

Consult Your Veterinarian

At Care First Animal Hospital, your dog’s health is our top priority. To keep your mind at ease, schedule an appointment with us to ensure your dog’s health is top-notch.

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