Some dogs love playing in their water bowls and lapping up as much as they can, while others are more particular about their hydration habits. This can lead pet parents to wonder: “how much water should my dog drink?” While the answer is a little complicated, there are some guidelines you can follow and tips for making sure your dog doesn’t drink too much or too little.
How Much Water Should My Dog Drink?
The short answer to this question is: every dog is different. It’s normal for dogs to drink after exercise, eating and sleeping. They also will drink sporadically throughout the day. The best way to know how much water your dog should drink is to observe his habits when he is healthy.
It’s important for us to know what is and what isn’t normal for our pets. Things like water intake, appetite and energy levels can be indicative of your pet’s health and wellbeing. If your dog’s habits suddenly change, it could be due to a medical condition or a change in his environment.
Another great way to know if your dog is drinking enough water is by checking his urine. Stand near your dog when he is urinating; if there is a strong odor to the urine or it seems to be a dark yellow or orange color, it could mean that your dog is dehydrated. Similarly, if the urine is pink or red it is an indication of blood in the urine and you should get your dog to the veterinarian right away as they could have an infection or stones in their bladder.
You can also test your dog’s hydration levels by gently lifting the scruff (the skin on the back of your dog’s neck) until it is taut and then letting it go. If it immediately falls back into place, your dog is hydrated, but if it takes longer than a few seconds your dog could be dehydrated. This can sometimes be difficult to perform on senior pets who have less elasticity to their skin and overweight pets who have more fat around their neck. Finally, you can test your dog’s hydration by touching your finger to his gums. If your finger sticks, your pooch may be dehydrated.
If you believe your dog is dehydrated and he isn’t interested in drinking water, a trip to the veterinarian is in order. When an animal is dehydrated for too long it can cause damage to the kidneys as well as other internal organs. When it comes to hydration and your dog’s health, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Tips for Keeping Your Dog Hydrated
When offering your dog water, one thing to keep in mind is the water’s temperature. While it is tempting to give your dog ice cold water, it’s actually much healthier to let your dog have water that is room temperature. When a warm dog ingests ice cold water, their body must then use valuable energy to warm up the water. If it doesn’t, it can cause your dog to have a tummy ache or even throw up.
Another common cause of vomiting in dogs is drinking too much water. If you have just brought your dog in from a hot day or from a bout of vigorous play, his first instinct will be to drink a lot of water. Unfortunately, if they have access to an unlimited supply they will often drink too much and then proceed to vomit. It can also cause a condition called bloat.
To prevent too much water intake, offer your dog several small bowls of water every 10 to 15 minutes until they are cooled off and relaxed. Once they have calmed down, you can put their normal water bowl back down and let them have access to the unlimited supply.Every dog is different when it comes to water intake and bathroom habits. Get to know your dog’s routine while he is young and healthy so you can recognize potential problems as he ages. And if you notice an abnormal change in your dog’s water routine, don’t put off calling your veterinarian.