How much water should your dog drink in a day?

It’s a commonly asked question by the pet owners, how much water should a dog drink in a day? Well, the answer may vary from one breed to another, size, diet, age, season, geography etc.

Water intake is essential to determine the overall health and life expectancy of your pet. The Veterinarians suggest that to keep the body-water in level, you should monitor their drinking habit and determine the water-level that suits their lifestyle.

A requirement of Water Intake

  • A healthy dog should drink between ½ and 1 ounce of water per pound of physical weight each day. So a healthy 73-pound Golden Retriever should consume between about 35 and 73 ounces.
  • If your dog is eating a moisture-rich or water-rich diet, they may drink less from their water bowl. If they’re eating primarily dry food, they may need more water than their average daily intake. Digesting dry food requires more calorie-burn and water.
  • Pets who spend time indulging in water-based activity, such as; retrieving items from ponds or river, fetching wet sticks, balls, and other items etc., ingest more water than the usual. You should monitor their hydration level before filling their water bowl.
  • Small pet or Puppies must keep drinking a small amount of water every couple of hours.
  • After play or exercise, you should use caution while filling the water bowl. Give a rest before refill their bowl. You can also choose to give them frequent water break during play or exercise.
  • You should keep checking how much water they drink during the summer or hotter months.

How to check if they need more or less water?

To determine if your dog needs more water:

  • Lift some skin at the back of their neck and let it go. If your pet is well hydrated, the skin will fall quickly back into place. The skin of a dehydrated dog will fall more slowly and form sort of a tent.
  • Another method is to check their gums. Moist, slick gums indicate a good level of hydration; dry or sticky gums mean your pet’s body needs more water.

Over-hydration or Polydipsia

Psychogenic Polydipsia or just Polydipsia is known as the desire to drink too much water. Over-hydration often leads to water intoxication. The symptoms may include staggering or loss of coordination, fatigue, nausea, bloating, vomiting, dilated pupils, glazed eyes, light gum color, and excessive salivation.

In some severe cases, your pets may suffer from difficulty in breathing, collapse, loss of consciousness, seizures, coma, or even death.

There are a number of pet-related diseases which results in excess water intake and urine output. Few of the common diseases include kidney failure, diabetes mellitus, and Cushing’s disease.

  • You should understand about water intoxication and monitor your dog’s activity when playing in the water source.

How to Prevent Dehydration

Behavior Modification: Treat your pet whenever they go to get a drink.

Strategic Placement: Keep water near their shelter, bed, or food to encourage the water intake.

Up the Flavor: You can choose to add flavor packets such as chicken, bacon, or beef to enhance the flavor of plain water.


In case of severe dehydration, water intoxication or any signs of unnatural behavior, do consult your vet as soon as possible.

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