Hydration is important to every living thing. It keeps our bodies healthy and our organs
functioning. Humans know that we should be getting around eight cups of water per
day, but how much should our four-legged friends be getting to stay healthy?
The answer depends on a few factors; namely, your dog’s age, size and activity level,
as well as medications your dog may be taking.
A good general guideline, according to Dogster, is ½ to 1 ounce of water per pound of
body weight per day. Puppies will need ½ cup every couple of hours, and since they
haven’t learned how to monitor that themselves yet, you will need to keep a close eye
on their water intake.
If you make it a practice just keep their water bowl filled with cool, clean water, most
dogs will self-regulate. However, there are some reasons you’ll need to pay closer
If you keep your dog crated during the day while you’re at work, make sure they have a
water source available to them and never leave them without making sure it is full.
If your dog is taking particular medications, it could make them thirstier and make them
go through their water faster than usual. Make sure you take this into account when
leaving them for any period of time.
And don’t forget about the weather. If it is hot and/or dry outside, your dog will need to
increase their water intake to stay cool and hydrated. They will pant to keep themselves
cool which will cause them to dehydrate more quickly.
The same is true if they are getting exercise. If you have an active dog who likes to play
fetch for hours, even in 80-degree heat, you’ll have to interrupt play from time to time to
give them a drink. Sometimes, if guzzling water after an activity causes your dog to
choke or regurgitate, it can help to start by giving them ice cubes to lick while their heart
rates come down.
Panting is the most easily visible sign of dehydration, so if your dog is panting when its
not hot, or they haven’t been active, it might be time to refill the water bowl. If you want
to check your dog’s hydration you can also gently stretch the skin at the base of its
neck; if it snaps back into place, your dog is adequately hydrated, but if it doesn’t and
forms a sort of “tent,” your dog is probably dehydrated.
You can also inspect your dog’s gums for signs of dehydration—wet, slippery pink gums
are hydrated, while sticky, dull gums might mean your pup needs a drink.
A consistent watering schedule at home and a portable water bowl while you’re out to
play will make sure you never have to worry about your pup’s water intake. Keeping
your dog properly hydrated may not be difficult, but it is extremely important.
Posted on August 2, 2019