Solve with this guide your doubts about the hydration of dogs. Discover how much water they need per day, how they should drink and many more tips
As in the case of humans, Water is essential to maintain the good health of dogs. Your body needs water daily both to eliminate toxins and for your organs to function properly. In fact, approximately 70% of the dogs' body is composed of water. The problem is that dogs are not always able to drink for themselves all the water they need.
Dogs and water - All you have to know
All about dogs and water
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In this guide, we will analyze how much water dogs need to drink, what kind of drinks they can drink and what not, what are the best ways to make dogs drink and some more tips that will help you maintain your dog's good hydration.
Topics covered in this publication:
How do dogs drink?
Dogs have a curious way of drinking. Rather than drinking water, they seem to be bitten and swallowed quickly, splashing everywhere. However, that hectic way of hydrating has an explanation that looks great in slow motion.
Dogs curl their tongues and put it in the water by pulling it out just after very quickly. With that gesture they manage to lift a small portion of liquid that they catch by closing the jaw. Repeating that gesture for a few times they manage to drink enough to hydrate. Let's see it in slow motion:
Now that we've seen how they drink, let's answer another key question, how much water does a dog drink?
How much do dogs drink?
In the amount of water that dogs should drink several factors influence such as weight, race, physical activity, food or ambient temperature. However, to take a clearer reference you can use the weight. The approximate amount of water a dog should drink is 60ml per kilogram of average weight.
But this figure is just that, an indicative amount. In winter we can stick to it, since our dogs do not perform so much physical activity or lose so much water. But nevertheless, In summer it is essential to control the needs of our dog to avoid heat stroke and dehydration. We could determine values of 50ml per kg per day in winter and 80 ml per day of water in summer.
For example, a dog that weighs 10 kilos and who frequently exercises in summer (a couple of daily departures) will easily need between 800ml and a liter of water to replenish lost water. Approximately 4 glasses of water a day in this example.
Special mention should be given to competition dogs and hunting dogs. The latter, on many occasions, they get so excited in a fighter that they forget to drink even though they make a great physical effort. Hunters should keep this in mind to prevent their dog from increasing their heart rate too much and becoming dehydrated quickly.
Let's see what happens when dogs don't drink enough water.
What happens if the dog does not drink?
The lack of hydration of our dog is a very worrying problem. If we suspect that our dog does not drink enough for several days we should go to the veterinarian, since this lack of desire to drink can be a symptom of a more serious disease.
Proper hydration of the animal is very important, because the bodies of dogs can lose water quickly, so Your health status may be impaired very soon if you do not take appropriate measures.
The symptoms of dehydration in dogs are as follows:
- Accelerated and difficult breathing
- Eyes sink> How long does a dog stand without drinking?
Like all living things, dogs usually need to drink water to keep their body functioning properly. Therefore, it is not recommended that they spend too many hours without drinking water, especially in very hot seasons. This is one of the main problems that dogs suffer during the summer, about which you can read more in this article: How do animals survive the summer?
Although they can endure several days without eating in extraordinary cases, if in 24 hours they have not ingested a drop of water, dogs can start to become dehydrated, so it should never reach that end.
Let's see below what may be the consequences of poor hydration.
Problems derived from poor hydration of dogs
As we said before, dogs that do not drink enough water are more likely to develop a disease. Many of these diseases can seriously complicate the state of health of the dog, so it should be put in the hands of a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Dehydration problems in dogs
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Let's see what are the main problems derived from poor hydration:
- Liver problems: The liver is one of the most delicate organs and can be affected if there is a significant dehydration of our dog. The lack of water can alter the behavior of this organ and become a very serious problem.
- Renal problems: such as excessive concentration of urine, kidney stone formation, kidney failure, urinary tract problems, etc. They are quite common problems in dogs. Kidney problems are diseases that are sometimes difficult to detect and have a slow development., but they can cause the health of our dog to deteriorate if not treated in time.
There are also other diseases that are directly related to the hydration of dogs, since they are a direct cause or consequence of it.
We speak, for example, of intestinal problems that cause diarrhea or vomiting to our dog and, therefore, an excessive loss of water that must be compensated, in a similar way to what happens in humans. The call gastric torsion It could be included in this section of intestinal problems, although it is not due to a lack of water but to an excess of water or food or a great physical activity after eating or drinking in excess. It could resemble a binge by a binge, and it is convenient to go quickly to a veterinarian.
Also other diseases such as cystitis, a disease of infectious origin that causes inflammation of the bladder of our animal, as well as difficulties to urinate, a malfunction of the urinary system and the possibility that the infection spreads to other organs if it is not treated.
Ear infections (otitis) and eyes (conjunctivitis, glaucoma) can also lead to a dehydration of our dog, since these diseases produce abundant secretions and fluid loss.
The diabetes It is another of the common diseases that affect dogs and produce what in medical terms is called polyuria and polydipsia, or what is the same, the animal urinates too much and also drinks in excess.
As can be seen, these are very common diseases that have to do with the hydration of dogs. In fact, some of them such as otitits, intestinal problems or urinary tract problems are among the ten diseases most covered by insurers.
How to know if the dog is drinking enough water?
Fortunately, the dog's body is quite eloquent when determining if our animal is dehydrated. There are several tricks or steps to follow to see if our dog drinks enough water. They are the following:
- Dry gums: They are a part of our dog's body that must always be wet. Therefore, if we check that they are dry or sticky, our dog is dehydrated. Its color is also decisive. In a healthy dog, the gums are pink, while in dogs with lack of water they can turn red or white.
- Hollow eyes: is another of the symptoms of dehydration.
- Urine too concentrated: in dogs lacking water, the urine will be darker and its smell will be much stronger than usual.
- Skin elasticity: In healthy dogs, if we gently pinch the skin of the back, it will quickly return to its normal appearance. Therefore, if we verify that our dog's skin takes time to return to his position, it is because he is dehydrated.
- Blood supply: in dehydrated dogs, blood circulates with greater difficulty. A good way to check this problem is to gently squeeze a finger on your gums. If the blood refills the area that we have pressed in a couple of seconds there is no problem. But if it takes longer our dog may be dehydrated.
Let's see now how we can make our dog drink the water he needs.
What do I do if my dog does not drink enough water?
We have already talked about the fact that sometimes it is difficult for dogs to drink the water they need. This may be due to a disease they are suffering from or simply a lack of habit.
In any case, to correct this problem there are some tricks that we review below:
- Add water to your food: especially if they are dry feed, which have less concentration of water than canned food.
- Place bowls throughout the house: It is another good technique for our dog to end up drinking in any corner. Sooner than later our dog will feel like drinking if he sees water everywhere.
- Add flavor to the water: There are aromas and flavors that can be added to the water that we put in our drinking fountain to our dog. They are sold in specialized stores and in large stores. Hydrating our pet will be more expensive, but it is a good way to acquire the pleasure of drinking regularly.
- Know the tastes of our dog: There are dogs that like to drink from more complicated places than from a simple bowl. Some, for example, love fonts. Others like to get wet and drink with hoses or garden irrigation systems. If we discover that our dog is fond of this, making him drink water will be easier.
It is possible that our dog drinks enough water but ends up vomiting it. Let's see what we should do in that case.
What happens if the dog vomits water?
Vomiting in dogs is a sporadic fact that should not worry if they do not include blood. Dogs may vomit for multiple reasons such as having eaten too quickly or for an allergic reaction to any food. Keep in mind that processed foods, such as dog food, contain additives and preservatives that can cause vomiting, diarrhea and other adverse reactions in our dogs.
Vomiting should worry if they become recurring. If our dog vomits habitually it is, surely, because he suffers another more serious problem than a simple eating disorder.
The most common health problems that are related to vomiting in dogs are stomach or bowel problems, kidney infections, liver problems and food allergies and intolerances.
If it is observed that the dog vomits very often one must urgently go to the veterinarian, since it can be a symptom of other diseases that usually attack the dogs, such as ulcers, parvovirus, distemper, gastritis, pancreatitis, etc.
On the other hand, that the dog vomits water sporadically can be a symptom of having drank too much or too quickly. As we have seen in the video of the beginning, dogs tend to drink quickly and it is possible that sometimes this habit makes them want to vomit. It happens to humans sometimes and it can also happen to our canine friends.
But nevertheless, If it is not an isolated event and the dog vomits water continuously it must be a veterinarian who clarifies what happens to our pet.
Dogs and cold water
There is a rumor on the Internet, almost a myth, that says very cold water can cause adverse effects in dogs. It has even been associated with the dreaded gastric torsion (a condition that causes a stomach swelling that can cause the dog to die).
But the truth is that Many veterinarians have determined that giving cold water, even with ice cubes, our dog does not have to be bad.
The problem lies in the sudden temperature changes of our animal, just as it can happen to humans when we drink very cold water directly from the refrigerator.
In very active dogs, cold water can cause vomiting and other reactions if the animal takes it very quickly after exercising or in extreme heat situations. The recommendation: Mix the cold water with warm water and make our dog drink little by little. Sometimes it can be difficult, but it is the best way to prevent digestive problems.
Dogs and hot water
A thirsty dog will drink practically all kinds of water, regardless of its temperature. However, it is not recommended that you drink too hot water. Ideally, drink fresh water, neither too cold nor too hot.
In addition, in hot water it is easier for microorganisms to appear that can harm the health of our dog.
Dogs and tap water
Is it dangerous for dogs to drink tap water? Well it depends on the quality of the water. There are places in Spain where tap running water carries a huge amount of chlorine, lime and other additives which, in the long run, can affect the kidneys of our dogs, as is the case with people. However, there are other areas where tap water is clean and dogs can drink it perfectly.
Unfortunately, it is increasingly difficult to find quality public waters that do not affect the delicate organisms of our pets. Although in Spain we have a fairly high quality tap water compared to other countries, there are places where it is better to buy bottled water.
The most fortunate in this regard are the inhabitants of cities such as Burgos, San Sebastián and Las Palmas, the populations with the highest quality tap water according to the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU).
Dogs and mineral water
Mineral water is the alternative for those who believe that tap water can harm your dog's health. Bottled water usually contains less minerals than tap water, so a priori it is much better for our dogs. There is no problem, therefore, that dogs drink mineral water to hydrate.
In fact, many people who live in areas where tap water is of poor quality give their pets mineral water. It can be more expensive, but this way kidney diseases and other similar problems can be avoided more effectively.
Dogs and milk
Dogs, like mammals they are, spend the first weeks of their life breastfeeding, that is, feeding on breast milk. They do it for about six weeks. Much of that breast milk is water, and it also contains basic nutrients to feed the puppies and to boost their immune system with antibodies.
However, once they stop tetar and start eating solid foods, most dogs develop lactose intolerance. That is, they eliminate the enzymes with which they are able to digest milk (called lactase) and therefore when they take it it causes diarrhea and vomiting. Something similar occurs in humans and also cats are usually lactose intolerant.
This is the general rule, although there are exceptional cases of dogs that tolerate milk well, always in small quantities. What we can do is give our dog some milk to prove how it feels.
In the case of puppies, cow's milk is not an appropriate food. Lactating puppies should only drink their mother's milk or specific milk that can be purchased at specialized pet stores.
Much of this type of milk, called infant formula, is sold as powdered milk that must be prepared with water to feed our puppy. An example is this milk for puppies can be found on Amazon. In specialized veterinary stores you can also find lactose-free milks for adult dogs.
Extra tip: if you want to know more about milk for puppies you can not miss this guide: Milk for puppies: homemade emergency recipes for dogs.
As for milk derivatives, such as yogurts or cheeses, it is also not appropriate for them to take them since they also contain lactose that affects their digestive systems. The case of cheese is special, because cheeses usually contain much less lactose, so they can be given in small proportions, always checking if it produces any adverse effects. Also, dogs love cheese.
Let's see now what other drinks we should not give a dog.
What should a dog not drink?
We review below some drinks that dogs should not drink, because they can negatively affect their organisms:
- Beb> The best water troughs for dogs
There are plenty of dog drinking fountains on the market with prices of all kinds. From traditional bowls to more sophisticated ones that have an engine.
Leaving aside the most basic bowls, there are drinking fountains that incorporate a bottle, or a carafe for larger dogs, with a dispenser. These drinking troughs make it easier for us to put our pet's doses of water, although from time to time we will have to replace the bottle or refill it.
But the most striking are, without a doubt, the drinking fountains with an electric motor that resemble a fountain, with its water jets and its pump to raise the water. These drinking fountains or fountains for dogs have the great advantage that they attract the attention of our dogs and encourage them to drink. Let's say they get your attention more than traditional drinkers.
In addition, they usually have filters that purify the water before our dog drinks it and have parts that can be easily washed in the dishwasher.
But nevertheless, They also have some drawbacks that should be taken into account when buying them:
- All produce some noise. The constant work of the engine produces noises that vary depending on the brand and virtually no escapes this detail that can be very annoying.
- They require regular cleaning of the parts and filters to avoid the accumulation of lime and dirt. Most manufacturers recommend washing the fountains every week.
- Plastic sources can cause allergies. Although there are other materials with which sources of this type are manufactured, such as ceramics or stainless steel, most are still plastic, a material that can cause problems in the health of our pet.
- Its price. And more than its price, it is the expense to which we must commit to pay for the spare parts of the filters and other parts. A source of this type, in the long run, is quite expensive.
- Electricity is not a good ally. The combination of electricity, water and dogs can be a deadly trap for our pets.
Our advice is that you carefully monitor the quality guarantees of these products and make sure you are very sure about the particular characteristics of each source.. Informing yourself well and checking the quality certifications can save you a good dislike.
In any case, you must take into account two characteristics to make the drinker comfortable for your dog. On the one hand, it should be wide and deep enough so that you can drink the way you saw in the video at the beginning. Dogs need a minimum amount of water to drink comfortably.
On the other hand, you should keep in mind that when drinking, the dog can splash around, so you should place the drinking fountain in a place with space, away from electrical appliances and other objects that cannot get wet.
If you need a drinker for your dog, these are some of our recommendations:
What is the cant>
It is not easy to know what the exact amount a dog needs to drink a day, since there is no "perfect" figure. Your dog should have fresh and clean water available 24 hours a day to hydrate whenever you want, that's the main thing.
But if we want to go into details, dogs usually need daily some 70 milliliters of water per kilogram of weight, although this figure will vary greatly depending on the time of the year, the reproductive status, the exercise performed, etc. Normally, dogs drink from 40 to 100 milliliters of water for every kilogram of weight.
The problem appears when we observe our dog drinking too much or too little, that is when the owners notice the hydration needs of their dog. We will explain below The diseases more frequent related to the consumption of water, so that you know to warn them in time.
What kind of food do you give: dry or wet?
The amount of water you need will vary depending on the type of food you are given. In case you give dry feed, not containing more than 40% moisture (or even less), the dog will drink much more water than if it was fed with wet feed or natural food, either Barf, Yum Diet or the like.
Diseases related to water intake
Next we will mention some diseases related to water consumption that can alert us that something is not going well:
- Polydipsia: The dog shows excessive thirst, so we will observe that it ingests large amounts of water and other liquids. It is common in diabetic dogs, intoxicated dogs or the use of certain medication. It is usually accompanied by polyuria, urination of large volumes of urine.
- Adipsia: the dog barely drinks water, shows lack of thirst. It may be caused by hydrocephalus, cerebrovascular problems, congenital anomalies, injury or tumor in the hypothalamus, etc.
- Potomania: The dog consumes water excessively and compulsively, as a result of a mental problem. Unlike the previous two, it is not a symptom, but a disease in itself.
These are some of the pathologies that we can observe when faced with excessive or low water consumption. Next, in case of dehydration, we will explain how to evaluate a dog that is not hydrated:
Make sure you have water at your disposal
But, regardless of what is given, you always have to have a drinking fountain filled with clean, fresh water, especially during the summer. Further, it will also be necessary to take water bottles during the walks, especially if they are going to last more than 30 minutes, since then you have to pause every 10 minutes so that the animal can quench its thirst.
How to know if my dog is dehydrated?
Water gives elasticity to the skin, therefore, we can know if our dog is dehydrated pinching gently the skin of his neck, that is, at the height of the cross. If the skin recover quicklythe position It is normal that it is well hydrated, but if it does not, it is probably dehydrated. You can also detect this problem if your gums or tongue are dry.
If we also observe that you are apathetic, vomiting or diarrhea and other abnormal symptoms do not hesitate and go to your veterinarian to take a general exam.
TIPS for h>
If you observe that your dog drinks little water but you have ruled out any pathology at the veterinarian, it may be interesting to evaluate some options to ensure that he receives enough water. Here are some tips to hydrate your dog:
- Offer him wet food Occasionally, either as a reward or extra in your diet. This type of food contains about 70% moisture, perfect for moisturizing the dog in the hottest seasons.
- Renew your water on a regular basis so that it is appealing to him.
- Replace snacks for dogs for vegetable snacks, whether carrot, squash, apple or sweet potato. Boil them to increase the amount of water.
Is the dog's drinker important?
Believe it or not, the drinker is something very interesting to consider. Remember that you should not look at the prettiest, but in the most hygienic:
- Plastic drinker, we all know him, they are economical and comfortable to wash but they can produce certain allergic reactions or expel toxins.
- Ceramic drinkerThey have enviable designs, but cleaning will be more complicated. They can break easily, which is a risk.
- Stainless steel drinker, It is the most resistant of all, if we find one of good quality it will keep the water without toxic substances, they are also very easy to clean.
We recommend you buy stainless steel drinkers, although we will not find very attractive designs, we will keep our dog healthy.
If you want to read more articles similar to How much water should a dog drink a day?, we recommend that you enter our Basic Care section.
Make a simple multiplication to know how much you should drink
You just have to know that the dog should drink about 60ml per kg that weighs. So, if yours weighs 10kg, multiply 60 x 10 and give you 600ml, which is what your friend should eat. Of course, this amount will vary from the exercise you do and the food you are given, but it is a good guide for guidance.
That way, you'll know how much water your friend drinks and how much he should drink 🙂.