When it comes to your dog’s nutrition, water is even more important than protein, fat, carbohydrates, and vitamins.
Your dog’s body will naturally lose water all day. He loses water as he sweats through his paws and when he pants. And he loses water when he pees and poops.
A dog that loses too much water – just 10% to 15% of the water in his body – can get very sick and even die. So that water he’s losing needs to be replaced.
Have you replenished your dog’s water bowl today?
A good rule of thumb: Make sure your dog gets at least 1 ounce of water daily for each pound he weighs. That means a 20-pound dog needs at least 20 ounces of water every day. That’s more than 2 cups, or as much as in some bottles of water or soda.
To help you keep track of how much water your dog drinks, make a note of how high you fill his water bowl and how far the level has dropped the next day.
Why Does My Dog Drink a Lot of Water?
A balanced diet is not the only necessary part of keeping your dog healthy. Water for drinking is also a very important part of your dog’s daily requirements and overall nutrition. Water is the main component of healthy, living cells of the body. Without water, your dog’s body will not be able to function properly. More specifically, your dog will dehydrate. In order for your dog to get enough water daily, you need to provide water along with a healthy, balanced diet .
Keep Plenty of Water Available
Leave the water bowl where your dog can get to it easily. Since dogs can knock over the bowl while they’re drinking, use one that’s made to not tip and spill.
Clean the bowl daily. Refill often so the water supply stays fresh.
Whenever you and your dog are playing outdoors – especially when it’s hot – bring cool water with you for him to drink. If your dog stays outside on hot days, add ice to the water bowl.
Some dogs are happy to drink from the toilet. But that isn’t a clean source of water! Keep the toilet lid closed so your dog stays out.
Signs of Dehydration
Hot summer days, play, exercise, illness, infection – all of these can lead to dehydration in dogs and trigger them to seek water. Along with increased thirst, signs that your pet may be dehydrated include: lethargy; dry gums and tongue; and thick rope-like saliva.
Dehydration can turn life threatening fast, so if you suspect your dog is very dehydrated, seek veterinary care right away. If your dog seems mildly dehydrated but is not vomiting, give your pet small amounts of water – one teaspoon for a little dog, 1-2 tablespoons for larger dogs – every ten minutes for a few hours.
Don’t let your dog have free access to a lot of liquids when he is dehydrated, as drinking too much too fast could cause vomiting.
Many conditions can lead to excessive thirst or dehydration in your dog, including liver disease, diabetes, Cushing’s disease, cancer, diarrhea, fever, infection, and kidney disease.
Sometimes, however, it may not be the condition itself causing your dog’s excessive thirst, but the medication used to treat it. Talk to a vet about your dog’s medication and its side effects; if drugs are behind your dog’s thirst, the vet may be able to lower the dosage.
Just as with people, some drugs can lead to excessive thirst in your dog, including:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs like prednisone, which may be used to treat many conditions in dogs, including asthma, allergies, and inflammatory bowel disease.
- Heart failure drugs, such as furosemide, lead to increased urine production and a compensatory increase in thirst.
- Seizure medications like phenobarbital may have side effects that include excessive thirst and urination, as well as excessive appetite.
Water is so important because:
- Water Helps Dogs Function
- Water Flushes Toxins
- Water Regulates Body Temperature
- Water Helps Dogs Scent and Compete