Published: July 15, 2019

    Dogs & Hydration: How Much Water Should a Dog Drink in a Day?

    They don’t call them the “dog days” of summer for nothing! As the temperatures continue to climb and school is out nationwide families are gearing up for hikes, runs in the park, or a dip in the local river with their trusty dog in tow.

    You probably know that you should bring filtered water to keep your pup hydrated, but are you aware of how much water your dog should be drinking? Or how to check for dehydration? Here’s the full scoop on keeping your dog happy and healthy with plenty of water this summer.

    How Much Water Should A Dog Drink in a Day?

    Let’s start with the basics — according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) your dog should be drinking at least one ounce of water per pound of body weight every day. So, if your dog weighs 16 pounds, they should be drinking 16 ounces of water per day.

    How can you track the amount of water your dog is drinking? First, weigh your dog on a bathroom scale. Fill a measuring cup with the recommended amount of water they should be drinking and pour it into the dog bowl. Note the top of the water with a marker. Every morning fill your dog’s water bowl up to the line and check how much water they drink throughout the day.

    What Could Cause My Dog to Be Dehydrated?

    Of course, in the summer the increased heat and the extra physical activity can cause your dog to become dehydrated faster. Dogs don’t sweat — they lose water through panting and through their paws. Any of the following can cause your dog to lose water faster than normal:

    • Illness, especially when accompanied with diarrhea or vomiting
    • Lactating to feed puppies, or simply pregnant
    • Side effects of medication
    • Increased physical exertion
    • High temperatures
    • A dry food diet
    • Advanced age

    Check for These Signs of Dehydration

    If it seems your dog isn’t drinking enough water and you sense they are dehydrated perform the following checks:

    • Look for tears at the corner of their eyes and see if their nose is wet. A dry nose or a lack of tears around the eyes can be indicators of serious dehydration.
    • Do the “skin” check: lift the skin on the back of your dog’s neck between its shoulders, and then release. The skin will pop right back into place if your dog has been drinking enough water. If the skin remains elevated for a few seconds before pulling taut again your dog is likely dehydrated.
    • Wash your hands, and then check your dog’s mucus membrane if they aren’t skittish. To do this, lift their lips and slide your finger in between their lip and their gums. If they are hydrated your finger should glide along the gums without sticking.

    If you believe your dog is dehydrated, don’t wait — take them to the veterinarian right away.

    Why Water Is So Important for Your Dog’s Health

    Water is the most important part of your dog’s nutrition, even more important than vitamins, minerals, fat, protein, or carbohydrates. Water is essential for every cell in your dog’s body to function properly. Water helps your dog’s body digest food, regulate their internal temperature, filter waste, and circulate blood. If a dog loses even 10% of the total water in their body they can experience serious health problems like kidney or heart damage, and they can even die. Ask yourself: if pet owners spend a lot of money and effort getting the highest-quality food for their furry friends, why don’t they invest in filtered water for their pups as well? With a water filtration system in your home you can keep your beloved dogs hydrated with clean, refreshing water free of common contaminants.