Written by 5:51 am Food & Nutrition

Have you replenished your dog’s water bowl today?

Dogs need fresh water to drink regularly. Here are the benefits of providing fresh water for your p…
A cute rare hairy french bulldog drinking water at the park.
A cute rare hairy french bulldog drinking water at the park.

Just How Much Water Does a Dog Need?

As much as half of the average dog’s body weight in pounds depends on how active they are, can be water. That means if you have a 20-pound beagle, he needs 10 pounds of water every day!

Water helps dogs function by regulating their body temperature and carrying nutrients through their bodies. It also helps with keeping joints lubricated. The food that goes into the digestive system is mostly absorbed by the dog in liquid form. So, not only does it need to drink an adequate amount of water to compensate for what goes out in urine or feces, but it also needs enough to help carry away

Water helps dogs function.

Dehydration can cause discomfort and lead to serious problems including urinary tract infections, kidney disease, bladder stones, pancreatitis, even some forms of cancer.

According to researchers at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, the average dog needs 2/3 cup of water for every ten pounds of body weight daily. So if you weigh 120 pounds (54kg) you need about 90 ounces (2 litres) per day. If your dog is very active on a hot day or playing in the snow he will need more…about one ounce for every pound she weighs.

Not only do you need to offer fresh water every day but also encourage your pet to drink it by making sure that her water bowl is full at all times.

Since dogs do not sweat to cool their bodies, they pant to exchange moist air for dry air. This helps lower their body temperature and keeps them from becoming overheated on hot days. Dogs also lose water through the exhaled moisture so it’s important for them to always have fresh water available. They don’t take in additional liquid by drinking out of old water bowls or other sources, so you need to replace your dog’s water whenever she has used it up.

Water flushes toxins.

Water makes bladder and kidney excretion more efficient than it would be otherwise, helping eliminate wastes that cause discomfort. Dehydrated pets may drink too little or too infrequently to be able to expel enough of these harmful wastes. If your dog has urinary or kidney disease, this would be a good reason to increase her water intake.

Water regulates body temperature.

Humans sweat as their bodies heat up, but dogs cool themselves by panting—briskly exhaling moist air that transfers some of the animal’s warmth to its surroundings. The evaporation of saliva on the tongue helps lower canine body temperature as well. Dogs don’t sweat through skin glands as people do. So they need plenty of drinking water on hot days just as you do…they can easily become overheated and dehydrated if they don’t have access to fresh, clean water for replenishing what they’ve lost.

Water helps dogs sniff out food and other animals.

Water makes scent chemicals more accessible to dogs by moistening nasal membranes that have ridges containing scent receptors. This enables dogs to separate smells from one another, enabling them to be better trackers and hunters of prey. Dogs also use their keen sense of smell to tell how hungry they are, so if your pet is on restricted diet water will help her feel more comfortable about not being able to eat as much as she would like. You might wish to increase your pet’s recommended daily intake accordingly on days when the weather is hot or you suspect she may have been excessively active.

If dogs drink little or none at all for an extended period of time, they can become seriously dehydrated and suffer life-threatening organ damage.

If your pet doesn’t get enough water to drink, you should offer her small amounts of water frequently—at least four times daily if she’s not drinking by herself. Don’t try forcing the issue by putting her nose in the bowl or pouring water into her mouth because this may lead to aspiration pneumonia (see “Water as Medicine”.) Your goal is to help your dog learn that good things happen when it has a water bowl available so she will start drinking on her own again once she is thirsty.

In some cases, additional oral fluids may be required…if your dog seems weak or lethargic or has been vomiting, you should take her to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Keep your dog’s water bowl filled with fresh drinking water throughout the day and encourage her to drink by offering small amounts frequently. In cases of severe dehydration, additional oral fluids may be necessary…and if your pet is unable to drink on her own, she may require veterinary assistance.

Newly adopted dogs or those who have been ill or under stress can benefit from a visit to a veterinarian for an exam and blood chemistry screening so that any health problems can be identified early. If you have concerns about your pet’s drinking habits, mention them at his next check-up…it’s easier—and less costly—to these problems before they become life-threatening.

When it’s hot outside, provide your dog with shade to rest in and water that you refresh frequently…and make sure she has enough cool air moving through her environment to keep comfortable.

Do you have any questions about how much water your dog needs each day? Please share your thoughts below! The more detail you give, the better we can help you.

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