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How Much Water Does a Dog Need? What You Need To Know!

Nicole Cosgrove

Like humans, dogs need water to live. Every cell in a dog’s body depends on hydration to function properly, just like cells in a human. Without efficient water intake, a dog can quickly become dehydrated, and health problems can start to develop. Dehydration can even lead to a breakdown in organ function and eventually, death. Drinking enough water every day will keep your pooch happy, healthy, and full of life as they age. Here is what you should know about keeping your dog hydrated.


Deciding How Much Water to Offer

There is no one correct answer when it comes to determining how much water a dog needs access to every day. The answer depends on things such as their size, age, and activity level. A generally healthy dog of average weight and size for their breed should be offered at least 1 ounce of water per pound that they weigh. However, if your dog wants to drink more, you should allow them to.

Other factors may come into play when deciding how much water to give your pooch. For example, they may need more than is recommended if they have kidney problems. Fortunately, healthy dogs will drink as much water as they need to stay healthy if it is accessible. So, as long as you keep their water bowl filled with fresh water throughout the day and it is regularly being drunk by your dog, there is no need to measure out their water intake.

If your dog has health problems or they do not seem to be drinking the water that you offer them, schedule a checkup with your veterinarian so any issues can be addressed, and a healthy water plan can be put into place. If you are not restricting your dog’s water and they seem to be drinking plenty, keep doing what you are doing.

chihuahua drinking in the water fountain
Image Credit:, Shutterstock

Ideas for Getting Your Dog to Drink More Water

If your dog does not seem to be interested in their water bowl yet they seem healthy in every other way, there are a few things that you can do to get them to increase their water intake. This is especially important during the summer months when it is hot outside. Here is what we suggest:

  • Add Broth: Make your pooch’s water more enticing by adding 1-2 tablespoons of broth to their water dish after filling it with fresh water. Any kind of broth should do the trick, even leftover stock from homemade soup.
  • Freeze Treats: Mix ¼ cup of plain yogurt with 3 cups of water in a large bowl until well combined. Then pour the mixture into an ice tray and put the tray in a freezer. The next day, you should be left with tasty, hydrating frozen treats that your pup is sure to love.
  • Hydrate Commercial Food: Whether you feed your dog dry or wet food, you can mix ½ cup of water into each meal for extra hydration throughout the day.

These ideas can come in handy when your dog is feeling under the weather or is working hard outside under the hot sun. However, you should not have to regularly disguise water to get your pooch to consume all that they need. They should be drinking from their bowl multiple times a day. If they are not, a trip to the vet will make sure that there are no underlying reasons for their lack of interest in water.

dog drinking in the water bowl
Image Credit: SamaraHeisz5, Shutterstock


In Parting

Every dog requires access to clean, safe drinking water daily to stay healthy. It is our job as pooch owners to make sure that they have the access that they need. Doing so is as easy as keeping their water bowl filled with fresh drinking water day and night. If you want to know exactly how much water your dog should be drinking daily, your vet can help you figure it out. It is never a good idea to restrict water access, as we never know when our dogs will be thirsty and in need of hydration.

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Featured Image Credit: Zivica Kerkez, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.