How Much Water Should a Dog Drink a Day? – Dog Hydration

I’m sat in my kitchen watching my dog drinking water (yes, that’s all I do all day..) and he drinks it like it’s his favourite thing in the world. We all know that water is important, that something that we can’t live without. On average, between 50% and 65% of the adult human body is water and more or less the same can be said about dogs.

According to Veterian Key, around 60% of an adult dog’s body weight is water. Does this mean if he/she drank 40% more water, would it just turn into pure water? Ok, that’s enough of silly talk..

The real question is how much water should a dog drink per day? How much is too much, too little and how do you know if your dog is dehydrated?

How much water should my dog drink daily?

The short answer is that there is no definitive answer to this question, as how much water your dog needs will depend on several factors including:


It is only natural that larger dogs will need more water. As a general rule, a healthy dog should be drinking between 0.5 and 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight daily. For example, a pug that weighs 20lb will need between 10 and 20 ounces of daily water intake.


It is often the case that puppies need to drink more frequently, and need to be more closely monitored.


Different quality and types of food dogs will have an impact on how much water they need to drink. You will notice dogs that only eat dry kibble will drink more water than those that are fed wet canned food. While dry kibble contains between 5% and 10% water, canned food can contain a significantly higher percentage of water content. What’s more, low-quality dog food, which often contains a lot of salt can cause excessive drinking.

Activity level

Active dog breeds, such as Siberian huskies, Labradors and Beagles will crave more water than those that don’t require much exercise.

Time of the year and weather

During the summer months, the hot weather will cause dogs to pant more – which means their water intake needs to be increased to keep cool in order to stay hydrated.


A number of health conditions can cause dogs to become more thirsty and drink excessively, such as liver, kidney and bladder infections. If you think that your dog is drinking water excessively without changing food, activity level etc, you should consult with your vet to get him/her checked out.

How do I know my dog is dehydrated?

Not drinking enough water can result in dogs becoming dehydrated, which is fairly common, however, can potentially cause serious health complications.

Dehydration can also be caused by severe vomiting and diarrhoea, as well as increased frequency and level of urination, which can also be a sign of underlying health conditions.

Some signs of dehydration in dogs include:

  • Dry nose
  • Panting
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dry gums
  • Loss of skin elasticity
  • Sunken eyes
  • Weight Loss
  • Excessive drooling
  • Lethargy
  • Weakness

Severely dehydrated dogs should be treated by vets who may put them on a drip to rehydrate and prevent from dehydrating further.

How to prevent dogs from getting dehydrated

There are several things that you can do to make sure your dog is getting enough water and doesn’t get dehydrated, such as using an automatic dog water bowl, which will make sure there is always plenty of fresh water available for your dog throughout the day when you may be out of the house for a long period of time.

Another thing you can do is to add water to your dog food, either by mix dry food with water or switching to wet canned food.

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