Health and Fitness

How Much Water does a Dog Need?

Pet-Drinking-Bottle-2

Making sure that a dog gets the right amount of water each day is a challenge, particularly if the pet parent doesn’t even know how much water their dog needs! So how much water does a dog need each day? Like with feeding it is very much dependent on the dog’s size. The larger the dog, the more water they need.

For a good rule of thumb, a normal dog will require 50-60 ml of water per kilogram of bodyweight. This means that a 50 lb. dog would need around 40 ounces of water, about 5 cups, each day. The table below shows daily water requirements for dogs of different weights.

Weight (lbs.) Cups per Day
10 1.0
20 2.1
30 3.1
40 4.2
50 5.2
60 6.2
70 7.3
80 8.3
90 9.4
100 10.4

Once you have an idea of how much water a dog should be drinking each day, the next step is to monitor their actual water consumption. This is a very important because marked deviations from ‘normal’ could indicate a health problem and a visit to the veterinarian. A simple way to do this is to measure out the dog’s daily water amount (e.g. 5 cups fort a 50 lb. dog), and watch to see if they drink all of it during the course of a day. This ‘test’ can be performed for a few days in a row to get a baseline reading of your dog’s thirst. Although it is more common for a dog to drink too little water, remember that drinking excessive amounts of water might also indicate a health problem and can be harmful to the dog in the long run.

Tips to Ensure that a Dog is Getting Enough Water

There are a few simple ways to ensure that a dog is getting proper hydration. Since most dogs wont over hydrate, these tips are aimed at the cases where a dog might not be getting enough water.

Use an Auto Replenishing Water Bowl

In the cases when we are going to be away from the house, use an auto replenishing water bowl so that the dog has an ample supply of water throughout the day.

Refill the Water Bowl Multiple Times per Day

If you use a regular, old fashioned bowl for your dog’s water, make sure to refill the bowl several times during the day. This will ensure that the water is fresh and free of backwash. It will also give you an indication of your dog’s overall thirst.

Refill the Water Bowl Before Exercise

Although dogs don’t sweat like humans, they will tend to drink water after vigorous exercise. Make sure that their water bowl is full of fresh, clean water before you exercise with your dog.

Add Water to Food

Adding water to a dog’s meal is another way to make sure that they are getting plenty of water. This is especially important if feeding dry kibble, but a little water can be added to any type of food. Most dogs will slurp up the extra water while they devour their meal.

Use Fruits and Vegetables as Snacks

Fruits and vegetables contain large amounts of water. Using these as snacks, or adding directly to their meal, is a great way to increase a dog’s water intake while providing valuable vitamins and fiber.

Steve Pelletier
Steve Pelletier VP, Food

Steve is an advocate for healthy pet food offerings.