Ways to Get Your Dog to Drink More Water
If you’re worried your dog doesn’t drink as much water as they should, you’re not alone. It’s a common concern for pet parents, especially during warm weather or when their pup is active. Hydration is critical to your dog’s health as it helps support all their bodily functions, from digestion to temperature regulation. A handful of reasons may cause your furry buddy not to drink water, i.e., they don’t like the taste, they’re stressed, or there’s something wrong with their bowl. But it doesn’t mean they don’t like water in its entirety. With a handful of tricks up your sleeve, you’ll encourage them to drink more and stay hydrated.
How Much Water Should Dogs Drink?
The amount of H20 your dog needs to drink each day depends on a bevy of factors, such as their size. Small dogs need to drink less water than large breeds. The rationale is quite obvious – they have a smaller body, thus requiring less H2O to stay hydrated. Here’s a quick guide to figuring out how much water your dog needs to drink each day:
- Small breeds (weighing up to 20 pounds): 1/2 to 1 cup of water/day
- Medium breeds (weighing 21 to 50 pounds): 1 to 2 cups of water/day
- Large breeds (weighing 51 to 100 pounds): 2 to 4 cups of water/day
- Giant breeds (weighing more than 100 pounds): 4 cups of water or more/day
Fun Fact: Did you know that water makes up 60% of an adult dog’s body weight?
Age – Puppies and senior dogs have different water requirements. Younger ones, for instance, need more because their bodies are still growing; meanwhile, older pups need to drink more to make up for kidney functions that gradually decline with age.
Also, don’t forget that puppies are more prone to dehydration because they have a higher metabolism and lose water more quickly.
Activity level – The more active your dog is, the more water they need to drink to replenish lost fluids. If they spend most of their time outdoors during summer or play fetch for hours, make sure you give them ample opportunity to rehydrate.
Diet – Dogs that eat wet food need to drink less water than those on a dry food diet. That’s because wet food contains more water content than kibble. But it doesn’t imply you should stop giving them water altogether.
Climate – If you live in a hot and humid area, your dog is more likely to become dehydrated. The same goes for dogs that spend most of their time outdoors during summer.
Effective Ways to Help Your Dog Drink More
Add flavour to the water
Dogs can be fussy with their water, much like humans. They probably won’t drink if they’re not keen on the taste. Try adding some flavour to make it more appealing. You can use chicken, beef broth, or even a little salt.
Get a new water bowl
Sometimes, it’s not the water that’s the problem, but the bowl itself. Your dog may not want to drink from it if it’s old or cracked. Get a new and improved one that they’ll want to use. Stainless steel or ceramic bowls are great options.
You know the culprit is the bowl when Fido drinks water if you put it in another container. For some reason, they’re just not keen on certain types of water bowls, or maybe they’re fed up with the same one and want something new.
Set up a water fountain
This one’s as creative as it gets. If your dog is the type that likes to drink running water, then a water fountain may just be what they need. You can purchase one specifically designed for pets or simply use a regular drinking fountain. Either way, they’ll get their fill of fresh water, and you solve the problem of them not drinking enough.
Put ice cubes in their water
Dogs love playing with ice especially on a hot day, so this one’s a win-win. Not only will they drink more water, but they’ll also have a blast doing it. Add a few ice cubes to their bowl and watch them go to town. Cold water is especially refreshing during hot summer days.
Mix water with their food
As we mentioned, dogs on a wet diet need to drink less water than those eating dry kibble. It’s not only good for their hydration levels, but it’s also generally more nutritious. So, if your dog is resistant to drinking water, switching to wet food may be the way to go.
Change the location of their bowl
Sometimes, all you need to do is change things up a bit. If your dog’s water bowl is in the same spot all the time, try moving it to a different location. They may be more likely to drink from it if they find it in a new place. Any fancy science doesn’t back this, but it’s been proven countless times that the mere location of an object can affect a dog’s behaviour.
Use a slow feeder bowl
Slow feeder bowls are designed to make dogs eat or drink at a slower pace. They usually have some sort of obstacle in the way that makes it more difficult to get to the food or water. It doesn’t only help with portion control, but it also encourages your dog to take their time, which means they’ll end up drinking more water.
Get a dog water bottle
This one’s great for on-the-go hydration. Simply fill up a reusable water bottle designed for dogs and take it with you for walks or hikes. That way, your four-legged friend can have a drink whenever they need it, and you don’t have to worry about them not getting enough water.
Put several bowls of water around the house
If your dog is free to roam around the house, chances are they’re not always going to be near their water bowl. So why not put several bowls of water in different locations? Doing so means they can drink whenever they want, and you don’t have to worry about them getting dehydrated. Just make sure to clean and refill the bowls regularly.
Talk to your vet
If you’ve tried all the above and your dog still isn’t drinking enough water, it’s time to consult with a professional. There could be an underlying health condition that’s preventing them from being properly hydrated. Your vet will figure out what’s going on and recommend the best course of action.
The worst you can do is ignore your dog’s hydration needs. Dehydration is a serious issue that ultimately leads to all sorts of health problems; it’s your job to ensure that your furry friend gets enough water daily. As you’ve realized by now, getting your dog to drink more is not really that hard.