How Much Water Should a Dog Drink per Day?

dog and water fountain

As you already know it, water is something that hydrates and cleanses all living beings on our planet. Without it, life would not be possible – and this goes for all plants and animals. Just like humans, our canine companions are made up of over 70% of this fluid, and, without it, they can suffer greatly.

It is essential for every function of the dog’s body – the pooch can manage without food for a long time, but, without water, he simply won’t be able to survive.

But making sure that Fido gets the right amount of it is quite a challenging thing, especially for the new pet parents. This is precisely why we’ve decided to take a more in-depth look at this question – how much water should your beloved pup drink per day? Read on, and we guarantee you that you’ll be able to provide the pet with proper consumption and thus keep him healthy and happy!

Why Is Drinking Water Important For Dogs?

Just like with the human beings, drinking this precious fluid is of essential importance for the pup’s health. But before we take a look at why is this so significant, let’s see what some things that could occur when the pet is dehydrated are:

  • Urinary tract infections
  • Development of kidney stones
  • Coma
  • Failure of organs
  • Death

As you can see, these things can very easily lead to the death of your pup, since these animals are a lot smaller than humans and the lack of water can easily kill them. The kidney stones, for example, will bring your pet a lot of discomforts, vomiting, and abdominal pain, slowly obstructing the flow of urine and thus becoming a life-threating emergency.

The urinary tract infections, on the other hand, are another consequence of low fluid consumption, and the worst thing about them is that the affected dogs usually don’t show any clinical signs that they have them. It brings them severe pain and can lead to complications that typically result in death.

Now, let’s take a look at why exactly is water so necessary for the proper functioning of the body:

  • The body functions

As we already said, nearly all body functions that occur in the pup’s system require a sufficient H2O level in order to work correctly. This includes things like the proper functioning of the vital organs, breathing, transportation of oxygen to the pet’s brain, adequate pumping of blood, as well as countless other functions. Without this precious fluid, all of these things would slowly stop and your pet would die.

  • The detox

One vital function of water is that it flushes all those unwanted toxins from the bodies of the living beings. The same can be said for the dogs – the drink will cleanse their system and keep them healthy.

  • Stool

The constipation is a state of bowels that nobody likes – the pups hate it just like we do. Not drinking enough fluid can cause us to have a horrible time in the bathroom, and the same thing can happen to our pets. You certainly don’t want Fido to experience something so painful and exhausting, and the way to prevent it is to provide him with enough water.

We should also mention that this precious fluid can lubricate the pet’s muscles and joints, as well as to cushion the space between the cells. It also helps with the production of white blood cells, which are supposed to fight all sorts of infections, and also provides an environment for the enzymes to convert the food into the energy in survival.

All in all, water plays a very complex and a critical role in the dog’s health – that’s why it’s so important.

Why Is Your Dog Thirsty?

Even though it’s not that warm outside and your pooch isn’t eating salty food, you have noticed that he’s drinking more than he should. There are a few health conditions that could be behind this, and one of the most common is polydipsia. This condition is usually combined with polyuria, or the excessive urination – what goes in, eventually has to come out. In some cases, the dog will drink so much that he won’t be able to contain himself, and will have accidents even at home.

Let’s take a look at some other conditions that could be the reason behind Fido’s excessive thirst:

  • Diabetes

Yes, the pooch can also have diabetes, even though they’re not exactly crazy for sweets like the humans are. They can get two different kinds of diabetes – diabetes insipidus and diabetes mellitus, with the later one being far more common. It causes dogs to drink more and urinate more, as well as to lose weight. It creates excessive thirst by increasing the blood’s glucose levels.

  • Kidney Failure

Once this disorder takes place, the dog’s kidneys won’t be able to concentrate urine and remove the waste any longer. This will, in turn, cause the dog to drink more in order to prevent the excessive amounts of toxins in the bloodstream. Unfortunately, no amount of water will help the pooch to stop this build-up of harmful toxins, and the condition can easily lead to death.

Happy dog running and playing
  • Hypercalcemia

The hypercalcemia is a condition where the dog’s body produces too much calcium. The kidneys will try to flush out the calcium with excessive urination, which, in turn, causes the pup to drink more than he actually needs to. With time, the calcium buildup can cause the above mentioned kidney failure.

  • Liver Failure

Even though it has the ability to regenerate itself, once 70% of the liver is damaged, there’s no going back. It won’t be able to assimilate toxins any longer and they will end up in the animal’s body, which leads to excessive thirst. This condition can also cause weight loss, as well as death.

  • Fever

As you already know, the high temperature is a sign that your body is fighting the disease, and the same thing happens to dogs. This can dehydrate them and cause them to pant and drink as much water as they can.

Along with these, there are also some less-common conditions that cause excessive thirst – like the Addison’s disease or the Cushing’s disease, and several other disorders. Each one of them can cause dehydration, so it’s essential to identify the disease on time and take the necessary steps to put a stop to it.

How Much Water Does a Dog Need?

When it comes to determining how much a dog should drink a day, there are a lot of factors that come into play. Let’s see the most important ones:

  • Physical activity

If you have a very active pet, he’ll need to drink more throughout the day. This is especially important for the very energetic breeds, as their intense physical activity demands proper hydration.

  • Weight and size

In order to remain well-hydrated, heavier and larger breeds will need much more water than their smaller cousins.

  • Diet

Those feeding their pets with unhealthy diets are risking deadly diseases which also cause excessive thirst. On the other hand, a diet based on high-quality food will make the dog require lesser amounts of water. Also, moisturized dog food will provide the pet with a decent amount of the fluid.

  • Sickness

Like we already mentioned, various diseases such as infections, fever, diabetes, Cushing’s disease, and others can have an adverse effect on your pup’s need for the H2O.

  • Seasons

Hot summer days will cause the dogs to have a need for the higher amounts of the fluid, as they will lose a lot of it through sweating and panting.

  • Medication

As you know, drugs usually come with side effects – and one of them can be the excessive thirst. It’s of essential importance to talk about these things with a veterinarian if he or she prescribes any medication to your pup.

In simple words, most dogs will need somewhere between 1oz of water per every pound of their body weight.

dogs drinking habits

Dehydration and Over-hydration in Dogs

Knowing the precise amount of the good old H2O that your pooch should drink is guaranteed to help you determine if the particular dog is an under-drinker or over-drinker. There are a few ways to notice this:


  • Let the pup “lick” the bottle and limit the amount of water the dog takes in (like they do with the horses). You can easily monitor how much the pooch drinks throughout the day.
  • You can safely leave the drink in the bowl, but you’ll also need to ration it. Unfortunately, this means that someone will have to stay at home all the time and do it.
  • An automatization is also the option. But the main issue here is that most models of automatic dispensers refill the bowl whenever it’s empty, preventing you from controlling the exact amount.
  • When it comes to nighttime control, you can use the rabbit water feeder right there inside your pet’s crate.


  • Every time your pooch goes to drink, don’t forget to give him a treat and pet him.
  • Remember to keep the bowl right next to his bed, or anywhere else he usually rests at.
  • You can make the drink more tempting by adding flavor. You can purchase bacon, beef, and chicken flavor packets at any pet shop.
  • If Fido is still refusing to drink, you could offer him some beef or chicken dog food, and then gradually add the water to the mixture as he’s eating.

The excessive thirst is not a joke – it is, actually, a serious condition that can lead to all sorts of diseases, and ultimately to the dog’s death. We hope we’ve been helpful – with the above mentioned information in mind, you should be able to take better care of your beloved pup’s thirst.