How much water does your dog actually need?
We love our dogs and who can blame us? They are always there to lift our spirits and give us a reason to put up with the daily grind. They are also, however, rather high-maintenance. If you want a pet that you can leave to its own devices 90% of the time then get a cat. Dogs are more effort but the more effort you put in the more you will be rewarded.
One area in which dogs can be quite good at looking after themselves, however, is in their water intake. For most dog owners, it’s commonplace to simply fill the water bowl whenever it’s empty. This is fine for the dogs that are good at regulating their water intake but some dogs might refuse to drink even when they need it or might even end up drinking too much.
That’s why we’re going to be looking at the telltale signs to look out for if you’re worried your dog might be drinking too much or too little.
Water is life, even for dogs
Just like us, dogs are made of about 60% water and that water is used in everything from digestion to blood circulation. As for how much water your dog needs, that will depend on the size and breed of your dog.
Typically, the rule is around 2ml of water per kilogram of body weight for every hour. So, for a 20kg dog (a common weight for a collie) you’d be looking at 40ml in an hour or 960ml a day. Note, however, that certain mitigating factors will have an impact on how much water your dog will need to remain healthy.
If your dog is the kind to be on the go 24/7 then they are going to be using more water and will require more than the average dog of their size. For these heavily active dogs, it’s vital to keep the water bowl full at all times as otherwise, they might look to less safe locations for their fix. If your dog is on the older and lazier side, meanwhile, they might not need as much as you’d think.
When it’s a hot day you naturally want to drink more as our bodies work harder in warm weather. The same is true of dogs. Just because they don’t sweat that doesn’t mean they are not feeling the effects. Even low energy dogs who spend the day lying in the sun will need regular refills so keep a water bowl outside on hot days and take a water bottle on long walks.
If your dog eats mostly dry food then they are most likely going to need more water than a dog that eats mostly wet food. This isn’t just because there’s water in the wet food itself but because dry food contains a lot more starch, which soaks up water faster. If your dog eats fruit and vegetables regularly, they should always need less water for the same reasons.
Has your dog been ill recently? If so, they might require more water than usual as the water will help them heal naturally. Certain medications could also exacerbate dehydration so be sure to ask your vet before giving your dog any new treatments. If your dog is pregnant they will also need much more water (they are drinking for at least 4 or 5 now, after all).
Generally speaking, dogs are pretty good at looking after themselves when it counts. As long as you keep refilling their bowls with good quality filtered tap water and rinsing them regularly to remove backwash or stale water then your pub will never go thirsty.