Is my dog drinking enough? 

You are by the pool, you are warm and, while sipping your freshly squeezed fruit juice, you ask yourself if your dog would not benefit from a little refreshment. But what are your dog’s needs in terms of water? How do you know if they are drinking too much or not enough? The answers can be found in this article.

What are your dog’s needs in terms of water?

Water needs vary depending on several criteria: 

  • The weight of the dog: A healthy adult dog needs about 50 ml of water per kilo and per day. For example, a dog weighing 20 kg will need to drink an average of 1 L of water a day.
  • Outside temperatures: Of course, a dog will tend to drink more if it is very hot. The reason is simple: the hotter it is, the more your dog will pant to regulate their body temperature, resulting in a loss of water that your friend has to make up for by drinking. WARNING: If you find that your dog is panting hard or a lot, they may have heat stroke. Read this article to find out what to do in the event of heatstroke. (link);
  • The level of physical activity
  • A lactating bitch needs more water because she has to produce milk to feed her young
  • The health of the dog plays a role in the amount of water they will drink. A dog who drinks more than 100 ml/kg/day may have health issues such as diabetes, kidney problems or an infection. Do not hesitate to contact your vet, if in doubt.
  • Diet obviously influences your dog's water consumption. Fresh dog food may contain up to 80% water. The result? Dogs fed fresh dog food (such as Dog Chef, for example) drink much less water than those fed dry dog food.

How do you know if a dog is dehydrated? Symptoms

Certain signs should alert you: 

  • Your dog keeps circling around their water bowl: in this case, the message is quite clear
  • When you take a fold of the skin of their neck in your fingers, it does not fall back in place immediately
  • The urine is very concentrated or completely absent
  • The gums and tongue are dry
  • Your dog looks dejected
  • Combined with other symptoms, a dry nose may be a sign of dehydration

What you should do if your dog is dehydrated

If you have any doubts, don’t hesitate to contact your vet who will help you to assess the situation and guide you through the steps to follow.

The first thing to do will be to offer your furry friend some water (be careful, they must not empty their bowl in 3 minutes either). If the symptoms persist, you will need to take your dog to the vet.

How to prevent dehydration
  • Your dog must have unlimited access to temperate, clean water;
  • When the weather is very hot, choose foods with a high water content such as courgettes;
  • Avoid excessively high temperatures and direct sun for elderly or sick dogs;
  • For puppies: contact your vet immediately if your puppy has watery stools or vomits.

What you need to remember: 

If you have the impression that your dog is not drinking enough or conversely, too much, do not hesitate to contact your vet. Also, don't forget that a dog that eats fresh dog food will tend to drink (a lot) less than a dog that eats dry food.

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