Water is an essential part of a dog’s body and is vital to health. Water is necessary for the function of all cells, organs, and tissues in the body. Many people, only after having faced the negative results of dehydration, realize the importance of water. Dogs and cats also need to drink water every day. Of course, many dogs do not like to drink water either. Do you know why dogs do not want to drink water? What should you do when the dog does not drink water?
How Much Water Should a Dog Drink?
Under normal circumstances, the amount of water a dog should drink each day depends on its size. In general, dogs should drink 20 to 40 ml of water per pound of body weight per day. So for a 20-pound dog, it would take about 3 to 4 cups of water, and for a 40-pound dog, it would take 6 to 8 cups of water per day.
Water is the main component that makes up a dog’s body. Adult dogs have more than 70% water in their bodies, and puppies are 80%.
When dogs don’t get enough water each day, they can become dehydrated when they vomit, have diarrhea, pant sharply, or drool. And if a dog is diabetic, pregnant, nursing, too young, or too old, take them to the doctor immediately when dehydration occurs.
Factors Affecting the Dog to Drink Water
Several factors can affect the amount of water a dog needs to consume.
- Food: Dogs whose main diet is dry food drink more water than those whose primary diet is wet food.
- Age: Puppies need more water than adult dogs due to their physical development needs.
- Exercise: Dogs need more water when exercising.
- Climate: Dogs need more water because they need to evaporate water to cool down when it is hot.
- Medications: Certain medications (e.g., steroids) that the dog has recently taken.
Reasons Why Dogs May Drink Less Water
There are many reasons why dogs drink less water. Just like people, some dogs naturally like water more than others, but the biggest fear is that one day, all of a sudden, he won’t love it anymore. If your dog suddenly stops or drastically reduces the amount of water he drinks, this is a problem you must pay close attention to and contact your veterinarian as soon as you notice the problem.
Generally speaking, some dogs will reduce their water intake for the following reasons.
- Diet: If they eat canned food (which contains more water than dry dog food), they will usually drink less water.
- Lifestyle: Dogs with sedentary lifestyles may drink less than active dogs (because exercise causes faster fluid loss).
- Environmental factors: As the seasons change and temperatures drop, some dogs drink less water.
- Anxiety and stress: Some dogs may not drink water in new environments or special situations because the environmental changes can make them very anxious.
- Disease factors: Any disease that makes dogs uncomfortable can reduce their water intake. This can include viral or bacterial infections, pain, gastrointestinal disease, cancer, kidney disease, kidney failure, bladder infections, etc. Anything that makes your dog feel pain or discomfort will make them not want to eat or drink.
- Lazy and fussy: Perhaps the place to drink is a bit far from the dog, and when water shortage is not particularly severe, the dog is reluctant to walk over to drink, especially for those dogs that are heavier and lazy.
- Fear: Some dogs have been scolded or chastised by their owners for dirtying the floor of the house when drinking water, so some dogs may be able not to drink water as much as possible.
Signs of Dehydration in Dogs
- Dry gums
- Increased heart rate
- Loss of skin elasticity
- Prolonged capillary refill time
- Sunken eyes
- Decreased urine output
Quickly Determine if Your Dog is Dehydrated
One of the easiest ways is to lift a small piece of flesh on the dog’s neck as we did below, and under normal circumstances, the skin will automatically and quickly bounce back to its original position once we let go. But if you let go after the dog’s skin, recovery is prolonged, or the formation of a small tent, that is the lack of, to replenish water immediately!
What Should I Do if My Dog is Dehydrated?
We need to make sure your dog is not showing signs of dehydration. When your dog shows signs of dehydration, especially in the summer or if he is not in good health, do not hesitate to take your dog to the vet.
The vet will give him saline intravenously or through a subcutaneous drip to replenish his fluids quickly. We should also ask the vet to check if the dog has some disease that causes dehydration, such as kidney stones. After diagnosis, prescribe medication or prescribe a special diet for the dog. And in case your dog has symptoms of dehydration, and you can’t take it to the vet right away, you can dilute saline with an equal amount of water and have your dog drink 240 ml every hour.
Finally, you can use a syringe to inject your dog with water. You need to give it fluids with a needle, and it will benefit from this treatment. When rehydrating with a syringe, gently inject the water into the front of your dog’s mouth or cheek pouch and do not shoot it directly into the throat to reduce the risk of accidental aspiration or choking.
What if Your Dog is Drinking Less Water?
If your dog’s water intake suddenly becomes less, then you need to properly evaluate all aspects related to your dog’s behavior, such as.
- Is he eating correctly?
- Is his stool normal? Does he have diarrhea?
- Is your dog urinating normally?
- Is your dog licking his lips or drooling?
- Is the vomiting?
- Is your dog coughing? Do you notice that he is having difficulty breathing?
- Does your dog seem to be in pain? Is your dog limping? Does it have a hunched-over posture?
- Can you see any wounds on your dog?
- Is your dog’s activity level the same as before? Does it play or greet you at the door like it always does? Or is it sedentary and less active?
Anything unusual about your dog is cause for concern. If your dog is very young or old, or is pregnant and nursing, or has medical problems such as diabetes or kidney disease, this may deepen the severity.
How to Encourage Your Dog to Drink Water?
If your dog drinks less water, you can try the following methods to encourage him to drink.
- First, make sure his bowl is thoroughly washed and then filled with water.
- Some dogs love pet fountains, for which you can make a small fountain at home to entice your dog to drink. Or use the use of electric water fountains that allow water to flow.
- let your pet lick the water from your hand or fingers.
- Offer wet food, as it contains much more water than dry dog food.
- Add warm water or low sodium broth to your dog’s food. Note that adding it 30 minutes before eating will be more effective.
- If your veterinarian allows, you can offer your dog a small amount of hydration supplement.
- An ice cube in the water bowl can encourage some dogs to drink water in the summer.
- Increase your dog’s exercise. Exercise will make your dog feel hot, and it will drink plenty of water.
- Offer your dog bottled or filtered water. Some dogs like the taste of this water and will drink more.
Have you learned how to feed water to your dog now? Did you enjoy today’s article? What other ways can you coax your dog to drink more water? Come to the comments section and share your experience with us!