How Much Water does a Dog Need?

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jack and heyrex torusLast week, I wrote about why it is important to keep a dog properly hydrated and some of the health risks that can result from too little, or too much water. This week I will share some tips on how to keep a dog properly hydrated.


How Much Water does a Dog Need?

Making sure that a dog gets the right amount of water each day is a challenge, particularly if the pet parent doesn’t even know how much water their dog needs! So how much water does a dog need each day? Like with feeding it is very much dependent on the dog’s size. The larger the dog, the more water they need.


For a good rule of thumb, a normal dog will require 50-60 ml of water per kilogram of bodyweight. This means that a 50 lb. dog would need around 40 ounces of water, about 5 cups, each day. The table below shows daily water requirements for dogs of different weights.


Weight (lbs.) Cups per Day
10 1.0
20 2.1
30 3.1
40 4.2
50 5.2
60 6.2
70 7.3
80 8.3
90 9.4
100 10.4


Once you have an idea of how much water a dog should be drinking each day, the next step is to monitor their actual water consumption. This is a very important because marked deviations from ‘normal’ could indicate a health problem and a visit to the veterinarian. A simple way to do this is to measure out the dog’s daily water amount (e.g. 5 cups fort a 50 lb. dog), and watch to see if they drink all of it during the course of a day. This ‘test’ can be performed for a few days in a row to get a baseline reading of your dog’s thirst. Although it is more common for a dog to drink too little water, remember that drinking excessive amounts of water might also indicate a health problem and can be harmful to the dog in the long run.


Tips to Ensure that a Dog is Getting Enough Water

There are a few simple ways to ensure that a dog is getting proper hydration. Since most dogs wont over hydrate, these tips are aimed at the cases where a dog might not be getting enough water.


Use an Auto Replenishing Water Bowl

In the cases when we are going to be away from the house, we will use the Torus water bowl. This bowl has a large reserve to hold water and will automatically keep the bowl full, without any power supply needed, so that the dog has an ample supply of water throughout the day. The bowl also includes a filter to ensure that the water is clean and fresh.


The Torus bowl is also perfect for when you take a road trip because it can be closed so that water won’t spill or leak out while traveling or hiking.


Refill the Water Bowl Multiple Times per Day

If you use a regular, old fashioned bowl for your dog’s water, make sure to refill the bowl several times during the day. This will ensure that the water is fresh and free of backwash. It will also give you an indication of your dog’s overall thirst.


Refill the Water Bowl Before Exercise

Although dogs don’t sweat like humans, they will tend to drink water after vigorous exercise. Make sure that their water bowl is full of fresh, clean water before you exercise with your dog.


Add Water to Food

Adding water to a dog’s meal is another way to make sure that they are getting plenty of water. This is especially important if feeding dry kibble, but a little water can be added to any type of food. Most dogs will slurp up the extra water while they devour their meal.


Use Fruits and Vegetables as Snacks

Fruits and vegetables contain large amounts of water. Using these as snacks, or adding directly to their meal, is a great way to increase a dog’s water intake while providing valuable vitamins and fiber.

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  1. Great post! I actually didn’t know how much water they should be drinking so this is very helpful! Thanks!

  2. Bailie and I love to drink water, Katie not so much. Since she doesn’t get around as much as she used to, Mom has added a water bowl where she likes to hang out. Of course, we all use it, but having water in several places around the house helps with hydration too. The kitties also have a fountain to drink from which Bailie uses too. Water is so important.
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  3. I always look that Easy drinks enough water. To make it easy for me I give him bottled water, so I always know how much he had :o)
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  4. Love the water chart, never saw one before and it is really handy to give people an idea. Love that travel bowl too! Great tips!
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  5. Great tips. As an added benefit, adding water to food can help slow down speed eaters.

  6. Love your water requirement table… and the Torus bowl! So according to your table the smaller Torus bowl is perfect for Rocco with extra water to spare. We can’t wait to take ours on our next outing.
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  7. Great tips thanks. I often add a little water to Kilo’s food to slow him down as he eats so fast, make him feel fuller as he is always hungry and make sure he gets enough.
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  8. Delilah drinks A LOT of water. In fact, right after she eats she seems to think it’s her mission to empty the bowl. She stands there drinking and drinking and sometimes we have to pick it up. She’s been tested for diabetes, but that was negative. She does have the elevated liver levels, but I’m not sure that would increase her thirst.

    I sometimes worry that Sampson doesn’t get enough water, so I do add some to his raw food. And you’re right, he slurps it up. :–)
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    • It’s so hard to tell how much the need and how much they actually drink – especially when you have multiple dogs…who drank it?
      mkob recently posted…How Much Water does a Dog Need?My Profile

  9. Interesting. Earl seems to drink a lot of water, but when you look closely at him while he drinks, he almost ‘eats’ his water (so many people comment on how weird it is!) which means he doesn’t get a lot in one big gulp.
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  10. Bentley and Pierre are both good water drinkers. I keep their bowl clean and filled with fresh water. THey empty it usually twice a day.
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  11. Cocoa Bean loves her water. We laugh because she always will choose drinking over eating. We bring a collapsible bowl for long hikes to make sure to stay hydrated!!
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  12. I can’t possibly imagine any of our dogs ever drinking this amount of water …?
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  13. Our dog Murphy certainlky drinks plenty of water but I’m going to be checking him regularly now. You’ve got me thinking!
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  14. Great point that knowing how much your dog drinks normally can really help your vet. Excessive thirst may signify diabetes or Cushing’s disease.

    Honey is very fussy about having clean water so we refill her bowl many times during the day. Of course most of the schmutz in the water comes from the last ball or stick she had in her mouth.

    I’m not sure if the Torus bowl would meet Princess Honey’s standards. But I’m very interested in one for the boat. It seems like something less messy than my current silicone bowl inside a plastic bowl on the galley floor.
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  15. That Torus water bowl looks really interesting and very practical. I may have to give it a try!
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