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How Much Water Does A Dog Need Per Day?

All animals need water to survive. Dogs need a lot of water due to their activity levels and biology.

But exactly how much water should a dog drink daily?

How Your Dog Sweats

Sweating is one way mammals cool their bodies down. Dogs sweat, but they don’t do it through their skin; instead, they sweat through their paw pads.

This is not a very efficient way to cool down, so many dogs overheat when they are too active or spend too much time in hot areas.

So how does a dog stay cool? Dogs lower their temperature in two ways: panting and vasodilation.


By quickly inhaling and exhaling humid air, dogs’ bodies cool down as the moisture in their airways evaporates.


Vasodilation is when the blood vessels expand, allowing warm blood to reach the skin’s surface. The cooler temperature of the skin cools off the body.

When your dog’s ears and chin turn red, this is a sign of vasodilation.

To test for skin elasticity, hold the skin near the shoulder blades for a few seconds, then let it go. Observe how quickly the skin springs back—if it’s too slow, your dog is dehydrated.

Why Is My Dog Thirsty?

Dogs need a certain level of physical activity each day, and usually, they love it. However, walking, running, and playing outdoors can lead to extreme heat and thirst. The weather, environment, diet, and amount of water they drink can also make your dog feel more thirsty than usual.

Even newborn puppies and nursing dog moms sometimes need additional hydration.

How much water should a puppy drink? They need one half-cup of water every two hours. They must be monitored closely as they tend to drink too much or too little.

How Much Water Does a Dog Need Daily?

So how much water does a dog need per day? For each pound of weight, it needs one ounce of water.

This means an 80-lb dog needs 80 ounces of water daily. An ounce of water is one-eighth of a cup, so an 80-pound dog needs at least ten cups.

If you want to know how to stop dogs from drinking too much water, bring it to a vet. It could be a sign of a serious medical condition.

Why Your Dog Drinks Less Water

Some dogs don’t drink enough water for their weight. If you want to know how to get dogs to drink water, first determine the cause:

Wet Diet

If you feed your dog canned food that contains at least 50% water, your dog might not drink much from its water bowl. In contrast, a dry diet may push it to drink more.

Vegetables or fruits contain a ton of moisture, so if you prepare homemade meals for your dog, pack them with these ingredients. If your dog loves a high-protein diet like Wild Earth dog food, it might also need more water, depending on its activity level.

Health Issues

If your dog is sick or experiencing physical pain or mobility issues, it might not want to drink or eat. If your pet suddenly changes its eating habits, take it to a vet immediately.

Less Physical Activity

Dogs that do not exercise too much might not want to drink the required amount of water.

The amount of water a dog needs is calculated based on its weight. A dog needs one ounce of water for every pound of body weight.

Know the Signs of Dehydration in Dogs

Your dog can’t tell you it’s thirsty, but there are physical signs that indicate dehydration:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting without diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Dryness of the skin, lack of skin elasticity
  • Panting
  • Dry eyes
  • Dry nose
  • Sticky gums
  • Thick saliva

The American Kennel Club’s Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. Jerry Klein says that to test for skin elasticity, hold up the skin near the shoulder blades for a few seconds, then let it go. If the skin is slow to get back in place, your dog is dehydrated.

Dr. Kein adds, “It’s a good idea to first test your dog’s skin when you are sure he’s well hydrated so that you have a base for what normal skin elasticity feels like.”

A Healthy Dog is a Hydrated Dog

Adequate hydration is one of the best ways to ensure your dog is happy and healthy. Consider its weight, activity levels, and diet, so you know how much water it needs.

Now you have a clear answer for how much water does a dog need per day!

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