How Much Water Should a Dog Drink?

Does your pooch drink a lot of water?  Is your dog healthy?  Do you think he’ll drink the precise amount of it when you leave a fresh bowl of water to him?

Surprisingly, not all dogs drink the right amount of water according to their needs. To make matters worse, some of them either dehydrate themselves or drink too much. In this case, your beloved pooch could be under or overhydrated.

How much water should a dog drink precisely?

As much as we would like to be as scientific and measurable as possible, the volume of water a dog should need really depends on factors as follows:

Size: Optimally, to keep healthy, a dog should drink around 1/2 to 1 ounce of water for every pound of his body weight daily.
Age: For puppies, they will need approximately 1/2 cup for every two hours while being closely monitored.
Food: The type of food your pooch eats will affect his water intake. For instance: dogs that eat dry food only will require more water than those pooches on a canned diet. Low sodium intake will also mean lower thirst.
Medications: If your pet is on a medication, please consult with the vet if water intake should be changed.
Exercise: Take water outdoors with your dog and feed him whenever necessary especially in the summer. Ice cubes work well to cool their body temperature down to avoid excessive drinking.
Weather: Dogs pant more in the summer to cool down their body. It also means they need water to do the job too.

 What if my dog is constantly drinking a lot of water?

It could mean your dog loves water or he drinks for the sake of boredom. Other reasons for his doing could be caused by the weather as mentioned earlier. If you have ruled out the above reasons, then he should undergo some diagnostic tests with the vet. These may include a urine sample as well as a blood test if required.

Do bear in mind that we should not stop our dog from drinking water if they require more of it before ruling out the causes. If a dog does have the illness mentioned, his body system needs extra water to deal with it.

Effects of over and under-hydration on dogs

It is a truth that dogs over drinking water can cause stomach bloat, water toxicity and electrolyte imbalances. On the other hand, not enough water can lead to kidney stones, organ failure, dehydration and death.

Furthermore, it could be a sign of a sickness if your pooch is either under or over drinking water. For the formal case, it could indicate pancreatitis, leptospirosis or even parvo; the latter could mean a sign of bladder infection, diabetes, metabolic problems or any infections. Do not hesitate to take him to the vet should you have any doubts.


To really know how much water should a dog drink daily, we should not neglect the terms dehydration and over-dehydration.

In order to check if a canine is dehydrated, run a quick test by gently grabbing a piece of skin at the back of your dog’s neck. Then stretch it out and release it. A well hydrated dog’s skin will quickly go back into place whereas a dehydrated dog will have his skin forming a “tent” as an end result.

Besides, you could do a gum check on your dog: wet slippery gums show that your dog is properly hydrated and healthy. Otherwise, the gums would look sticky if dehydrated.

If your pooch is eating well and healthy, it is highly unlikely that his water drinking habit is an issue. Perhaps you are more frustrated with your dog being a sloppy drinker?

Do let us know in the comment box below if the amount water your dog drinks is a concern for you.


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