Hydration is important year-round, but especially when it gets warmer outside. As spring nears its end and summer looms closer and closer, you’re probably starting to notice that your dog is finishing their water bowl a lot faster than usual. But how much water should your dog be drinking? What’s not enough and what’s too much? Read on to learn more about how much water your dog should drink.
First and foremost, you should always keep an eye on how much water your dog is consuming. While this may sound like one more thing to add to your daily list of things to do, you may already do this without even thinking about it. Think of all of the times that you walk past your dog’s water bowl and notice it’s empty or full. Just take a little extra time to pause and consider how much water you put in their bowl to start and how much they have when you check again. Developing this simple routine is an easy way to make sure your dog is consuming normal and appropriate amounts of water.
As you know, hydration is key to raising a happy and healthy dog. But it can be tough to know if your dog is getting enough water or too much. A rough guide to follow is one ounce of water per pound of your dog’s body weight each day. For example, a 65-pound dog should drink about half a gallon (1.5 liters) of water each day. However, every dog is different, so you should always check with your vet if you have questions about your dog’s hydration levels.
If you notice your dog drains their bowl even after you’ve given them the recommended amount for their body weight, there are a few factors that could be at play.
If your dog doesn’t consume enough water, they can become dehydrated. You should test your dog’s baseline levels of hydration through skin tenting, which is a test of your dog’s skin elasticity. Gently lift the loose skin between your dog’s shoulder blades and assess how long the skin takes to return back to baseline. If your dog is properly hydrated, skin should revert back to normal immediately. If the skin takes a while to return to normal, your dog is likely dehydrated. Try coaxing them to drink water or soaking their food in water if they are reluctant to drink.
If your dog drinks too much water, you may notice some warning signs, including coordination and staggers, lethargy and bloat, nausea and vomiting, dilated pupils, excessive drooling, and unusually pale gums. These symptoms can result in a conditions called hyponatremia, or “water intoxication,” which can be life-threatening.
Hydration is a key aspect of your dog’s health, so keep an eye on their drinking. Recognizing the signs of dehydration and water intoxication is an important skill to have, so revisit this guide any time you need to brush up on these crucial topics. Drink up and be safe!
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