Just like humans, dogs lose water constantly throughout the day. Water loss occurs through panting, sweating, and elimination. If your dog doesn’t drink enough water, he or she can develop life-threatening health complications. Provide your dog with access to fresh, clean water on a 24/7 basis, and talk to your veterinarian if you’re concerned that your dog might not be drinking enough.
How Much Water Your Dog Needs
There’s no one size fits all rule when it comes to staying hydrated. Most dogs need at least one ounce of water per pound of body weight every day. However, dogs will need to replace more water if they’ve been exercising strenuously or if they’ve been exposed to hot temperatures. This is particularly true for dogs who have thick, heavy coats. Pregnant dogs and lactating dogs also need more fluids.
How to Tell If Your Dog Isn’t Drinking Enough
Dehydration can be very serious for animals. Know the signs to watch out for, and immediately take steps to get your dog rehydrated if these symptoms develop. Call the veterinarian right away if you notice any of the following:
- Sunken eyes
- Dry mouth
- Low energy
- Lack of interest in food
You can also check for dehydration by gently lifting up the skin between your dog’s shoulders. If it doesn’t sink back to its normal position immediately when you let go, your dog could be dehydrated. Next, press a finger lightly onto the gum tissue in your dog’s mouth. If the normal color isn’t restored right away when you remove your finger, this is another indicator of dehydration. Take your dog to the vet promptly if you think he or she could be dehydrated.
The veterinary team at Horizon Animal Hospital is committed to providing world-class medical care because your pet’s health is important to us. Call our practice in Scottsdale at (480) 800-4559 if you have any concerns about your dog’s drinking or eating habits.