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Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

This article was written by TOBALIE in cooperation with Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

Water is essential for the survival of every living being. Without food, most animals can survive for one to three weeks, but without fluids, they can survive for only a few days. But how much should your animal drink to stay healthy? Water requirements depend on body weight, ambient temperature, activity, state of health and type of feeding. The body consists of about 70% water. Already a loss of about 15% can be life-threatening. The need for water increases due to heat, diarrhoea, fever or bleeding. What you need to know about water for dogs and how much a dog drinks a day.

Function of water in the body

  • Component of the blood that supplies the body with oxygen and nutrients. Toxins are transported via the bloodstream to the kidneys and excreted.
  • Blood consistency: The loss of water makes the blood thicker.
  • Regulate body temperature: Water is released through sweat, saliva and breathing air and cools the body.
  • Some vitamins, minerals, sugar molecules and nutrients can only be used by the body through water, as it is involved in the splitting of these substances, whereby they can be further processed.
  • Large component of cells and tissues.
  • Regulates the cardiovascular system.
  • Controls digestion.
  • Milk production in nursing females.
  • For salivation.
  • When breathing, water evaporates and must be refilled.

Consequences of water shortage

  • Dehydration
  • Low blood pressure
  • Poor concentration
  • Faster aging process
  • Toxins can no longer be rinsed out
  • Organ failure

How much water should the dog drink a day?

Depending on the factors mentioned above, your dog should drink about 10 to 50 ml per kg body weight if you feed him wet food. For dry food 50-150ml/kg.

Fun fact: Dogs roll their tongues back and use them to pull the water up. This creates a column of water that they basically bite off in order to get enough water into their mouths.

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Enter the amount of drinking in your pet profile to determine changes.

How to serve water for dogs?

  • In what? The material of the bowl can play a role. Ceramic bowls are usually preferred, as plastic or metal can have a taste of their own. Make sure that the bowl stands firmly on the ground and does not slip. Furthermore, the vessels should be filled so full that the whiskers do not touch the edge when drinking. Because some dogs find this uncomfortable. Some prefer running water, for this drinking fountains, the tap or the shower are suitable.
  • Place? Especially cats don’t instinctively want to have their water close to the food, because the water in nature could be contaminated by e.g. blood. You should also choose a place where they can drink undisturbed. You can also place several drinking places (different vessels and places). A bright, quiet and easily accessible place is usually the best place to arrive. 
  • Quality: In some households the water quality is reduced by calcium oxide or chlorine. It happens that your pet does not like to drink this water. The smell of chlorine usually evaporates after about 2 hours. Let the quality be tested in case of doubt. Always provide fresh water.
  • Temperature: The water should have room temperature.
  • Especially dogs like to drink from lakes and ponds on the way. These can be loaded with pathogens and bacteria. So it is better to take fresh water with you when you go for a walk.

Animate your dog to drink

  • Wet food! Especially if your darling is not a big drinker, don’t feed him dry food. Wet food naturally contains about 70-80 % liquid. Dry food, on the other hand, only contains about 7-10%. As a result, the animals cannot cover their liquid requirements and would have to drink a lot.
  • Natural tastes make the water more tasty. A little meat broth, a small sip of apple juice or the favourite taste mixed into the water is often gladly accepted. Please no milk! Especially cow’s milk is poorly tolerated by our lactose intolerant animals. Experiment which taste your darling likes best. Important: A bowl with pure water must always be available.
  • Ball bath. When playing and splashing in the water, a sip is often drunk in between. Place balls (big enough not to be swallowed) in the bowl. Attention: Risk of splashing. It is best to put a towel under it.
    Also fruits, like blueberries, tempt your animal to drink when trying to get them out of the water.
  • You can also dilute your dog’s food a little with water.

Why does my dog drink a lot?

This can have harmless causes, such as:

  • Hot weather
  • A lot of activity
  • Stress
  • Dry food, salty treats, etc.
  • Taking medication (e.g., cortisone).

If the increased water intake is only short-term or can be attributed to a cause, there is no reason to worry at first.
If your dog drinks more in the long term and you don’t know why, it may indicate illness.

  • Kidney disease
  • diabetes
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Urinary tract infections or uterine infections
  • diarrheal diseases
  • Cushing’s syndrome (usually weight gain and loss of coat)
  • Poisoning

In this case, please consult a veterinarian to clarify the health and help your pet in time.

water for pets - dog drinking


Water is the basis of life and is needed in different quantities depending on certain factors. Always make enough water available to your darling, so that your dog drinks enough and pay attention to the individual preferences.