How Much Water Should a Dog Drink Calculator

Calculate how much water your dog needs per day by entering their weight and activity level below.

How Much Water Does Your Dog Need?

dog drinking water from the kitchen sink

It’s essential that dogs get enough water every day just as it is for humans (find out how much you should be drinking here). If you’re wondering how much water your dog should drink each day, then we suggest starting with the water intake calculator above.

The results above will give you a reasonable estimate, but we recommend checking in with your veterinarian since they can consider all of the unique characteristics of your dog to come up with a healthy hydration plan with you.

That said, most dogs need 1/2 to 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight (33 – 65 mL per kilogram), according to PetMD.[1] So, a typical 20-pound dog might need 10 to 20 ounces of water each day.

However, so many factors affect how much water your dog needs that you mustn’t restrict your dog’s water supply unless directed to do so by your vet. You should ensure that your dog has as much as they need and you’re keeping their bowl full of fresh and clean water each day.

How Much Water is Needed on Hot Days?

As you might expect, your dog is likely to be much more thirsty on a hot day than on a cool one. As dogs pant or salivate to cool their body in the heat, they need more water, just like humans do when they sweat.[2]

It’s important to ensure that your dog has enough water when they’re out in the heat. You can also give them ice as a treat or in their water bowl, and even freeze their treats to help hydrate and manage the heat, according to Dr. Tina Wismer of the ASPCA.[3]

Signs of Dehydration

It’s critical to pay attention to the signs of dehydration on hot days. Some signs of dehydration are increased thirst, lethargy, dry gums, dry tongue, and very thick saliva.[4] If your dog is exhibiting any of these symptoms, it’s important to make sure they get treatment quickly.

If they’re very dehydrated, then you should seek veterinary treatment immediately. If they’re mildly dehydrated, then you can give them small amounts of water slowly. Depending on their size, this might be 1 tsp to 1 tbsp every 10 minutes until they’re hydrated. Slowly hydrating your dog will reduce the risk of vomiting, which worsens their dehydration.

Treating dehydration quickly is important as just a 15% reduction in body water can be life-threatening, according to the ASPCA.[5]

How Much Water Should a Puppy Drink?

Ensuring your puppy is hydrated is essential as they begin exploring the world. Young puppies tend to get their hydration through their mother’s milk before they begin weaning. As they begin weaning, they’ll need water frequently.

You should make sure that puppies have 1/2 cup of water every few hours, which varies depending on their size and age.[6] As a puppy weans they’ll need 1/2 to 1 ounce of water per pound of bodyweight just as an adult does, but it’s a good idea to check in with your vet to ensure they’re getting enough.

How Long Can Dogs Go Without Water?

While the amount of time a dog can go without water varies, a healthy dog can typically survive for 2-3 days without water. But, going this long without water will likely have other health consequences as a result of their dehydration.[7]

The precise amount of time that a dog can go without water will vary depending on their size, breed, food and nutrition, the weather and temperature, and age.

If your dog has gone too long without water and is very dehydrated, you should ensure they get immediate veterinary care.

What to do if Your Dog Won’t Drink?

There are several reasons why your dog might not be drinking water. A change in the weather, being in an unfamiliar place, a health problem, old age, anxiety, mouth injury, or dental damage are all possible causes for a dog not wanting to drink.[8]

If your dog won’t drink, the following tricks might help:

  • give them ice as a snack
  • add water to their food
  • try a different water bowl
  • give them dog Pedialyte
  • give them moist canned dog food

Because it’s important for your dog to stay hydrated, you should consult with your vet if they haven’t been drinking for 24 hours.

Is Your Dog Drinking Too Much Water?

While it’s important for your dog to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated, it is also possible for them to drink too much water. This can cause water intoxication in dogs, and is usually also combined with not enough sodium in their diet.[9]

Some symptoms of water intoxication are lethargy, bloating, vomiting, loss of coordination, restlessness, drooling, pale gums, dilated pupils, or glazed eyes. If you see these symptoms, you should consult with your vet for treatment immediately.

Excess water intake might also be a sign of something else going on, such as illness or disease. Some diseases and conditions might prevent a dog from balancing their water levels or controlling water loss, so they tend to drink to compensate.

If your dog is drinking a lot of water, it’s important that you do not restrict it to prevent them from becoming dehydrated, but you should also schedule a vet appointment quickly to diagnose the cause.[10]

When managing your dog’s nutrition, it’s also important to ensure they’re getting the proper amount of food in addition to their water intake.

You might also be interested in our dog age calculator.

References

  1. PetMD, How Much Water Should a Dog Drink?, https://www.petmd.com/dog/nutrition/evr_dg_the_importance_of_water
  2. Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital, How Much Water Should a Dog Drink?, February 16, 2021, https://advancedpetvet.com/2021/02/16/how-much-water-should-a-dog-drink/
  3. Prisco, J, Will Ice Cubes and Ice Water Kill Your Dog This Summer?, ABC News, June 20, 2014, https://abcnews.go.com/Lifestyle/truth-ice-water-dogs/story?id=24231633
  4. WebMD, Why Your Dog Is Always Thirsty, https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/my-dog-always-thirsty#1
  5. ASPCA, Dog Nutrition Tips, https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/dog-nutrition-tips
  6. Bowerman, T, How Much Water Should a New Puppy Drink?, Daily Puppy, https://dogcare.dailypuppy.com/daily-average-amount-water-dog-should-drink-5302.html
  7. Well Pet Coach, Understanding How Long Can A Dog Go Without Food And Water, https://www.wellpet.org/how-dog-without-food-and-water/
  8. Veterinary Emergency Group, Reasons Why Your Dog Won’t Drink Water, https://veterinaryemergencygroup.com/blog/dog-wont-drink-water/
  9. Flaim, D., Can Dogs Drink Too Much Water? The Dangers of Water Intoxication, American Kennel Club, https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/can-dogs-drink-much-water-dangers-water-intoxication/
  10. Paul, M. DVM, My Dog is Drinking a Lot of Water (Polydipsia), Pet Health Network, https://www.pethealthnetwork.com/dog-health/dog-diseases-conditions-a-z/my-dog-drinking-a-lot-water-polydipsia