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Canine Dehydration: How to Get My Dog to Drink More Water?

Just like humans, water is an essential need for dogs as well. Dogs need to have enough water every day to keep themselves hydrated and have strong body functionality. Many bodily functions rely on, either directly or indirectly, water intake. An adequate amount of water aids the body and improves biological processes such as digestion, body temperature regulation, absorptions and assimilation of nutrients, secretion of waste, etc., in dogs. However, it is sometimes observed that dogs are not very fond of drinking water. This dehydration in dogs can have adverse effects on their health. Let’s get into tips to avoid dogs dehydration and how to trick your dog into drinking water.

Why Won’t My Dog Drink Water?

There are many possible causes to why is dog won’t drink water, here is some of them.

Limited Water Supply

The quality and availability of water also matter. Dogs need fresh water to drink throughout the day. It is important to provide your dog with fresh and clean water supplies all day long. Changing water once or twice a day will reduce contamination risks as dogs might be reluctant to drink it if it is dirty. Also, do consider the number of bowls and their availability. Placing different water bowls at different house locations can be a good idea. Some dogs tend to prefer spots in the house where they might feel more comfortable drinking water.

Change of Water Source

Like humans, dogs too can get habitual of something they are accustomed to. Likewise, if your dog is used to drinking water from a particular source, they might not adjust soon to a different taste. Dogs can get sensitive and picky about the taste and smell of the water they are offered for a long time. Change in the water source can cause them to drink water comparatively less. Switching to a different drinking option can also put off their desire to drink. However, it may take them some time to adjust, leading to drinking water less often.


Food often acts as a contributing factor to hydration in dogs. As their food fulfils their hydration needs, dogs do not necessarily feel the urge to drink water. This usually happens when dogs are given moist or wet foods. Since these types of food have good water content, they are likely to fill up your dog’s water requirement. Mostly, canned foods contain moisture in large portions. So, dogs fed such food are less regular in drinking water.

Unfamiliar Surroundings

Relocating to a new place or visiting a different place will have noticeable changes. These changes can be in regards to the surroundings, weather, etc. Change in the surroundings can also be a possible reason. As dogs can easily differentiate unfamiliar surroundings from their place, they are more likely to recognize water’s different smells and tastes. Therefore, dogs can easily refuse to consume water.

Lack of Exercise

Since drinking is closely related to thirst, your dog might not feel thirsty due to physical inactivity. If your dog isn’t exercising enough, they wouldn’t even feel the need to drink water. One may also notice reduced water consumption, and it is entirely natural. However, sufficient physical activity is very important for your pet to keep them in good health. This would also regulate their drinking habit.


Aging dogs do not tend to have a very active routine, resulting in reduced water requirements. Since older dogs engage very little in physical activities, they rarely get tired. This results in reduced water intake. Another primary reason can be their diminishing thirst. Like their appetite, their thirst is also likely to diminish with age.


Illness can be a notable reason why a dog stops drinking water frequently. Some medical conditions restrict their ability to drink water. Bladder infections, urinary tract infections, kidney disease or diabetes, can affect their drinking ability. This can cause the dog’s thirst to fluctuate and gradually diminish. It is better to consult a vet to tackle such circumstances.

Signs of Dehydration in Dogs

Not drinking sufficient water can result in dehydration. Predicting the signs of dehydration early can help prevent it from turning into a severe health problem. Some common dehydration symptoms in dogs include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Panting
  • Reduced energy
  • Dry nose and mouth
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Thick saliva
  • Fast breathing
  • Loose skin
  • Sticky or dry gums
  • Sunken eyes

How Much Water Should a Dog Drink?

Determining the adequate amount of water per day for your dog’s requirement depends on various factors. However, it is primarily governed by the dog’s net body weight. In general, 100 ml of water is considered for every 1 kg of body weight. A study conducted by the Institute for Animal Nutrition at the University of Berlin, made following computations to analyse the how much water should a dog drink a day according to their body weights:

Dogs Weighing Approximately 5 kg

Dog breeds such as Poodle, Chihuahua, German Spitz Klein, etc., can be given 250 ml to 500 ml of water under normal conditions.

Dogs Weighing Approximately 10 kg

Dog breeds such as Basset, Beagle, Terrier, etc., can be given 500 ml to 1,000 ml water daily.

Dogs Weighing Approximately 20 kg

Pet breeds such as Husky, Border Coolie, Dalmatian, etc., can be given 1,000 ml to 2,000 ml water depending on normal circumstances.

Dogs Weighing Approximately 30 kg

Canine breeds such as Boxer, Afghan hound, German wirehaired pointer, etc., can be given 2,000 ml to 3,000 ml water daily.

Dogs Weighing Approximately 40 kg

Dog breeds such as German shepherd, Rottweiler, Hovawart, etc., can be given 4,000 ml to 6,000 ml water daily.

How Long Can A Dog Go Without Water?

Typically, dogs can survive up to 72 hours without water under normal conditions. The first 12 hours pass effortlessly, causing no ill effects due to dehydration. However, dehydration symptoms start to show up gradually after the first 24 hours. Though there is no specific time limit on which dogs can go without water, pet parents can consider a few factors.


Aged dogs require higher amounts of water as compared to younger ones. At the same time, younger dogs can endure thirst for a longer period. Most older dogs suffer from health issues that can further worsen due to prolonged dehydration.

Weather Conditions

Weather conditions play an important role in determining how long a dog can go without water. Dogs go quite well without water during mild or cold weather conditions for longer durations. However, hot or humid days without water are tough.


Water requirement also varies from breed to breed. The dogs with denser coats have much higher water requirements than others.

Can Dehydration Kill A Dog?

Even though dogs can survive for 72 hours without water, they are likely to demonstrate dehydration symptoms within 24 hours. Beyond that, a dog will only get weaker as its health deteriorates. Dehydration can cause kidney failure, leading to unconsciousness and gradually resulting in death under severe health conditions.

How to Trick Your Dog Into Drinking Water?

Looking for best way about how to get my dog to drink water? Here is step by step guide on how deal with

#1 Water Fountain

Don’t know how to hydrate a dog that won t drink? As some pets like to drink water from running sources, you can supply fresh and clean water to encourage your dog to drink. A fancy thing such as a miniature pet water fountain can seem appealing to your dog. Freshwater flowing through the fountain might interest your pet and prompt it to drink water more frequently.

#2 Water Bowl

If your dog doesn’t prefer drinking water quite often, consider changing the water bowl. Try out dog bowls made of different materials like ceramic, plastic, stainless steel, glass, etc. to see what suits best to your dog. Dogs might also have a preference for deeper or shallower bowls.

#3 Replacing Water

Replace the used water with a fresh and clean one. Freshwater is essential for all pets. Keep changing their water daily. If your dog still doesn’t drink enough, try changing water more frequently in a day.

#4 Changing Location

Sometimes, dogs may be more comfortable drinking water at a certain place or spot of the house than where their water bowl is usually placed. Switching the position of their water bowl might work in some cases.

#5 Flavoring Water

A simple trick is to use flavoring agents. Using substances such as bone broth, lactose-free milk or green-lipped mussel powder to flavor your dog’s water can encourage them to drink more. These supplements have a good smell and flavor that your dog might like.


So this is all about how to trick your dog into drinking water guide by pet experts. Water is a basic necessity for all living creatures, fresh and clean water being the utmost requirement. However, there are more straightforward ways to motivate your pet to drink more water. Setting an active daily routine for the pet will always help. If your dog isn’t consuming an adequate amount of water, you can always consult a vet.