How Much Water Should a Dog Drink a Day? Quenching Canine Thirst

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Author: Jacob Kay

Every being on this planet requires water to survive. Your furry friend is no exception! Dogs are active animals, always running around, conquering the world with their cuteness. Naturally, you should be able to keep them hydrated and match their energy levels as a good pet parent. 

dog drinking water

Dogs can be indifferent about how much water is appropriate for their thirst. They tend to overdrink or under-drink, both being harmful to their health. Excess water can cause an imbalance in electrolytes while less intake can lead to dehydration. So, the big question is: How much water should a dog have in 24 hours? Let’s delve in!

Key Takeaways

  • Dogs need an ounce of water per pound. After a meal, dogs should drink twice or three times as much water.
  • You can tell a dog is dehydrated by pinching the skin under their shoulder blades or pressing your finger into their gum.
  • Make sure the water bowl is clean and the water is fresh. The dog will drink more water as a result of this.
  • Consult a veterinarian if they continue to overdrink or underdrink.

How Much Water Should a Dog Have in 24 Hours?

Water is essential for your dog because it cushions internal organs and joints. It also helps the digestive system and keeps the body temperature stable.

How much water dogs have in a day depends on several factors such as the dog’s weight, their breed, and their diet.

Most dogs should drink about 1 ounce of water for every pound that they weigh, every day,” states an expert from Emancipet Clinics. “That means a 10-pound dog needs about two-thirds of a 16oz bottle of water daily.

Dogs like us humans, are made up of more than 50% water.

dog drinking water

Dog owners should ensure that their pets consume two to three times as much water than the amount of food they eat food each day. For example, if your dog consumes one meal a day, they should have two to three cups of water. If it’s two meals, then four to five cups of water.

How to tell if your Dog is Dehydrated?

You and your furry friend are on a hike, having the best time of your life. You notice that your dog is panting, as dogs do to cool off their body temperature or are they dehydrated[1]. A quick test can help figure that out. 

Pinch the skin under your dog’s shoulder blades and then let go. If the skin gets loose and takes time to go back to its original place, you know your dog is dehydrated. If it returns to its original place within a few seconds, then your dog is hydrated. 

Another test is to press a finger into the dog’s gums. If their saliva is thick and sticky, they are dehydrated. If it is thin and watery, they are hydrated. 

Gum test

Whenever you go out, whether on a walk or a picnic, always ensure that you carry water for your dog. This also reduces the chances of them drinking from a dirty water source, like a puddle or river. 

How Can I Help My Dog Drink More Water?

There can be many reasons for your dog not drinking enough water. Maybe they don’t like the smell or taste of water. Or the water bowl is unclean and the water is not fresh. Your furry pal might have had an accident while drinking water, for example, someone stepped on their tail. 

  • You can help by changing the water bowl and placing it in a new spot. This will help them form new associations with the water bowl. 
  • It is also advised to clean the water bowl daily with soap and water. Make sure to change the water once a day. 
  • A shift in diet can also help, switch to wet food instead of dry food[2]. This will keep them hydrated.

The last resort is to take them to the vet. The doctor can examine your dog and suggest and prescribe a suitable medication to help them drink more water. 

vet examining dog

Why Does My Dog Drink Less Water?

  • If your dog is eating homemade or canned wet food that holds moisture, they may drink less water. 
canned wet food
  • They might be in pain and find moving to the water bowl difficult, it is best to consult a vet. 
  • When dogs get old and less active, they tend to drink less water. They might need medications to increase their water intake.

If there is a sudden change in the amount of water they drink, it is advised to contact a vet. They can examine and diagnose the problem.

Why Does My Dog Drink Excess Water?

  • They are young pups and don’t know when they’ve had enough. 
  • Your faithful friend is pregnant or nursing[3]. 
pregnant dog
  • Maybe the meal they had was too salty and they are trying to balance it out.
  • Or they are just bored and so drink in excessive amounts.

 It’s nothing to worry about if your dog drinks excess water for a day or two. However, if this continues for a longer period, take your dog for a checkup. 


Do dogs need water at night?

Water should always be available to dogs. Two hours before bedtime, though, is not a good idea if they are small and not potty trained. Giving water to trained dogs at night is acceptable.

Should a dog drink water after eating?

Giving water is advised to be done 30 to 60 minutes after meal. This aids in digestion and lessens the possibility of bloating. 

How long can a dog go without water?

Your dog can survive without water for up to 72 hours on average. Within the first twenty-four hours, though, dehydration symptoms will appear. Their gums will get sticky and dry, their eyes will get dry, and they will lose their appetite. 

Is it OK to give dog water twice a day?

Water should be available without restriction all day long. It is not necessary to measure or keep track of their water intake unless advised by the veterinarian. 

How many times a day should I change my dogs’ water?

Make sure your dog always has access to clean water. Once-daily water change is recommended. Additionally, the bowl needs to be cleaned every day to ensure that no bacteria or algae are growing in it.


Not just dogs, all animals should have access to unlimited water. Thanks to new technology, there are fountain water dispensers and automated water bowls that can be used to ensure that your pet stays hydrated always.

Dogs are cute, dehydration isn’t. By meeting their basic needs and giving them water, you are helping them stay healthy and happy. 


  1. Diener, M., DVM. (2023, September 12). Is my dog dehydrated? PetMD.
  2. Hoffmann, H., DVM. (2023, September 8). Dry Dog Food vs. Wet Dog Food: Which Is Better? From PetMD.
  3. Fontaine, E. (2012). Food intake and nutrition during pregnancy, lactation, and weaning in the dam and offspring. Reproduction in Domestic Animals, 47(s6), 326–330. National Library of Medicine.
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Jacob Kay
Jacob Kay is a Veterinary Advisor and Editor at WWD. He’s also a dog lover and has two pet dogs of his own. He has extensive knowledge in the field of veterinary medicine and is always happy to share his insights with others.

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