The dog's water needs

What are the dog's water needs? How much water to give and how much? What to do when your dog drinks too much or too little?

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Water, the first essential nutrient for life

As with all living beings, water is the first essential nutrient for a dog's life. It is the main constituent of his body, which is made up of more than 60% water.

Part of this water is eliminated every day by his body through breathing, urine and excrement and must be renewed by ingesting drinking water and food. If the losses of the dog's body are greater than its intake, there is a risk of dehydration.

The dog therefore needs to drink in sufficient quantity. But how much are we talking about?

How much water does a dog need?

The amount of water a dog should drink each day depends on his diet and his physiological needs.

On average, an adult dog needs about 50 to 75 ml of water per kg of body weight per day. If he is fed with dry food such as kibble, his water must therefore be provided to him entirely in the form of drinking water. On the other hand, if the dog is fed with household food, the amount of water may be less because its food already contains a large proportion of water.

The table below summarizes the amount of water that an adult dog fed with kibble should drink each day to meet his fluid needs:

1 kg2 kg3 kg4 kg5 kg6 kg7 kg8 kg9 kg10 kg11 kg12 kg13 kg14 kg15 kg16 kg17 kg18 kg19 kg20 kg25 kg30kg35 kg40 kg45 kg50 kg60 kg70kg

Pet Body Weight

Quantity of water to bring in ml/24h for an animal fed with kibble



The amounts of water specified in the table above allow you to know if a dog's water intake is sufficient. In any case, it is dangerous to ration a dog's amount of water. A bowl of fresh water must always be available at will, regardless of how you eat.

A dog's water needs can also change depending on:

  • of the animal's state of he alth. Digestive losses such as diarrhea or vomiting can thus temporarily increase the dog's water needs to compensate for greater losses than usual.
  • of her age. A puppy needs to drink more than an adult dog for its maintenance needs and growth.
  • of his physiological state. A pregnant or nursing female dog therefore needs to drink more to ensure the proper growth of unborn puppies and to produce her mother's milk.
  • of the outside temperature. If dogs do not lose water through sweating, they breathe faster and harder in hot weather and also lose more water through this. When it's hot, they also need to drink more. The same is true when they have practiced physical exercise.

What water to give your dog?

Dogs, like humans, can be contaminated by bacteria present in the water. Just like us, it is therefore essential to give your dog drinking water.

In our latitudes, tap water can therefore (except accidental pollution) be perfectly suitable for your dog. Give it cold to temperate water rather than ice cold water.

Some dogs, due to their sensitive sense of smell, may nevertheless be bothered by the chlorinated smell of tap water, which is more or less strong depending on the region and the period. To remedy this, all you have to do is let the tap water decant a little in a glass carafe without a stopper before giving it to the dog to drink. It is also possible to deodorize tap water using a piece of activated carbon.

It is strictly inadvisable to let your dog drink in puddles or stagnant water. Your dog could then ingest pollutants, parasites or micro-organisms harmful to his he alth.

On a walk, remember to take a bottle of tap water with you so that you can quench your pet's thirst without danger. Failing that, you can give him some of your bottled mineral or spring water.

Can you give mineral water to a dog?

If mineral water does not pose a problem for the majority of dogs, it should however be avoided to give it to dogs who suffer from urinary stones.

My dog drinks too much

If your dog drinks more than 90ml of water per day and per kg of body weight apart from any element that would explain this increase in drink intake (heat, gestation), it is probably that he has a he alth problem or suffers from a behavioral disorder called potomania. In both cases, the only thing to do is to consult a veterinarian without delay.

My dog doesn't drink enough

If your dog does not drink enough, he risks suffering from dehydration, constipation or presenting too concentrated urine, which is a risk factor for developing urinary stones.

Some young dogs, like old or sick dogs, do not feel thirsty enough or are unable to ingest a volume of water to cover their water needs, especially when fed with kibble.

Luckily, there are a few simple tricks to get a dog to drink more and keep him well hydrated. We tell you about it in our article “How to keep your dog well hydrated? ”.

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