Health & Well-being
July 22, 2022

Stay hydrated!


Water is critical to all life, and it plays a vital role in keeping your dog healthy. It helps aid their digestion, waste elimination (aka peeing and pooping), supports cognition, maintains blood pressure, and delivers nutrients throughout their body. 

A dog’s body weight is made up of 60–70% water, making it both the most essential and abundant nutrient in our dogs! 

Access to sufficient water and food is the second need of the Five Animal Welfare Needs according to the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA). The official recommendation says, “sufficient fresh, clean drinking water must be available always for all animals requiring it.” You can learn more about meeting your animal’s needs here

Impacts on your dog’s needs

Just like humans, dogs need to maintain healthy levels of hydration. There are conditions that may cause a decrease in water intake, like pain and infections; diseases that cause an increase in water intake, like diabetes mellitus, Cushing’s disease, and liver and kidney diseases; there are even diseases that affect the body’s ability to control an appropriate thirst response (like when you eat too many chips but can’t realize you’re thirsty), such as diabetes insipidus. 

Of course, just their daily lives may impact how much water they need. Activities like exercising and jogging require increased water intake, both for you and your dog. Environmental conditions such as excessive heat may also require increased water intake to compensate for the ongoing water loss. Vomiting and diarrhea may also cause water loss.  

Adequate hydration is vital to keeping your dog healthy and happy. Water loss primarily happens through peeing, and to a lesser extent through their poop. Another common way they lose water is from panting. So as cute as it may look to see that tongue wagging, it may mean they need some water.

Here are some signs your dog may be dehydrated:

  • Loss of skin elasticity 
  • Dry and sticky gums
  • Decreased appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Decreased urination
  • Sunken, dry-looking eyes
  • Reduced energy levels and lethargy

So how much water does my dog need?

The easiest way to estimate the water intake is according to body weight. Most dogs will drink about 1 ounce/pound/day.

How to keep your dog hydrated 

Dogs get their water intake primarily from their diet and from drinking water. The good news is that dogs (and cats) have the ability to adjust their water intake based on the water content of their diet. Here are some tips to making sure your dog gets enough water this summer, and every season:

  • Feeding a fresh diet like Stay’s nutritious meals has higher water content than dry foods, which means your dog requires fewer trips to the water bowl. While kibble generally offers moisture content of only 7-10%, Stay’s healthy recipes have a moisture content of 70-75%!

  • Offer free fresh water all the time. If you have more than one dog, have at least one water bowl for each one of them.

  • Some dogs prefer nutrient-enriched flavored water because it tastes better. It’s been proven to maintain a cooler body temperature even in a population of exercising working dogs. 

  • Dogs do not like warm water. Help your dog to stay cool on hot days with ice cubes or fresh pup-sicles

Not the most efficient way to give your dog water, but could be fun.

Keeping your dog hydrated is important during the summer, but also all year round. Making sure your pup has enough water and moisture in their diets will help keep them healthy and happy!

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