You probably thinking to yourself, “my dog doesn’t drink enough water”, and you may be right.
Some dog needs to be tricked into drinking more water, both at home and outside.
After all, water is necessary for the proper functioning of your dog’s body. So if your dog doesn’t drink enough water for some time, you may want to contact your vet.
Here’s the deal:
If your dog suddenly stopped drinking, you need to rule a medical problem. Then, you can turn to water drinking tips, and as it turns out, there are many ways to incentivize a dog to drink.
In this post, I’ll tell you how to get your dog to drink more water, and how much your dog should drink per day.
Additionally, I’ll mention a few safe alternatives to plain water and the beverages you should never serve your dog.
How to Get Your Dog to Drink More Water
1. Rule Out Any Illnesses
Before you try the following tips, it’s important to make sure that your dog doesn’t experience any sickness. Nausea, for example, can lead to decreased water consumption.
Other issues, such as bladder infection, urinary tract infection, and adrenal gland disease, can also cause a decrease in thirst. In case your dog’s drinking habits change, talk to your veterinarian about it just to be on the safe side.
2. Give Your Dog Enough Exercise Outside
The goal here is to make your dog pant and lose moisture.
If Fido doesn’t get out as much, he may not be as thirsty as other active dogs, so make sure to walk him regularly, and even go to the park where he can play with other dogs or let him roam around in the backyard (but take precautions if you don’t have a fence installed).
Related: Best In-Ground Fence For Dogs
Canines who are diagnosed with arthritis or are too old for intense exercise should stick to short walks. Preferably when it’s warm outside.
3. Use A Water Bottle Outside
Dogs can be selective, even about water, some prefer refrigerating tap water or filter water. While others only drink bottled or distilled water
If you’re outside and you give your dog water from an unfamiliar source, he may refuse to drink it. Your best bet is to bring a bottle from home filled with whatever water he’s used to drinking.
Apart from preventing your dog from dehydrating, bringing a water bottle for your dog and making sure he’s taking a sip every now and then will help him get in the habit of drinking regularly.
4. Add Water To Your Dog’s Kibbles
Adding water to your dog’s dry food will not only help him get more water, but it’s also a great way to moisten the kibbles and release some of the meaty scents.
Instead of water, you can use low sodium broth (or this instant bone broth) to make the meal even more inviting. Simply soak the dry food until all the liquid is absorbed and serve it to your dog.
5. Mix Canned Food With Dry Food
Canned food has high water content (usually about 70-80% moisture). By combining both wet and dry dog food, you can help your dog stay hydrated.
On the other hand, dry food only contains about 10% moisture. So replace some of the dry food with canned food according to the label suggestion or your vet recommendation.
6. Take The Food Away After Mealtime
Sometimes, dehydration makes us believe we need to eat when we really need to drink. Because it can be easy to mistake thirst for hunger, don’t let your dog’s food bowl be available all day long.
Ideally, an adult dog should eat one to twice a day. If you don’t want Fido to become a picky eater, leave the food bowl for about 30 minutes before you take it away, whether it’s full or not.
7. Don’t Let Your Dog Hold It In
Housetrained dogs who stay inside the house all day (and don’t use a pee pad) may decide to avoid water altogether as they don’t want to deal with the uncomfortable feeling of a full bladder.
Take your dog out for a potty break every few hours (and no more than eight), or teach him how to use puppy pads so he can relieve himself whenever he needs to.
8. Replace The Bowls When Needed
Old, damaged or rusty bowls should be replaced with new ones as soon as possible. Check out the condition of your dog’s bowls to see if they should be thrown away.
When you buy new bowls, go for stainless steel, or ceramic. Plastic bowls can be scratched easily and filled with bacteria, not to mention that some dogs may chew them.
9. Change The Water Every Day
Dogs don’t like to drink water from dirty dishes. The water probably doesn’t taste so good, and to be honest, not so healthy either.
Make sure to wash the bowl thoroughly each day before you pour fresh water back. Try to use cold water, as they’re more refreshing and enticing. Especially on a hot day.
10. Get A Pet Fountain
For some reason, dogs love to drink from running water. As opposed to a regular water bowl, you don’t need to change the water frequently because they’re constantly circulating, which keeps them fresh and more importantly, tasty.
This fountain by Petsafe not only looks attractive but it also has a carbon water filter that catches dirt and prevents bad tastes and odors. Other than that, there are two drinking areas for multi-house pets and an elevated dish to help dogs with arthritis, as well as senior dogs.
11. Have More Than One Water Station
Even if you only have one dog, you should consider placing several bowls and fountains around the house. Especially if you live in a big place or have more than one floor. Plus, dogs with joint problems sometimes avoid drinking if the water is too far away.
When water is easily accessible and within reach, your dog is more likely to remember to drink and he also doesn’t have to go far to do so. Elevated bowls are another great investment if you have a senior dog or one who suffers from arthritis.
12. Drop Ice Cubes Into The Water
Talking about summertime, ice cubes are the perfect treat to put in your dog’s water. Even better, use frozen blueberries or other fruits instead of ice to keep the water cool and add a little bit of taste.
In addition, these healthy treats will encourage your dog to drink some of the water to reach the fruits at the bottom. And if that’s not enough, fruits also contain water naturally so even if your dog doesn’t drink a whole lot, he still gets some fluids in.
13. Make This Flavored Dog Water Recipe
Here’s an easy recipe for peanut butter flavored water that dogs go crazy about:
Simply take a 1/2 tsp. of peanut butter powder (such as PB2) and whisk it into your dog’s water.
PB2 has 85% fewer calories than traditional peanut butter so you don’t have to worry about your dog’s weight. Yet, it tastes just as good as the real thing (try adding it to your smoothies).
Water Requirements For Dogs
While your dog should have access to fresh water all day long, it’s important to know how much is sufficient, so you can prevent your dog from dehydration.
Generally, a healthy dog should drink between 0.5 to 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight daily.
For a 9-pound Maltese dog, that means about 4.5-9 ounces each day.
If your dog is eating wet dog food, he may drink less then average due to the water content in canned foods.
Puppies, however, need to take small sips of water every 1-2 hours and should be watched closely in case they don’t drink enough.
What Can I Give My Dog To Drink Other Than Water?
While newly born puppies feed on their mother’s milk to receive nutrients, they don’t really need it anymore after infancy. As a matter of a fact, many adult dogs are lactose intolerant and drinking too much milk can cause them digestion problems.
Coconut milk is an exception since it’s not really a milk, but it does have a few health benefits as long as you give it in moderation.
Caffeinated tea should also be avoided as dogs are more sensitive to caffeine than we are, and they can end up with caffeine poisoning. Same goes for coffee, cola, and energy drinks, which contain an even higher level of caffeine.
On the other hand, decaffeinated and caffeine-free teas such as Chamomile and Peppermint in low doses are fine, and they can also help dogs with digestive issues.
Commercial fruit juices are filled with sugar and other chemicals and it’s best not to give your dog any of them. For the same reason, I also don’t recommend giving your dog any kind of soda.
If you happen to make freshly squeezed juice from (seedless) oranges or apples, giving your dog a little bit to taste is probably okay. Although small pieces of dog-friendly fruits are always better.
Under no circumstances should you give your dog alcohol.
Unless they’re pups, dogs don’t really need anything besides clean water. So try to encourage Fido to drink his H2O (especially during summer) by following the tips in this post.