Did you know?
A dog’s body consists of around 70% water and requires sufficient water to maintain a proper level of body fluids. Dogs lose a great deal of water daily through urination, respiration, and evaporation, a relatively small amount of losses can result in serious health problems, so it is very important that an adequate water supply be available at all times.
The amount of water in newborn and young puppies is between 75% and 80%. In senior dogs it is between 50% and 60% due to a natural increase in body fat.
Even though a dog may lose almost all its fat and half of its protein, he will still able to survive for a length of time provided water is accessible. However, a loss of 10% water will cause serious illness and a 15% loss will lead to death if not quickly replaced. (That’s why it is very crucial to bring the dog to the veterinarian at once when he’s experiencing severe diarrhea.
So how much water should my dog drink?
This varies from dog to dog and also from activity to activity. Just like us, dogs needs more water during hot days or when they’ve engaged in vigorous activities.
Another consideration is their diet. Dogs whose diet consists mainly on dry food (kibbles) are likely to drink more than those who are on canned or wet food feed.
For healthy dogs under 20 lbs, their daily water requirement is 1 cup (8oz) per five pounds of its body weight.
Example One. An 8lb adult Shih Tzu whose daily activities consist of one 20-minute slow walk and some light indoor activities, he would need approximately 1½ cup (12oz) of water per day to maintain a proper level of body fluids.
The source of water doesn’t have to come strictly in liquid (H2O) form. If the dog gets an afternoon snack—foods that are rich in water content (i.e. apple), this would also contribute part of his water intake for that day.
Keep in mind, the above equation is not feasible for dogs who weigh over 20 lbs. To get the exact daily water amount they need it would have to be calculated base on the dog’s daily calories necessity. In formula, ALL healthy dogs’ daily water requirement in milliliters is approximately equal to their daily energy requirements in calories.
Example Two. A dog who weighs 65 lbs would require approximately 1450 milliliters (6.1 cups/49 oz) of water daily instead of 13 cups or 104 oz base on the formal equation.
Always keep in mind that as long as clean water is accessible to your dog at all times, he will drink enough to maintain the proper balance of his body fluids.
Photo from http://www.twotuttles.com/