We’ll start with an easy one: pets need water for the same reason we need water. Pets need water because it’s a critical component of healthy, living cells in your pet’s body.
All of the most important bodily functions require water. Your dog’s body uses water for digestion, for example, and to regulate its temperature. Good hydration is also essential for joint movement, healthy digestion…the list goes on.
Put simply, cats and dogs can’t function when they don’t get enough water. Poor hydration will inevitably lead to illness, injury, and death.
How Much Water Does your Cat or Dog Need?
There’s no exact answer to the above question because all cats and dogs are different. Instead of worrying about giving your pet an extract amount of water in liters, you should focus instead on giving them all an adequate supply of water, and then letting them decide for themselves how much they need.
If you give your cat or dog a clean bowl of water that’s constantly being refilled, it will drink as much or as little water as it needs.
In general, you should expect your dog to drink about 30 to 50mL per kg of body weight every day. Based on that ratio, a 10kg dog will drink about 300 to 500mL per day.
Of course, if your dog or cat is refusing to drink its water – or seems to be drinking too much water – then you may have a problem.
How to Encourage your Pet to Drink More Water
Is your cat or dog refusing to drink water? There are a number of reasons why this may occur.
Some pets may refuse to drink water because their water dish is in a bad spot. Pets don’t like to be shocked or surprised when drinking water. Try moving the water dish to a private, secluded part of the home – away from distractions like a TV – to see if that makes a difference.
You should also clean your pet’s bowl frequently. Pets, just like humans, don’t like to eat or drink from dirty bowls.
Is your Dog Drinking Too Much Water?
If your dog is consistently drinking 80 to 100mL per kg per day, then this can indicate polydipsia (drinking too much water). It’s natural for your dog to drink more water if it’s had a big day of exercise. But if your dog frequently drinks a lot of water every day regardless of exercise, then it could be a problem.
Start by added a measured amount of water to your pet’s bowl. Let your pet drink from the bowl over 24 hours, then measure how much water is remaining.
In general, if your dog is eating healthy and otherwise appears to be healthy, it’s unlikely it has a health problem related to its water consumption.
Of course, it’s never a bad idea to check with a vet to make sure your pet is healthy. Vets can run tests that give you valuable peace of mind about the health of your animals.