dog drinking water in a collapsible travel bowl

How Much Water Should A Dog Drink?

The amount of water a dog should drink every day depends on various factors, including age, size, breed, and more. There’s no one set volume of water your dog should be getting through each day, though there are some good general rules of thumb to go by, as well as signs to look for to see whether your dog is dehydrated (or overly hydrated).

How Much Water Should a Dog Drink Per Day

Generally speaking, your dog should be getting between 50ml and 100ml of water per day per Kg of body weight. So, a 10Kg adult Scottish Terrier, for instance, would need around 750ml of water per day, whilst a 25Kg female Labrador, by comparison, would need between 1,250ml and 2,500ml of water every day.

Now, this is by no means a hard and fast rule, more just a general guideline. Besides size, factors such as fitness, activity level, and overall health will impact a dog’s required daily water intake.

Why is My Dog Drinking So Much Water?

There are four main reasons why your dog might seem to be drinking more water than usual, and these are diet, activity level, illness and medication:


If you’ve ever had a particularly salty meal, then you’ll have noticed yourself reaching for a glass of water more quickly afterwards than you otherwise might normally. A diet that’s high in sodium can cause a disruption in your body’s fluid levels, which in turn leads to you wanting more fluids. If your dog’s food is unusually high in salt, this might be the culprit of your dog’s sudden thirst.

If your dog exclusively eats dry food, then this will also lead to a high water intake when compared with a pup who feeds on wet food, as the former isn’t getting the same kind of fluid intake from their food as the latter. Dog hydration is definitely a factor when considering if wet or dry dog food is best for your dog.

Activity Level

This one is more common sense than anything else; if your dog has just gone on a big walk on a hot, sunny day, then they’re going to rush straight for the water bowl upon returning home. Similarly, if your dog isn’t particularly active, then exerts himself/herself more than usual running around playing, for instance, then they’re going to tire themselves out more than normal, raise their temperature and, as a result, therefore, get more thirsty.


If your dog is drinking more water than normal, then it might be a sign of illness; the most common of these is kidney failure, but it could also be a sign of diabetes mellitus, fever or a urinary tract infection (UTI). If you think your dog might be developing an illness, look for any potential other symptoms they might’ve started displaying, and ring up your local veterinarian.


Certain prescription medications can cause dogs to drink more water than usual. Anti-inflammatory, corticosteroid drugs, for instance, like prednisone and prednisolone, which are used to treat a whole range of ailments, including allergies and autoimmune diseases, have been known to cause increased thirst and water intake in dogs taking them.

Can Dogs Drink Puddle Water?

The short answer is yes, they’ll probably be OK if they drink water from a puddle, however it’s best to try and prevent your dog from doing so if they’re able, as unlike the clean water in their dog bowl at home, standing water in puddles is more likely to contain potentially-harmful pathogens and disease-inducing bacteria. It’s better to be safe than sorry, and stop your dog from drinking from puddles, wherever possible. 

collapsible dog bowl

How Much Water Should Puppies Drink?

A puppy’s physiology is finely balanced, so it’s important to closely monitor their water intake, and make sure they get enough water, but not too much. People often pay close attention to a puppy’s feeding schedule, but their water schedule is really just as important. 

Puppies need to drink water fairly frequently, having become used to regularly intaking fluids in the form of their mother’s milk.

Puppies need more water than their adult counterparts, because their bodies are still growing and developing, and water plays a crucial role in helping facilitate that development. Puppies also tend to play more (though some ever-youthful older dogs would probably balk, or rather should that be, bark at this statement) which means they’ll need to take onboard more water because of that, too. A puppy (once weaned) should be drinking 15ml to 30ml of water per lb of bodyweight per day.

How to Stop a Dog Drinking Too Much Water

In the same way that too little water is dangerous for your dog, and causes dehydration, too much water can also be harmful in its own way. The easiest way to stop your dog from drinking too much water is to remove their bowl if they’re drinking too much, however this tactic requires a diligent and conscientious dog owner, as you don’t want to be inadvertently leaving your pup thirsty. 

How Do I Teach My Dog To Drink Water?

In much the same way you try to train your dog with any command or skill - with rewards; if your dog is reluctant to drink from its water bowl, then you need to make it more of an attractive prospect for him/her. Every time your dog takes a drink from its water bowl, give them a treat to positively reinforce the habit of drinking from the bowl. 

Final Thoughts…

If you’ve noticed your dog getting particularly thirsty whilst you’re out and about, then it might be worth getting them a collapsible dog bowl or special dog water bottle, so that you can quench their thirst on the move, rather than having to wait until you get home with them.