6 Ways to Increase Your Dog’s Water Intake

pug puppy near water bowl but not drinking the water

Making sure your dog is drinking plenty of water to remain hydrated can be a serious concern. Having a few methods to get your dog to drink water even when they don’t want to can really come in handy, especially in the warmer months. This article will tell you exactly how it’s done!

What are some ways to increase your dog’s water intake? To increase your dog’s water intake, try a new bowl, add more water bowls throughout the house, try different types of water, offer them flavored ice cubes, and feed your dog wet food.

In today’s article, I’ll explain how much water your dog should drink. I’ll also delve into reasons they won’t drink and elaborate further on the methods you can try. By the time you’re done drinking, you won’t worry so much about your dog’s water intake. 

How Much Water Should a Dog Drink Daily?

First thing’s first. Exactly how much water should your dog drink anyway?

Well, to answer that, you’ll need a doggy scale, or at least a copy of their most recent veterinary records, as you need to gauge how much your four-legged friend weighs.

Then, for every ounce of body weight on your dog, your canine companion should drink one ounce of water.

In other words, if your dog weighs 14 pounds, then he should consume 14 ounces of water a day. 

If it’s more helpful for you, you can pour your dog’s daily supply of water into a large water bottle with marked measurements on the side. Then, throughout the day, fill their bowl from that bottle until the bottle is empty.

Then they’ve drunk enough water to stay hydrated!

Keep in mind also that in some instances, your dog may drink more water than usual. 

For example, after running around the house or going for a vigorous walk, they’re going to be very thirsty.

If you’ve recently introduced a new pet into the household and your dog is playing more often, their water intake can increase.

How much water your pup drinks is a seasonal thing too, as they’ll gladly lap up more H2O in the summer. 

Why Is My Dog Not Drinking Enough Water?

Your dog barely touches his water bowl, or he depletes very little water in the bowl throughout the day. You’re very eagerly trying to get to the bottom of why that is. 

Let’s take a closer look at the reasons a dog stops drinking.

Negative Associations

Perhaps your dog had a different home before he came to live with you. 

In that environment, your dog could have had a negative experience when he was drinking water that now causes him trepidation about getting too close to the water bowl. 

Even small accidents can make your dog nervous about drinking, such as if the kids stepped on the dog’s paw or tail while he was at the bowl.

Try moving the water bowl to a different part of the kitchen and your dog’s anxiety may fade.


How old is your four-legged friend?

As he gets up there in years, your dog’s water intake can decrease. 

Getting up to reach the water bowl may be too much trouble. Further, a dog’s appetite and thirst can both lessen with age. 

Part of it is that the dog isn’t getting nearly as much exercise as he was.

That doesn’t mean that older dogs don’t have to drink water, of course. They do, but they can get by on less. 

Illness or Disease

If you haven’t gotten your dog to the vet for a checkup lately, it’s time that you do. 

After all, certain illnesses and diseases can contribute to your pup’s sudden lack of interest in drinking water.

Less seriously, your dog could have a urinary tract infection or a bladder infection. Both infections will make them not want to consume water as fervently. 

If not an infection, then your pup could have kidney disease or diabetes. These conditions will require lifetime management. 


The last reason your dog might be reluctant to drink water is that he’s not as active as he usually is.

You have to use context to determine if this is an acceptable situation or something that warrants a trip to the vet.

For example, if it’s the middle of winter and your dog detests the cold, then you two are probably only going on short walks. 

It’s okay if your dog doesn’t drink the full amount of water they should per day, but they should still be visiting their water bowl frequently.

If your puppy pal is lethargic when they normally aren’t, then that’s a cause for concern. Schedule an appointment with the vet immediately. 

6 Great Ways to Increase Your Dog’s Water Intake

Now that you understand how much water your dog should drink per day as well as why their consumption might have decreased, it’s time to get them drinking again.

Per the intro, here are my recommendations! 

Try a New Bowl

You may have your favorite mug, but how do you know whether your dog’s water bowl is their favorite or your favorite since you’re the one who bought it?

It could be that your dog once liked their bowl, but after several years, they’re tired of the same old thing.

Rather than just buy a new bowl in a different color, try something more drastically different. 

For instance, if your dog’s old bowl was made of plastic, then switch to one that’s made of glass. You can also try a ceramic or stainless steel bowl. 

Who says you have to use a bowl at all? A saucer or plate full of water–while not as contained–can still hydrate your pup just as well as a bowl can. 

Once you find a bowl that your dog likes, understand that it may not be forever. After a year or two, you may have to change their bowl again. 

Add More Water Bowls Throughout the House

It could also be that your dog doesn’t have access to enough water, which is preventing him from drinking as much as he wants to.

Since you bought a bunch of bowls recently anyway, take the spares and place them throughout the house in places that your dog frequents. 

You’re now making it much more convenient for your dog to drink. 

For older dogs especially, the accessibility to water throughout the house will allow them to hydrate themselves without having to expend too much effort.

Do make sure you’re refilling the water bowls at least once per day with fresh water but ideally twice per day. 

Switch the Water

All water does not taste the same. If you think it does, then put a blindfold on and try tap water versus mineral water or distilled water.

You will notice slight flavor nuances, and so will your dog.

Will he pick up on the different flavors of water as strongly as you? No. 

According to the American Kennel Club, dogs have about 1,700 taste buds versus our 9,000, but they can still taste those subtle differences in water. 

You don’t like water from the tap because it’s full of minerals and metals that make it taste funky, right? Maybe the reason your dog has stopped drinking water so fervently is that he too doesn’t like the flavor of tap water.

Try offering your pup distilled or filtered water and see if he takes to that better. You could very well be surprised! 

Offer Your Dog Ice

Sometimes you have to trick your dog into drinking water, and one of the best ways to do that is with ice. 

You don’t have to use pure water for ice, especially if your dog has resisted drinking water to this point. 

Rather, try filling an empty ice cube tray with beef or chicken broth. You’ll only need a tablespoon of the broth. Tuna juice works as well.

Then freeze the ice cube tray the way you would when you freeze water. After a few hours, pop out the ice cubes and give them to your dog.

If it’s a hot summer day, they’ll especially appreciate such a refreshing treat. Plus, you’ll feel great knowing your dog is finally getting some hydration.

You still want to keep their water bowl’s available throughout the house, as it’s better for your dog to drink water than it is tuna juice or broth, but some fluids are absolutely better than none.

Oh, and be sure to wash out the ice cube tray thoroughly once you begin using it for regular ice again. You don’t want a tuna or beef aftertaste in your ice cubes! 

Use a Drinking Fountain

You might have thought that pet fountains are only for cats, but they work for dogs as well!

Both animals have deep instincts that indicate to them to drink when they hear rushing water. Originally, this rushing water would have been from a river or stream.

In the case of the pet fountain, the rushing water is right in your kitchen. 

Pet fountains are convenient in other ways too. 

Most come with filters so you can ensure the water that comes out of the fountain is continually clean. You won’t have to dump and replace the dog’s water nearly as often. 

Feed Your Dog Wet Food 

If your dog is still not drinking as much water as they should, you can ensure they get hydration from their food sources if they’re eating wet food.

Remember, most canned dog foods are at least 80 percent water. 

Your dog should still ideally be drinking water rather than relying on wet food for their hydration needs, but if they scarf down every dish of wet food, you can rest a little easier. 

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