8 Awesome Reasons Your Dog Needs Water

Water is something that seems obvious but it can easily be overlooked as beneficial for our dogs. It’s an essential part of living for all beings, including our dogs. I know I’m always monitoring, my dog, Henry’s water consumption. Are you the same way? Or do you just fill up the bowl when it’s empty? Water is as vital as air. The benefits that the molecules of water (yep, hydrogen and oxygen or H2O) can deliver to your dog’s body are really amazing! There are many benefits to water that you may not have even thought about for your dog. Today, let’s dig in and discover some awesome reasons your dog needs water.

a cute husy pants and looks for water as a dog needs water after a day of playing
Budget tip:

Water is such a simple resource. Yet when your dog drinks an appropriate amount of clean water you can expect his/her body to function better. That means organs are working at a healthier level. In turn, your dog won’t have as likely a chance of severe health issues or the associated high vet bills. That’s a win-win for you and your dog!

What are the benefits of water for my dog?

When your dog drinks clean water and the proper amount of water, there are a multitude of benefits. You’re shocked, aren’t you? Consider the following benefits of fresh water for your dog:

1. Better cognitive function 

You’re wondering how aren’t you? Well, when your dog drinking enough water level then oxygen can flow to his/her brain easily. Consequently, it helps your dog’s brain to function optimally.

2. Increased digestion

Once again, when your dog drinks water at an optimum level then it helps to break down food, absorb essential nutrients, flush the digestive tract, and relieve constipation. Impressive, right?

3. Healthy functioning organs

Water keeps blood from becoming thick and supplies all vital organs with essential oxygen. That’s the O part of H2O. Thus, when the optimum amount of clean water is drunk by your dog, his or her organs will function more optimally.

4. Improved joint movement 

Water helps to keep your dog’s joints lubricated and makes it easier for him/her to move without pain.

5. Improved muscle strength

You might be surprised to know that muscles are largely water. Kind of like a sponge. When your dog drinks an optimum amount of water it allows the nutrients from the food you so carefully select to be sent to the muscles and support them. Additionally, waste is easily carried away. Thus, your dog’s muscles are stronger or at least healthier.

6. Healthy nerves

Again, when your dog’s water is at an optimum level it allows his/her body’s electrolytes to stay at a level. This in turn permits the nerves to communicate with the brain successfully. Basically, the nervous system functions in a healthy manner.

7. Improved energy 

This is a byproduct of your dog drinking the optimum amount of water. What do I mean? As mentioned, water increases the oxygen level of all the organs. As a result, it assists the organs in functioning more optimally, while removing waste and toxins. Thus, when your dog’s body is functioning well with an optimum amount of water and consequently oxygen, then it correlates that energy increases as well. Pretty cool, huh?

8. Vet bills are kept in check

I’m certain it’s no surprise that when your dog’s body is functioning more optimally with the proper amount of water, organs are receiving optimum oxygen, and toxins are being carried away successfully, then your dog isn’t visiting the vet as much. Your dog being properly hydrated makes for a much healthier dog. That’s definitely a good thing.

Do you know what toxic water is or how to avoid it? In this article, I explain the surprising places your dog may encounter dirty water and what to do if it happens. 

What signs of dehydration in dogs should I look for in my dog?

Keep in mind that some health problems or medications can result in dehydration (which is simply water loss). Also, some older dogs are more prone to dehydration. If your dog is experiencing any severe signs of dehydration, call your vet immediately for assistance. 

These are some signs you’ll want to look for if you think your dog is dehydrated:

  • Excessive panting
  • Increased body temperature
  • Dry nose
  • Thick or sticky salvia
  • Gums are dry and often look more white than pink
  • Vomiting or dry heaves
  • Lack of appetite
  • Lethargic 
  • Skin lacks elasticity

A great place to have clean water for your dog is when you’re hiking. Do you know how to hike with your dog and not hurt your back? In this article, I share my secrets. 

Simple dehydration dog test

I know you’re wondering about the symptom of skin lacking elasticity. Actually, it’s a great way to test if your dog is dehydrated. Heck, I even use it on me and did it with my horses and cats as well. 

Here’s how to test your dog:

Gently, let me emphasize that, gently pinch the skin on your dog’s back. If it IMMEDIATELY snaps back into shape, then your dog isn’t dehydrated. If it takes a few seconds to snap back, your dog could be dehydrated. To be safe, if I get a slow snap back, I treat my dog, Henry, as if he is dehydrated.

If you have a cat, you’d test the same way with a GENTLY pinch on the back. Wondering about where to pinch a horse? It’s the neck. 

However, to test yourself to see if you’re dehydrated, pinch the skin on the back of your hand. 

Do you like taking your dog on vacations with you? In this guide, I share everything you need to know to have an easy holiday with your pup. 

How much water is enough water for my dog?

This is a great question. And I have a great answer. Actually, this is a simple calculator to figure out how much water your dog needs to drink in a day. Or you can simply ask your vet. 

Dog Water Intake Calculator

Do you know that a great vet team can reduce your dog’s expenses? In this article, I share how. 

What kind of water should my dog drink?

I always think that Henry should drink water that I would drink. That means that if I wouldn’t drink the tap water, I won’t give it to Henry. If the water smells or tastes bad and I don’t want to drink it, then Henry’s not drinking it. Or if I’m drinking filtered water, then that’s what I give Henry. That’s not to say that your dog needs some kind of high-priced water system. No! Just clean, safe water to drink. If you’re completely unsure, look at what water you drink. Or ask your vet. 

Do you know how to prepare an amazing pet emergency go-to bag for your dog? It might surprise you how to do it or what to include in it. In this article, I share my tricks. 

How to entice my dog to drink more water?

Some dogs simply don’t like water. It could be the bowl has a smell or even the bowl is too small and they don’t like getting their muzzle wet. Here are some ideas that generally work to help increase your dog’s water intake:

Water bowl

Use a bigger water bowl.

Extra water bowls

Place extra water bowls in convenient locations (Henry has 4 water locations).

Fresh clean water 

Make sure to provide fresh clean water. 

No toilet bowl

Keep the toilet bowl cover lid down. Even a clean toilet bowl can have microbes that are dangerous for your dog. It also goes back to my fallback of giving your dog the water you’d drink. I’m certain, you wouldn’t drink toilet bowl water. 

Ice cubes 

Place ice cubes in the bowl. This can be fun for some dogs to lick or chase ice cubes in the bowl. 

Frozen treats 

Add frozen treats to the water bowl like frozen blueberries or chopped-up frozen strawberries. The bonus is that it also flavors the water, which many dogs like. But be careful to only put 2-3 small pieces in a bowl so you don’t give your dog too many berries. 

Wet food 

Sometimes it helps to hydrate a dog simply by adding water to dry dog food. Although some dogs, like Henry, don’t like dry food being wet. 

Canned food 

Some dogs, especially senior dogs or dogs with dental or mouth issues may respond well to soft canned food. However, always check with your vet before changing your dog’s diet. 

Chicken broth 

Giving a dog plain chicken broth (no salt or spice) can help with getting fluids into a dehydrated dog.

Wet rice 

White rice with double the amount of water or made with plain chicken broth (again no salt or spices) can help hydrate a dog.

Water bottle 

This is a bit odd, but it worked like a charm for a little dog I knew who’d only drink from a hamster-type water bottle. I think she was more comfortable with not getting wet. 

Water fountain 

Henry has a water fountain. It took him several minutes to adjust to it. But likes it a lot now. In fact, he doesn’t like to drink out of the fountain unless it’s turned on and the water is flowing. 

The idea is to get more fluids and moisture into your dog and increase your dog’s water intake. While these tricks may not always be drinking they do normally help hydrate dogs. Although, if your dog is severely dehydrated, always consult your vet for assistance. It’s best to act quickly than slowly. 

Do you know that you can save money simply by making your own dog treats? It’s true! In this article, I break down the numbers for you.

Henry, my dog needs water from his water fountain.
Henry enjoys drinking clean water from a pet water fountain.

What are the budget benefits of my dog drinking an optimum amount of clean water? 

This is the fun part. As I said earlier, water is an essential resource that we often overlook the benefits of and how it can help our dogs and our budget. Consider for a minute a dog that doesn’t drink an optimum amount of water. Here’s what could happen:

Joint pain$845-6,540
Muscle pain$150-500
Sluggish bowels$100-5,000
Kidney disease leading to kidney failure$2,500-8,000
Death (euthanasia)$50-750

Honestly, if it gets to the point of euthanasia then, the cost is truly immeasurable. Who can measure a broken heart? 

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Summary of reasons your dog needs water

I know water seems simple. As I’ve said, it can easily be overlooked. Heck, when I first adopted Henry, I wasn’t used to him drinking water so quickly. So, he got in the habit of flipping his empty water bowl like a top and then looking at me. Of course, I felt like a heel. But it also made me laugh. He doesn’t do that anymore. I wish he still would just for the added humor.

Honestly, now I change his water because he’s got grass, leaves, fur, and who knows what in it. Certainly, nothing I would drink. Although, I will say when he’s a bit lethargic, the first thing I do is check to see if he’s dehydrated. Sometimes he is and I’ll encourage him to drink a bit more. Then he’s back on track. After all, we are all mostly water. So, we need to keep our dogs’ water intake at an optimum level to keep them as healthy as possible. Truly fresh clean water does a dog’s body good!

a cute corgi dog needs water and enjoy a cool clean drink

Did you know that water had so many benefits for your dog? How will you make sure your dog gets the optimum amount of water? 

About Terri Rodefer

Terri Rodefer is the founder of Tail Wag Wisdom, a blog focused on affordable pet care. She likes to say helping pet parents afford and love their animals even more, makes her tail wag. As a lifelong lover of all animals with a background in economics, biology, and marketing, allows Terri to bring a unique spin to pet care. 

10 thoughts on “8 Awesome Reasons Your Dog Needs Water”

  1. This is great, really informative. I be a lot of people don’t know that having enough water is essential to cognitive ability as well as all the other benefits. It’s actually the case w/ humans too. My mom had dementia and was 90+. I’d often visit and she seemed….off, like her cognition was really bad, more than usual. I would give her a large glass of water and it was miraculous how she responded to that! It made a huge difference. I guess it’s the same with dogs! Water is life. Period.

    • Exactly, water is critical for life. It’s one of those things that it’s so obvious that it’s easy to overlook the essential nature of water. And the vital benefits of water are not fully known by many. I’m happy you picked up on your mom being dehydrated. Great catch! Thank you for sharing that story. My mom was the same way. But I had to sneak water into her diet. Here’s to the power of water! May we all have access to clean drinking water whenever we need it.

  2. I never thought of frozen treats as a way to give a dog water, sneaky and effective. I need to try the snap test with our cats, although we do have several water fountains and bowls I will do a quick check to see I have enough!

    Water and Bees, two things the earth needs.

    • Water is just as critical for cats as for dogs. I’ve had several cats that got dehydrated for numerous reasons. I used many of the tricks listed in this article and got them back on track. Yes, water is vital to all living beings! Make sure to be gentle with the pinch of the back. It’s a simple test, but a good gauge for dehydration. Thanks for your continued support!

  3. Great post and so important for owners to read with the heat the way it is at the moment, I am fortunate Layla drinks enough water and I always carry with me a bottle for her with a plastic water bowl so she has something to drink, even if it means putting it in her stroller. She drinks tap water as the tap water in SF is safe and good and I drink it also, Thanks for this post

    • That’s wonderful that you have safe tap water in SF. I’m on a well, which is fine for many things, but not for drinking. Or at least here in an old mining area. When they abandoned those mines they didn’t realize how it would impact the soil and water generations down the road. So, I drink either very highly filtered or bottled water. It’s always best to be safe. Thanks for sharing your experiences and about the water in SF. I now know that next time I visit Henry and I can simply drink the tap water. I really appreciate your continued support!

  4. Hydration is so important and it’s been so hot here that water is especially important. Great information. Thanks for joining our Thankful Thursday Blog Hop!

  5. EXCELLENT!!! And with the high heat temps, very timely. I just wrote an article about pet hydration that will be coming out next in 4Knines! This is such an important topic! Having five Huskies, I was always filling up water dishes and kiddie pools and adding chipped ice to their water (they loved that), and making some hydrating treats and foods. And with this scorching weather we are having, it is even more critical for us to keep a careful eye on our dogs. As caregivers, it is up to us to be sure our dogs are getting enough water. Fountains are a terrific idea! You may even find a Husky trying to climb in it! (BOL). And as always, the financial benefits you outline are eye openers – sadly, and avoidably, especially the last one – because if someone’s dog does not get water, that last one is definitely a heartbreaking one. And why put a dog through all that pain and suffering?! Yet, sadly, we are out here having to share awareness. Excellent post. Sharing with my FiveSibes followers!

    • Awe, thank you for your kind words and constant support. You are absolutely right! Keeping our dogs and pets hydrated is critical. I’ve always found it interesting how some dogs, cats, and even horses will love water. They’ll seek it out and play in it. While others you have to convince it’s good to drink or sneak liquids down them. I can only imagine your Huskies were entertaining with playing in water. I had a horse who would play with the water in his water trough. I’ve had cats who simply turned their noses up at all forms of water. Weirdest thing. Henry is somewhere in between. He keeps hydrated, but he’s not going to dive in unless there are other dogs or critters he thinks he could play with the water. Are dogs funny? Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. I’m going to keep my eyes open for your 4Knines article. I know if you wrote it, then it’s of great value!


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