How can I get my dog to drink enough water each day?

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Just like humans, dogs’ bodies are made up of about 70 percent water, so they need to drink. Just like us, they sometimes forget to drink.

Here are some quick tips to help your dog drink more. (If your dog is ill or dehydrated, though, please take her to the vet—there’s a difference between not drinking water and not drinking enough.)

First, some possible reasons why she may not be drinking:
• Not enough activity: Just like humans, when dogs burn energy they get thirsty—so get yours to exercise and be more active. Always leave fresh, clean water in your dog’s dish. Also remember, some dogs need more water than others.
• Diet: Sometimes a food will cause a digestive upset, or even an allergy—and when that happens, the dog won’t drink. The solution here is to find the cause of the upset or allergy and eliminate it.
• Forgetfulness. Might sound strange but, after all, we also forget to drink!
• Illness. If the dog isn’t eating at all, she’s either sick or injured. If you see any signs, take her to the vet. Also, sometimes medications cause side effects, so discuss that with your vet.
Now for some tricks to get more water in her:
• Add water to the food. Make it very soupy.
• Use a canned moist food instead of dried kibble.
• Clean the water bowl and add a tablespoon of sugar to the fresh water. Dogs usually like a sweet taste. If the sugar does not appeal to her, add some low sodium chicken broth. Also, try putting a small treat, or a piece of bread or meat, in the bottom of the water bowl and see if she will drink the water to get to the food.

• Feed your dog ice cubes. Some dogs regard them as treats crunch on them. Remember, moderation is key because, if you flavor them, it could add more calories. Also be careful of potential dental problems.

• If you think she just forgets to drink, remind her by keeping a filled water bowl out where she always passes by.

If you still can’t get your dog to drink discuss it with a veterinarian who can discuss alternative drinks.

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