A Labrador drinking too much or too little water each day is a cause for concern. What is the ideal amount of water should a Labrador drink in a day?
For a healthy dog, the ideal amount of water they should drink is between 0.5 and 1 ounce per day. Adequate water intake is vital to your dog’s ability to stay active, possess a stronger immune system, and obtain healthy skin.
If your Labrador is healthy and weighs 60 pounds, your dog should drink between 30 and 60 ounces of water in a day. However, certain things may affect the amount of water that a Labrador should drink in a day.
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Factors that Alter the Water Intake of your Labrador
There are certain things that can make your dog drink less than or more than the ideal amount of water intake per day. The following are factors that limit the amount of water that a Labrador should drink in a day:
If your dog usually eats dry kibble, expect him to drink more water than the recommended intake. Dogs that eat mostly wet canned food or raw will likely consume less water than the dogs that eat dry kibble. We recommend doing more fruits and vegetables because fruits and vegetables have more water in them than other foods.
Dogs usually pant and sweat a lot during hot summer days and will naturally drink more water than usual as compared to cold winter months.
Your Labrador experiences the same thing. During hot summer days, your dog needs to make sure that his body maintains proper fluid balance.
Not all dogs are created equal. There are active dogs that just can’t stay in one spot and keep doing different things. These dogs lose a lot of fluids via sweating.
They need to drink more water to replace the lost fluids.
If you take your dog hiking for long hours, make sure to let him drink more water than usual to prevent dehydration and make him lose his strength and stamina.
A lazy dog that has nothing to do but sit or lie down all day doesn’t need to worry about fluid balance.
If the health condition of your dog is not good and currently taking some medications for his illness, your vet can give you proper guidance regarding how much water your Labrador should drink in a day.
The water intake of your dog may increase or decrease depending on his medical issue. Some medications require more water intake than usual.
5. Size and age
Older and larger dogs need more water than younger and smaller dogs. Following the ideal amount of water, intake is enough to make sure that your Labrador is drinking an adequate amount of water.
For your puppy, you can start with the bare minimum and gradually increase the amount as he grows.
You need to spread the amount of water intake over the day and don’t just leave the entire day’s ration in a large container.
Young puppies tend to over-drink if you will just let them drink to their heart’s content. They might drink all the water in one go, which is not good.
Dehydration or over-hydration is bad for your dog. Dehydration depletes the strength and vigor of your dog. If you failed to address it properly, it may lead to severe dehydration.
When dehydration sets in, your dog may experience unconsciousness, listlessness, shivering, weakness, weak pulse, and rapid heart rate. Extreme cases of dehydration can cause death.
Drinking excessive amounts of water can be toxic. Over-hydration can cause lethargy and sickness. If your dog drinks an ample amount of water, it can be an indicator of an underlying health condition.
Checking for Dehydration
To check for dehydration, you need to do the following:
- Pinch the skin of the neck of your dog.
- Stretch the skin up, and then stretch it outward.
- Let it go and observe the reaction of the skin.
Healthy, well-hydrated skin will immediately snap back to its original position. The skin of a dehydrated dog will go back slowly to its original position and some raised skin will remain.
This test yields valid result because the skin’s elasticity depletes when begins to lose moisture. Dry, wrinkly skin does not snap back when you release it.
You can also run your finger to the gum of your dog to check if he is dehydrated. If the gum of your dog is dry or sticky, he is dehydrated. Try making your dog drink some more water to prevent extreme dehydration.
You can try bribing your dog with some treats – but don’t overdo it – to make him drink more water. A little coaxing should also do the trick.
Checking for Over-Hydration
There’s nothing much you can do to check for over-hydration but observe and take note of your dog’s behavior. If he suddenly begins to drink a lot of water without rhyme or reason (i.e. your dog is lazy and the weather is not warm), don’t take chances and pay your vet a visit.
Excessive intake of water could be a sign that your dog has a health problem, such as liver problems, Cushing’s disease, kidney problems, infection, and diabetes. Your prompt action can prevent the disease from escalating into a bigger problem.
You need to be observant and prudent in determining how much should a Labrador drink in a day, especially if your dog shows signs of illness.
Water is vital in keeping the body hydrated so every system will function according to its design. Keep in mind that drinking too little or too much water is bad for the health of your Labrador.
Some dogs can monitor their water intake and some dogs don’t. It is advisable to monitor your dog to make sure that he is getting the right amount of water that his body needs. An ounce of prevention is much better than a pound of cure.
Giving some time to monitor your dog is an endeavor that can save you from encountering troubles later and prevent your dog from contracting a dreadful disease.