As owners, we’d love to keep our Labradors in top shape and one thing we’d love to know is: how much water does a Labrador need to drink each day?
On average, a healthy dog needs 0.5 to 1 oz. per pound of body weight each day. This means a 70-pound Labrador needs 35 to 70 ounces of water per day.
Factors to be Considered in Altering Your Labrador’s Water Limits
Whether your Labrador needs 35 ounces, 70 ounces, or somewhere in between depends on the following factors:
If your Labrador is eating dry kibble, he will need more water compared to Labs who eat raw or wet food.
Climate and weather
In the summer, dogs need more drink, compared on winter days.
If your Lab loves running around and is quite active, he’ll need more water to replace fluids he lost through panting and sweating through his paws.
If your Labrador is suffering from a medical issue, the vet may advise you to lessen or increase your Lab’s water intake.
Age and weight
Larger and older Labs need more water compared to Lab pups. Just don’t let your Labs drink all the water in one gulp and instead, spread their intake over the day. Do not leave loads of water out for a puppy.
How to Know if your Labrador is Dehydrated
Check the Skin
The best way to know your Labrador’s hydration level is to check the elasticity of his skin. To do this, pinch the skin on his neck, stretch it up and outwards before letting it go. Observe how the skin reacts. Your Labrador is well-hydrated if his skin snapped back into position quickly – exactly as how it was prior pinching. If your Lab’s skin didn’t snap back or remained wrinkled, it means he’s dehydrated.
Check the Gums
Another way to check your Labrador’s hydration levels is to see his gum. To do this, run your finger over your Lab’s gum. Your Lab’s gum should be very wet; otherwise – if it’s too sticky or dry – then, your Lab is dehydrated.
You can also press your finger into your Labrador’s gum – forcing the blood out and making it look pale and white. Then, release the pressure. You should see the blood rushing back instantly. If it remains pale or takes a few more seconds, then your dog needs to drink.
What to Do If Your Labrador Is Drinking Too Much
If your Labrador is drinking too much, then something could be wrong. Excessive water intake can be a symptom of different health issues such as diabetes, liver or kidney problems.
If your Labrador is over drinking despite the cool weather and being idle, it’s best to have him checked by a veterinarian.
What to Do If Your Labrador Isn’t Drinking Enough
Labs are motivated by food so rewarding him for drinking when you ask him to may just work. To do this, use the command “drink” when he drinks water. Then, praise him and give him a reward. It shouldn’t take long before your Labrador understands the command.
Using flavoring on your Labrador’s water is also a good idea. There are meat flavorings that are safe for dogs. You can purchase some from pet stores and mix them with your Lab’s water to encourage him to drink.
Switch to Wet Food
Switching your Labrador’s food from kibble to wet food may just help him receive the hydration he needs.