How much water does a Labrador need to drink each day? For owners serious enough to ensure good health of their pets inadequate water intake is a cause for concern. Water is key to your dog’s healthy skin, stronger immunity, and the ability to stay active.
As owners, we would love to keep our Labradors in top shape and one thing we must know is the required amount of water a Lab should drink everyday. On an average, a healthy dog needs 0.5 to 1 oz of water per pound of his body weight each day. This means a 70-pound Labrador needs 35 to 70 ounces of water per day.
Factors Altering Your Labrador’s Water Intake
Is there a way to decide how much water does a Labrador need? 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 to drink more water compared to winter days. He needs to ensure fluid balance in his body.
If your Lab loves running around and is quite active, he should drink more water to replace fluids he lost through panting and sweating. Unless he drinks adequately, he may suffer from thirst and loose stamina and strength.
If your Labrador is suffering from a medical issue, the vet may advise you to lessen or increase your Lab’s water intake depending on his problem. Certain medications and supplements may need increased amount of 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 several times throughout the day. Do not leave loads of water out for a puppy to drink.
How To Know If Your Labrador Is Dehydrated
Check the Skin
The best way to know the hydration level of your Labrador is to check the elasticity of his skin. A better skin is an indication of good hydration.
To know this, pinch the skin on his neck, stretch it up and outwards before letting it go. Observe how the skin reacts. If his skin snapped back into position quickly – exactly as how it was prior to your pinching, the Labrador is well hydrated. If your Lab’s skin does not snap back or remains wrinkled, it means your dog is dehydrated and needs to increase water intake.
Check the Gums
Another way to check your Labrador’s hydration levels is to examine his gums. Scrub your Lab’s gums gently with your finger. Your Lab’s gum should be very wet when he drinks ample amount of water daily. If he is lacking adequate water intake and suffering from dehydration, you may feel his gums too sticky or dry.
If signs indicate the lack of required amount of water intake, you need to overhaul the supply of water to your pet. Ensure he gets the right amount of water and drinks from his bowl frequently. Maintaining the proper fluid level is essential for his health.
What to Do If Your Labrador Is Drinking Too Much
If your Labrador is drinking too much, then it is a cause for concern. It is likely that something could be wrong and he may be suffering from health disorders. Excessive water intake is often interpreted as a symptom signaling different health issues, such as diabetes, liver disorder, or kidney problems.
If your Labrador is over drinking despite the cool weather and staying idle, it is 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 do may work. Place a bowl of water in front of your dog and ask him to “drink.” If he drinks, praise him, pat him, and give him a reward too. It should not take long before your Labrador understands the command if you give him right incentives.
Using flavored water may tempt your Labrador to drink it. There are meat flavorings that are safe for dogs. You may purchase some of these from pet stores and mix them with your Lab’s water to encourage him to drink more often
Switch to Wet Food
Switching your Labrador’s food from kibble to wet food may also help stay hydrated.