How to Encourage Your Pet to Drink Enough Water

Posted - March 21, 2024

By Carol Bryant, Professional Pet Blogger

Water is one of the most crucial parts of any pet’s daily intake. Did you know that 80 percent of a dog’s body versus 65 percent of a cat’s body is composed of water?! Dehydration can quickly sneak up on dogs and cats, so paying close attention to water intake is extremely important. Since water is the main component for each living cell in your pet’s body, they should always have access to a clean, cool bowl of this essential liquid at all times. Would you know if your dog or cat was dehydrated? Take our pop quiz below, followed by 10 tops to encourage your pet to drink enough water.

Pet Dehydration Pop Quiz

Answer true or false to the following ten statements. See how well you did with the answers revealed at the end of this blog post.  

  1. Panting, breathing, urination, and defecation contribute to your pet’s normal water loss.
  2. Loss of appetite is a sign of pet dehydration.
  3. Sticky, dry gums may indicate pet dehydration.
  4. Puppies can’t get dehydrated because they are too young.
  5. Vomiting can cause dogs and cats to lose vital fluids quickly, leading to dehydration.

How Much Water Does My Pet Need Daily?

A general rule of thumb for dogs is that they drink at least one ounce of water per day for each pound of body weight. You can pre-measure your dog’s water and track how much they drink. A 25-pound dog, for example, should consume about 25 ounces of water daily.

Cats should consume between 3.5 to 4.5 ounces per five pounds of body weight. For example, a 10-pound cat should take seven to nine ounces of water daily. Consider installing a home video camera to monitor your pet’s daily routine and how much water they drink.

How to Encourage Your Pet To Drink Water

Telling your pet to “drink” can be challenging. While many dogs and cats take in the proper amount of water daily, others do not. It’s easy to get caught up in day-to-day activities and not realize your pet isn’t drinking enough water.

Here are our 10 favorite tips to help your dog or cat stay hydrated:

  1. Choose the Right Bowl. Some pets are sensitive to certain materials in water bowls. They may not like ceramic or plastic. Perhaps your cat prefers a glass bowl, while your dog does best with a stainless-steel bowl. Experiment to see what works.
  2. Place Bowls in Various Locations. Cats and dogs can be fussy. Pet parents should consider placing a water bowl in several rooms throughout the house. If you have multiple pets, this is a must.
  3. Don’t Change the Type of Water. If you travel with your pets, they may not do well with water from a different town or location. Bring water from home along for the trip or consider purchasing bottled water to ensure hydration.
  4. Purchase a Circulating Water Fountain. Many cats and dogs are drawn to running water’s sound, look, and feel. Consider purchasing a pet water fountain such as the PetSafe Drinkwell Platinum Fountain.
  5. Provide Low-Sodium Chicken or Beef Broth. Consider adding a boost of flavor to your pet’s water to encourage them to drink more.
  6. Feed Pets a Moisture-Rich Diet. Wet foods are highest in moisture. If you feed kibble, consider adding a moisture-rich topping or goat’s milk if your pet can tolerate it.
  7. Offer Fresh Vegetables or Fruits. Some vegetables and fruits, such as pumpkin, watermelon (without seeds), spinach, and pumpkin, are high in moisture.
  8. Offer Raised Water Bowls. If your pet has neck, back, or muscle issues, bending their head down to drink may be painful. Elevated bowls help alleviate pressure on the body.
  9. Take Water on Walks. Like people, pets get thirsty while out for a walk, too. Take water along for the walk. Consider purchasing a bottle-bowl combination all in one for ease of transport.
  10. Check Your Pet’s Teeth and Mouth. Broken teeth, dental pain, dry mouth, or other oral issues may contribute to your pet’s lack of drinking. See your veterinarian regularly and consider adding ZYMOX Oratene water additive to your pet’s water to help freshen bad breath and remove plaque without brushing.

Where To Find ZYMOX Products

For detailed information about Pet King Brand’s complete line of enzymatic pet health products and where to purchase them, visit

Answers To Pop Quiz

  1. True
  2. True
  3. True
  4. Puppies, adult dogs, or seniors can become dehydrated.
  5. True

About the Author

Arden Moore

Gayle King introduced Carol Bryant as a “dog lover of the highest order” when she and her Cocker Spaniel, Dexter, appeared on Oprah Radio. Carol is well-known in the pet industry, having appeared on television, radio shows, and podcasts, as well as in articles from CNN and Yahoo to Dogster and She is the founder of the award-winning blog and is the Immediate Past President of the Dog Writers Association of America.




Skip to content