Water: How Much Should Your Pet Drink?
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith

Q. How much water should my pet drink?

There are many different factors that affect the needed water intake of a cat, dog, puppy or kitten - so many in fact that it is always wise to provide access to water at all times, so that the animal can regulate its consumption as needed. A general rule of thumb is that an animal needs to consume 2.5 times the amount of water, as its daily intake of food. If an animal eats 2 lbs. of dry food, he should consume 5 lbs. of water. (There are 8 lbs. in a gallon.) If he eats 4 oz. of dry food, he should drink 10 ounces of water (1  cup). If your pet seems to be drinking more than usual for no apparent reason, have your pet checked by your veterinarian. Increased water consumption is a major symptom of several severe diseases. Factors such as high heat and exercise or lactation can increase the needed amount two or three times above normal. Most animals consume more than their daily requirement. A little extra water consumption never hurts, but too little can be catastrophic. Animals that eat canned foods get most of their moisture from the food and may drink much less than an animal on dry food.

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