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Published: Nov 15, 2011

Drinking enough water is important to the overall health of any animal, and dogs need a specific amount in order to keep their body hydrated and functioning properly. Although most dog owners leave out water for their dog throughout the day, many may not know exactly how much their dog is actually drinking or how much he really needs.

VCA Animal Hospitals reports that under-consuming water can lead to dehydration or even death in severe cases. Over-consuming may cause stomach bloat, electrolyte imbalances and even water toxicity. Most importantly, a dog who is drinking more or less than normal often has an underlying medical issue which needs to be addressed.

A healthy dog typically needs about one-half to a full ounce of water per pound of body weight each day. Dogs who eat dry food need to consume a little more water than those who eat wet dog food, which provides more moisture. Puppies need even more water to stay fit and healthy.

To check if is a dog is dehydrated, recommends lifting a piece of skin on the back of a dog's neck and then releasing it. A hydrated dog's skin will snap back into place quickly, while a dehydrated dog's skin will be slow to return and may make a "tent" shape in the process. Talk to your vet if you are concerned about the amount of water your dog is drinking.