Can Dogs Eat Peanuts?

Dog owners commonly ponder about the toxicity of foods. The questions about the safety of different foods increased after learning that certain foods were toxic which led to a lot of press coverage. The most important foods are Chocolate, Grapes and Raisins, and Peanut Butter. Exposure to the dangers of these foods has encouraged pet owners to ask about other human foods such as can dogs eat bananas. Learn more about what dogs can and can’t eat in this article: The Ultimate Guide to What Dogs Can’t Eat.

Can Dogs Eat Peanuts?

A peanut is an oval seed grown from a plant that is commonly eaten. They generally develop in pods or shells and are roasted then eaten as a snack either seasoned, salted, or unsalted. They are most commonly grown in the Southern United States and South America. Peanuts can also be used to make feed, flour and cooking oil.

Dogs can eat peanuts and many love the taste. However, many dogs do not digest them well which can lead to nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea in some dogs. The fat content in nuts can lead to pancreatitis. Other nuts that dogs can eat but have the same potential health issues include almonds and cashews. Nuts that should NOT be fed do dogs are macadamia nuts and black walnuts.

When researching the safety of peanuts for dogs, there are two considerations that impact the danger. First is the danger of pancreatitis or gastrointestinal upset and second is the risk of choking. Choking hazards are more common in small dogs but can occur in any dog.

The answer to the question, “can dogs eat peanuts” …the answer is yes. Dogs can eat small amounts of peanuts and some dogs enjoy peanuts as a healthy snack. However, ingestion of peanuts can lead to gastrointestinal issues in some dogs.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Any food can cause gastrointestinal upset in dogs. What may not cause illness in one dog may create sickness in another dog. The same can happen in people. Some foods that bother some people may not affect others.

The Dangers of Peanuts to Dogs

Ingestion of large amounts of peanuts can cause gastrointestinal upset in dogs. If your dog ingested peanuts and is showing symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, not eating or lethargy, please call your veterinarian or closest emergency clinic.

Do Dogs Need Peanuts?

There is nothing in peanuts that dogs require. What dogs do need is a high-quality AAFCO approved dog food. Learn more about Nutrition for Dogs.

The Safest Way to Give Peanuts to Dogs

The safest way to give peanuts to your dog is to offer a small amount of a cut up nut. The peanut should be shelled and your dog should be monitored to ensure he/she does not choke.

Can you Give Peanut Butter to Dogs?

Peanut butter is an extraction from peanuts. In its natural state it is safe to give to the dog and is commonly given to as a treat or to hide oral medications such as pills. However, peanut butter can be sweetened with xylitol, a sweetener used in many foods, which can be safe for humans but toxic to dogs. If your dog ingests peanut butter, carefully look at the label to determine if it has sweeteners such as xylitol. If you determine your dog has ingested xylitol, please call your veterinarian immediately. Learn more about Xylitol Toxicity in Dogs.

Is Peanut Flour, Peanut Extract, Peanut Oil Toxic to Dogs?

Peanut oil is commonly used in cooking and considered high in monounsaturated “good” fat, and low in saturated “bad” fat. Although it is not toxic, ingestions of large amounts is not good for your dog. If you determine your dog has ingested peanut oil and is showing abnormal symptoms, please call your veterinarian immediately.

Additional Articles that May be of Interest About Can Dogs Eat Peanuts?

Can Dogs Eat Watermelon?

Dog owners commonly ponder about the toxicity of foods. The questions about the safety of different foods increased after learning that certain foods were toxic which led to a lot of press coverage. The most important foods are Chocolate, Grapes and Raisins, and Peanut Butter. Exposure to the dangers of these foods has encouraged pet owners to ask about other human foods such as can dogs eat bananas. Learn more about what dogs can and can’t eat in this article: The Ultimate Guide to What Dogs Can’t Eat.

Can Dogs Eat Watermelon?

Watermelon is a large fruit of a plant from the gourd family that grows on the ground on a vine. It has green striped skin, red pulp with high water content, and seeds. There are new “seedless” varieties of watermelon. The flowing watermelon plant is cultivated from West Africa.

When researching the safety and danger of watermelons for dogs, there are a couple of considerations. First is the potential for blockage from the stems, seeds, rind, and leaves. Dogs that have exposure to gardens and eat the leaves can develop gastrointestinal upset and potential blockage. The same is true for dogs that eat the rind or large amounts of seeds. The second is the risk of choking when eating large pieces or in some cases whole large pieces of watermelons.

The answer to the question, can dogs eat watermelons…the answer is yes. Dogs can eat watermelon. Dogs often love the crunchy soft texture and enjoy it as a healthy snack. Watermelon is a good source of water (watermelon is about 92% water), nitric oxide, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium.

Although watermelon is considered safe, any food can cause gastrointestinal upset in dogs. What does not bother some dogs does bother others. The same can happen in people. Some foods can bother one person but not another.

The Dangers of Watermelons to Dogs

Ingestion of large amounts of stems, seeds, rind, and leaves of watermelons can cause a gastrointestinal blockage. A few watermelon seeds are not likely to be harmful but it is best to cut out the seeds before giving to your dog. The watermelon rind is not very digestible and can cause gastrointestinal upset and intestinal blockage.

Do Dogs Need Watermelons?

There is nothing in watermelons that dogs require. What dogs do need is a high-quality AAFCO approved dog food. Learn more about Nutrition for Dogs.

The Safest Way to Give Watermelons to Dogs

The safest way to give watermelon to your dog is to offer small pieces or sliced watermelon without the rind and seeds. You can purchase the unseeded watermelon varieties which are great options.

Additional Articles Related to Can Dogs Eat Watermelons

Can Dogs Eat Bananas?

Dog owners commonly ponder about the toxicity of foods. The questions about the safety of different foods increased after learning that certain foods were toxic which led to a lot of press coverage. The most important foods are Chocolate, Grapes and Raisins, and Peanut Butter. Exposure to the dangers of these foods has encouraged pet owners to ask about other human foods such as can dogs eat bananas. Learn more about what dogs can and can’t eat in this article: The Ultimate Guide to What Dogs Can’t Eat.

Can Dogs Eat Bananas?

A banana is a long curved fruit with a soft pulpy flesh covered by a green skin (when not ripe) or yellow skin (when ripe). They grow in clusters on a banana tree. The banana tree has very large palm type leaves that grow in subtropical and tropical climates. There are over 1000 types of bananas. The most common type that we eat is the Cavendish banana.

The answer to can dogs eat bananas? — is yes. Dogs can eat bananas but in moderation. Dogs often love the soft texture and many enjoy this as a healthy snack. Bananas are high in potassium and a good source of Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, fiber, protein, biotin, manganese, and copper.

However, any food can cause gastrointestinal upset in dogs. What may not bother one dog may cause problems in a different dog. The same can happen in people. Some foods can bother one person but not another.

The Dangers of Bananas to Dogs

Ingestion of large amounts of bananas can cause gastrointestinal upset and ingestion of excessive amounts of bananas can cause constipation.

Ingestion of banana peels can cause a gastrointestinal obstruction. The peels are very difficult to ingest. Signs of problems include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain, straining to defecate, and/or a decreased appetite.

The other danger of bananas to dogs is the danger of choking – especially when eating the peel. Some dogs are not good at “chewing” their food and the danger of choking can occur.

Please be careful if your dog eats anything banana flavored that contains the sweeter xylitol. Learn more about Xylitol Toxicity in Dogs here.

Do Dogs Need Bananas?

There is nothing in bananas that dogs require. What dogs do need is a high-quality AAFCO approved dog food. Learn more about Nutrition for Dogs here.

The Safest Way to Give Bananas to Dogs

The safest way to give a banana to your dog is to give small pieces of sliced peeled Banana. Dogs should never be fed the banana peel.

Try a Dog Treat Recipe Featuring Bananas

Check out this recipe for a treat made with bananas. Go to Homemade Dog Treat Recipes: Cheese Cookies and Banana Pupcakes.

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The Ultimate Guide to What Dogs Can’t Eat

There are human foods that are completely safe for dogs and also foods that are dangerous and even potentially fatal. Many pet owners learn about toxic foods only after their dog has ingested something and started having abnormal symptoms.

Dogs are naturally curious and have an amazing sense of smell. This combination often leads to them to get into purses, get food off counters, steal food from grills, get into trash cans, and sneak food from plates. Other times, well-intentioned pet owners offer tables scraps or human foods without understanding that they are toxic.

Below, we will review what can’t dogs eat as well as list what is safe. It is important to have healthy alternatives once you know what is not safe.

Safe Food for Dogs

There are many human foods that are “safe” for dogs. However, there are no human foods that dogs need. What dogs need is a good quality food formulated for the size, age, and activity of your dog. Learn more about Nutrition for Dogs.

Safe Treats for Dogs

The ideal dog treat is one made of good quality ingredients, moderate to low in calories, consistent in ingredients (thus unlikely to cause stomach upset from bag to bag), very appealing to your dog, and safe. Higher-quality treats tend to be more consistently produced, so it is best to avoid discount and supermarket brands if possible.

There are many human foods you can feed your dog safely. By safely, I mean these foods below are not toxic to dogs. However, large quantities of any food or food given to dogs with sensitive gastrointestinal tracts can lead to problems such as vomiting, diarrhea, and/or pancreatitis.

Safe foods and treats for dogs:

  • Almonds
  • Apples – small amounts without the seeds
  • Asparagus
  • Bananas
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli – cooked or raw clean/washed
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cantaloupe
  • Carrots – cooked or raw clean/washed
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery – cooked or raw clean/washed
  • Cheese
  • Chicken – cooked
  • Cooked fish such as salmon
  • Cooked green beans. In fact, some pet owners give green beans to aid in weight loss. Learn more about the Green Bean Diet for Dogs
  • Cooked ground beef or steak
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Cranberries
  • Eggs
  • Freshly cooked lunch meat
  • Iceberg Lettuce
  • Kiwis
  • Oatmeal
  • Oranges
  • Pasta
  • Peanuts
  • Popcorn
  • Pork – cooked
  • Potato – raw or cooked plain or sweet
  • Pumpkin – cooked
  • Rice or rice cake
  • Spinach
  • Turkey – cooked
  • Yogurt
  • Watermelon

Tips for giving treats:

  • Treats are never a replacement for a good quality core dog food.
  • Consider low-calorie treats for dogs with weight control problems.
  • Give only fresh foods. Moldy or rotten food can cause gastrointestinal upset.

What Dogs Can’t Eat: Foods Not Safe for Dogs

Any food in large pieces or chunks can cause difficulty chewing or swallowing and can be a choking hazard.

Specific foods that veterinarians commonly recommend NOT to give to dogs include the following:

  • Apples, Apricots, Cherries, Peaches, and Plums. Ingestion of large amounts of stems, seeds, and leaves of these fruits can be toxic. They contain a cyanide type compound and signs of toxicity include anxiety, dilated pupils, labored breathing, fast breathing, and shock. Small pieces of cleaned apple without the seeds can be safe.
  • Avocados. The leaves, fruit, bark, and seeds of avocados have all been reported to be toxic. The toxic component in the avocado is “persin,” which is a fatty acid derivative. Symptoms of toxicity include difficulty breathing, abdominal enlargement, abnormal fluid accumulations in the chest, abdomen, and sac around the heart. The amount that needs to be ingested to cause signs is unknown. Do not feed your dog any component of the avocado.
  • Baked Goods. These products made with Xylitol which is highly toxic to dogs. Xylitol is a sweeter used in place of sugar primarily because it is lower in calories. Xylitol is also an ingredient in many different gums and even baked goods. It is in many products designed for people with Diabetes due to its low glycemic index. Xylitol can cause low blood sugar and liver failure in dogs. Learn more with this article on Xylitol Toxicity in Dogs.
  • Baking Powder and Baking Soda. Baking soda and baking powder are both leavening agents. A leavening agent is a common ingredient in baked goods that produces a gas causing batter and dough to rise. Baking soda is simply sodium bicarbonate. Baking powder consists of baking soda and an acid, usually cream of tartar, calcium acid phosphate, sodium aluminum sulfate or a mixture of the three. Ingestion of large amounts of baking soda or baking powder can lead to electrolyte abnormalities (low potassium, low calcium and/or high sodium), congestive heart failure or muscle spasms.
  • Bones. There are many bones that aren’t safe for dogs. This can be due to the danger of them getting stuck or caught in the mouth, sharp splinters injuring the intestines, risk of constipation when passing relatively indigestible bone fragments, as well as possible bacterial contamination on the bone that can lead to illness. Learn more about The Danger of Bones.
  • Bread Dough. Dough containing yeast which rises in the moist, warm environments such as in the stomach. After ingestion, the rising dough can expand the stomach and decrease blood flow. Fermentation of the yeast can be reduced to alcohol causing signs of intoxication.
  • Chewing Gum. Gums that are made with Xylitol can be toxic. Learn more with this article on Xylitol Toxicity in Dogs.
  • Chocolate. Chocolate, in addition to having a high-fat content, contains caffeine and theobromine. These two compounds are nervous system stimulants and can be toxic to your dog in high amounts. Learn more about the specific amount of each toxin that is toxic based on body weight in this article: Chocolate Toxicity in Dogs.
  • Coffee (grounds and beans). Dogs that eat coffee grounds or beans can get “caffeine” toxicity. The symptoms are very similar to those of chocolate toxicity and can be just as or even more serious.
  • Dairy Products. Human dairy products are not highly dangerous but can pose problems for two reasons. One is their high-fat content and like other foods with high-fat content, there is a risk of pancreatitis. The second reason is that dogs poorly digest dairy products since they lack the enzyme required to digest lactose. This affects some dogs more than others and can cause gas to diarrhea. Small amounts of plain yogurt or cheese are tolerated by most dogs but it is probably safest to avoid dairy products altogether.
  • Diet Foods. Foods made for weight loss or diabetes may have the ingredient xylitol.
  • Fatty Foods. Rich and fatty foods are favorites of dogs. They often get them as treats, leftovers, or from getting into the trash. These fatty foods can cause pancreatitis. Pancreatitis can affect any dog but miniature or toy poodles, cocker spaniels, and miniature schnauzers are particularly prone. Signs of pancreatitis generally include an acute onset of vomiting, sometimes diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Abdominal pain is often evidenced by hunched posture or “splinting” of the abdomen when picked up. The dog may become very sick quickly and often needs intensive fluid and antibiotic therapy.
  • Grapes and Raisins. Ingestion of grapes and/or raisins can cause kidney failure in some dogs. Some pet owners feed grapes thinking they are a healthy treat or give a piece of a cookie with raisins. Aggressive, and sometimes prolonged, treatment may be necessary to give the affected dog a chance at survival. Despite testing, the reason for the kidney failure and the amount necessary for toxicity remains unknown. Learn more about Grape and Raisin Toxicity.
  • Onions and Garlic. Dogs and cats lack the enzyme necessary to properly digest onions and this could result in gas, vomiting, diarrhea or severe gastrointestinal distress. If large amounts of onion or garlic are ingested or onions are a daily part of your dog’s diet, the red blood cells may become fragile and break apart. This is due to the toxic ingredient in onions and garlic, thiosulphate. Learn more at Why You Shouldn’t Feed Your Dog Garlic.
  • Peanut Butter. Some peanut butter manufacturers add xylitol to peanut butter, which is toxic to dogs. Learn more about Peanut Butter Toxicity in Dogs.
  • Rawhides. Like bones, rawhides can also get stuck in the esophagus or stomach of dogs, causing problems. Although this is not human food, it is worth a mention with the goal to prevent your dog from getting sick. There is also a risk of bacterial contamination. Learn more about The Good and Bad of Rawhides.
  • Table Scraps. Scraps, especially those that are fatty can cause gastrointestinal upset or pancreatitis in dogs. Some dogs tolerate table scraps well but others can become very ill.

Best Treats for Dogs

The best treats for dogs are either kibble from their regular dog food or treats made for dogs that meet the AAFCO requirements.

Is My Dog Drinking Too Much Water?

Water is critical to health for all living beings, including dogs. Drinking too much or not enough can be a sign of or cause life-threatening problems.

How to Recognize if Your Dog is Drinking Too Much

When trying to determine if your dog is drinking too much, you must know how much is a normal amount to drink. A normal healthy dog generally drinks 20 to 40 ml of water per pound of body weight per day. This comes out to be about:

  • 1 ½ cups to 2 cups for a 10-pound dog
  • 3 to 4 cups of water for a 20-pound dog
  • 6 to 8 cups for a 40-pound dog
  • 9 to 12 cups for a 60-pound dog
  • 12 to 16 cups for an 80-pound dog

For a more detailed break down of how much a dog should drink based on weight, go to: How Much Water Should a Dog Drink?

The amount of water intake also varies with several factors including if a dog eats dry food or canned food eater (canned food contains more water), activity level, sodium ingestion, warm weather exposure, medications given, fluid losses such as from vomiting or diarrhea, and any underlying disease that may cause excessive thirst.

So as mentioned above, dogs normally take in about 20 to 40 milliliters per pound of body weight per day or about 3 to 4 cups of water per day for a 20-pound dog. Anything more than that, under normal environmental conditions, is considered excessive drinking (also known by the medical term “polydipsia”).

Causes for Dogs to Drink Too Much Water

There are several medical causes for excessive drinking. The most common causes are:
Chronic renal failure commonly referred to also as chronic kidney failure and abbreviated as CRF, is a common problem in dogs. It is most common in older dogs. The digestion of food produces waste products, which are carried by the blood to the kidneys to be filtered and excreted in the form of urine. When the kidneys fail, they are no longer able to remove these waste products, and toxins build up in the blood producing clinical signs of kidney disease. Signs may include increased thirst, increased urination, lethargy, vomiting, weight loss, bad breath, and weakness. Learn more about Kidney Failure (CRF) in Dogs.

Diabetes mellitus, commonly known simply as “diabetes”, commonly abbreviated as “DM”, is a chronic condition in which a deficiency of the hormone insulin impairs the body’s ability to metabolize sugar. Diabetes mellitus leads to an inability of the tissue to utilize glucose. The disease occurs from high blood sugar levels, inadequate delivery of sugar to the tissues, and changes in the body metabolism. The most common signs are increased thirst, increased urination, weight loss, and lethargy. Learn more about Diabetes Mellitus in Dogs.

Pyometra, the medical term used to describe an infected uterus, can be open (draining pus from the vagina) or closed (pus is contained in the uterus by a closed cervix). Common signs include lethargy, decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, drinking excessive amounts of water, and urinating often. Learn more about Uterine infection (called pyometra).

Acute kidney failure, also known as acute renal failure and commonly abbreviated as “ARF”, is characterized by an abrupt decline in kidney function that leads to changes in the chemistry of the body including alterations in fluid and mineral balance. The changes that arise as a result of ARF affect almost every body system and is commonly caused by toxins. Common symptoms include vomiting, decreased appetite, weight loss, lethargy, and changes in water intake. Learn more about Acute Kidney Failure in Dogs.

High blood calcium, also known as hypercalcemia, refers to an abnormally high blood concentration of calcium. There are many different causes including cancer. Learn more about Hypercalcemia in Dogs.

Cushing Disease, a relatively uncommon abnormality of the endocrine system, is also known by the medical term hyperadrenocorticism. This is a disease state in which an overactive adrenal tissue produces excessive amounts of cortisone. Cortisone and related substances are essential hormones of the body, but when produced in excessive amounts these substances may cause systemic illness. Learn more about Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing’s disease or syndrome) in Dogs.

Diabetes Insipidus results from the inability of the tubules of the kidney to reabsorb water properly. It is an uncommon condition in dogs caused by impaired production of a hormone called ADH (anti-diuretic hormone) from the brain (central DI), or an impaired ability of the kidney to respond properly to the ADH (nephrogenic DI). Symptoms include extreme urinations followed by increased thirst. Learn more about Diabetes Insipidus in Dogs.

How Much Water Should a Dog Drink?

Water is an essential part of a dog’s body and critical to good health. Water is essential for all cellular, organ, and tissue functions of the body. One realizes the importance of water when faced with the negative consequences of dehydration. As little as a 10% loss of body water can be fatal.

Water in the body is not static but a constant and dynamic process. Dogs lose water through breathing, panting, urinating, and having bowel movements. Dogs take in water primarily through drinking water but also get some water from eating food and to a small degree by the body’s normal metabolism.

We refer to this dynamic flow of fluids as “intake” and “output”. Intake is primarily from drinking and water content in food. Output is fluid loss through normal methods of panting, drooling, urine, bowel movements as well as abnormal means such as diarrhea, vomiting, or blood loss.

Dehydration results from more “output” than “intake”. Overhydration results from more “intake” than output.

Factors that Affect How Much a Dog Should Drink

There are factors that can impact how much water a dog should drink. For example:

  • Dry dog food vs. canned dog food. Dry dog food has approximately 15 and up to 30% water while canned dog food can contain 50% to 75% water. Dogs that eat canned food may drink and require less water.
  • Body weight. Bigger dogs require more water than smaller dogs. Water requirements are based on body weight.
  • Sodium. Just as we have increased thirst after ingestion of a high salt snack, ingestion of high sodium foods in dogs can create a need for increased amounts of water intake.
  • Exercise & Activity. Dogs that are more active generally drink and require more water.
  • Weather Exposure. The high temperatures of the spring and summer generally cause dogs to pant. Panting helps them regulate their body temperature but also is a way they lose water. It is critical for dogs to have access to shade but also plenty of fresh clean water at all times.
  • Drug therapy. Some medications may increase a dog’s water intake. Drugs may include steroids or diuretics such as Furosemide (commonly known as Lasix).
  • Disease. Some diseases such as kidney disease or Diabetes can cause increased thirst in dogs.

How Much Water Should a Dog Drink?

The amount of water a dog should drink per day is dependent on his size. The general rule is that dogs drink 20 to 40 ml of water per pound of body weight per day. This comes out to about 3 to 4 cups of water for a 20-pound dog.

Below is a table with more details based on size. Note there is a range. Much of the range is determined by the factors listed above. And like people, some dogs are better at drinking water than others. Here’s a chart to help you understand how much water your dog needs based on their weight.

Dogs 3 – 5 pounds
60 to 200 mL/day
¼ to almost a cup

Dogs 6 – 10 pounds
120 mL to 400 mL/day
½ cup to little over 1 ½ cups

Dogs 11 – 20 pounds
220 mL to 800 mL/day
1 cup to 3 1/3 cups

Dogs 21 – 30 pounds
420 mL to 1200 mL/day
1 ¾ cup to 5 cups

Dogs 31 – 40 pounds
620 mL to 1600 mL/day
2 2/3 cups to 6 ½ cups

Dogs 41- 50 pounds
820 mL to 2000 mL/day
3 ½ cups to 9 1/3 cups

Dogs 51 – 60 pounds
1020 mL – 2400 mL/day
4 ¼ cups to 10 cups

Dogs 61 – 70 pounds
1220 mL – 2800 mL/day
5 cups to 11 2/3 cups

Dogs 71- 80 pounds
1420 mL – 3200 mL/day
6 cups to 13 1/3 cup

Dogs 81 – 90 pounds
1620 mL – 3600 mL/day
7 cups to 15 cups

Dogs 91 – 100 pounds
1820 mL – 4000 mL/day
7 ½ cups to 16 2/3 cups

Dogs 101 – 110 pounds
2020 mL – 4400 mL/day
8 2/3 cups to 19 1/3 cups

Dogs 111 – 120 pounds
2220 mL – 4800 mL/day
9 ¼ cups to 20 cups

Dogs 121 – 130 pounds
2420 mL – 5200 mL/day
10 cups to 21 cups

Dogs 131 – 140 pounds
2620 mL – 5600 mL/day
11 cups to 23 1/3 cups

*rounded to the nearest quarter cup

Note: There are 240 mL in a cup, 4 cups in a quart, 8 cups in a half gallon, and 16 cups in a gallon.

What are Water Recommendations for Dogs?

  • If your dog is active, he or she is in the heat, or has any fluid loss such as from vomiting and diarrhea, they may require more water than what is listed above.
  • It is recommended that you give your dog plenty of fresh clean water at all times.
  • Your dog’s water bowl should be washed thoroughly twice weekly and ideally by running through the dishwasher.
  • Your dog’s water bowl should be big enough to hold 36 to 48 hours of water.
  • Offer one water bowl outside and one inside. If you have multiple dogs, it is recommended to have more than one water bowl in the house.
  • Please contact your veterinarian if you have any concerns about your dog’s water intake. Learn more about Why is My Dog Not Drinking Water?
  • Not drinking can be dangerous and lead to life-threatening dehydration. Learn more about Dehydration in Dogs.

Additional Articles that May be of Interest About How Much Should a Dog Drink

Does Dog Water Intoxication Exist? 
Why is My Dog Not Drinking Water?
Should I Give My Dog Tap Water?
Drinking, Drinking, Drinking – Your Dog and Diabetes
Ideal Daily Schedule for Dogs and Puppies
Excessive Drinking (Excessive Thirst) in Dogs
Why is My Dog Drinking Tons of Water?
Dehydration in Dogs
Why Water is Important
Diabetes in Dogs
Kidney Failure (CRF) in Dogs

Why is My Dog Not Drinking Water?

Water is an essential component of a dog’s body and critical to good health. Water is required for all cellular, organ, and all tissue functions of the body. Pet owners sometimes ask the question “Why is my dog not drinking water?”

One realizes the importance of water when faced with the negative consequences of not drinking, which is “dehydration”. Dehydration results from more output than intake. This can occur from not drinking or from excessive output.

Output is defined at the amount of fluid leaving the body. Output can be from normal fluid loss, drooling, panting, urination, and bowel movements. Output can also be from abnormal losses such as from diarrhea, vomiting, and/or blood loss. As little as a 10% loss of body water can be fatal.

How Much Should a Dog Drink?

In a normal environment, the amount of water a dog should drink per day is dependent on his size. The general rule is that dogs should drink 20 to 40 ml of water per pound of body weight per day. This comes out to about 3 to 4 cups of water for a 20-pound dog or 6 to 8 cups of water for a 40-pound dog per day. Learn more about details of water requirements by weight with this article: How Much Water Should a Dog Drink?

Occasionally, some dogs may drink too much water. Learn more by reading this article: Water Intoxication in Dogs.

Factors that Affect How Much a Dog Should Drink

There are factors that can impact how much water a dog should drink. For example, a dog may drink more if they are on certain medications such as steroids, exercising, exposed to warm weather or hot temperatures, fed high sodium snacks, and/or eat primarily dry dog food.

Reasons Dogs May Drink Less Water

There are many reasons some dogs may drink less water. Just like people, some dogs are naturally better water drinkers than other dogs. The big concern is if there is an acute change in YOUR dog. If your dog suddenly stops or substantially decreases his or her water consumption, that is reason for concern and reason to contact your veterinarian immediately.
In general, some dogs will drink less for the following reasons:

  • Diet. If they eat canned food (which contains much more water than dry dog food) dogs will generally drink less water.
  • Lifestyle. Dogs with a sedentary lifestyle may drink less water than an active dog (exercise which leads to fluid losses).
  • Environment. Consistent exposure to moderate temperatures or mostly indoor dogs. Some dogs will drink less as the seasons change and temperatures get cooler.
  • Anxiety and Stress. Some dogs in new environments or situations may not drink water as well as they should.
  • Illness. Any illness that makes a dog not feel well can decrease thirst. This can include viral or bacterial infections, pain, gastrointestinal diseases, cancer, kidney disease or failure, bladder infections, and more. Just about anything that causes a dog distress or discomfort can cause them not to want to eat or drink.

Signs of Dehydration in Dogs

Signs of dehydration can be vague and may include:

  • Depression
  • Dry gums
  • Increased heart rate
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of skin elasticity
  • Slow capillary refill time
  • Sunken eyes
  • Weakness

What to Do If Your Dog is Drinking Less Water

If your dog is drinking less water and this is a change from prior behavior, it is important to evaluate all aspects of your dog’s behavior. For example:

  • Is he or she eating normally?
  • Are the bowel movements normal? Is there diarrhea?
  • Is your dog urinating normally?
  • Is your dog licking his or her lips or drooling that could suggest nausea?
  • Is there any vomiting?
  • Is your dog coughing? Have you noticed any trouble breathing or labored respirations?
  • Does your dog appear to be in pain? Is your dog limping? Hunched posture? Reluctance to move?
  • Can you see any wounds on your dog?
  • Does your dog have the same behavior and activity level? Is he playing or greeting you at the door like normal? Or is he lethargic and less active?

Any abnormality is cause for concern. This can be compounded if your dog is very young or old, pregnant, nursing, or has medical problems such as diabetes or kidney disease.

How to Encourage Your Dog to Drink Water

If your dog is drinking less water, you may try the following to encourage him to drink:

  • Wash and rinse the water bowl thoroughly and refill with fresh clean water.
  • Some dogs enjoy pet fountains and will drink more when available.
  • Allow your pet to lick water from your hand or your finger.
  • Feed canned food, as it has much higher water content than dry dog food.
  • Add warm water or low-sodium broth to your dog’s food. It works well to add the water or broth about 30 minutes before trying to feed.
  • With your veterinarian’s permission, offer small amounts of Pedialyte. It is sometimes recommended to mix Pedialyte with water in a 1:1 ratio and offer small amounts at a time.
  • Adding an ice cube to the water bowl can encourage some dogs to drink.
  • Please contact your veterinarian if you have any concerns about your dog’s water intake.
  • Offered bottled or filtered water. Some dogs like the taste and will be encouraged to drink.
  • As a last resort, you can use a syringe to give your dog water. If your dog is weak, there is a risk of aspiration, which can be life-threatening. In general, if your dog is so sick that you need to give fluid by syringe, he would benefit from the advice and treatment from your veterinarian. When offering water by syringe, squirt it gently in the front of the mouth or cheek pouch. Do not shoot it directly into the throat to minimize the risk of aspiration or choking.

Ultimately if your dog is not drinking, the risk of dehydration exists. It is best to see your veterinarian to help identify the underlying cause and provide treatment if needed.

Additional Articles that May be of Interest if Your Dog is not Drinking Water

How Much Water Should a Dog Drink?
Is My Dog Drinking Too Much Water? (INSERT LINK)
Does Dog Water Intoxication Exist?
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Encouraging Your Sick Dog to Eat
Dehydration in Dogs
Why Water is Important
Kidney Failure (CRF) in Dogs

Does Dog Water Intoxication Exist?

What is Dog Water Intoxication?

Dog water intoxication, also known as acute water intoxication or water toxicity, is an uncommon problem in dogs that can occur due to increased amounts of fluid in the body which changes blood sodium levels. This is a rare condition but one that has potentially fatal consequences.

In a normal dog there are very specific amounts of fluid and electrolytes inside cells and outside the cells. When the body is overwhelmed and cannot process the fluids, electrolytes in the body which are normally present in very precise ranges begin to shift. For example, excess water can dilute the sodium level in the fluid outside the calls. The body tries to compensate, which ends up causing water to go into the cells, including the brain cells, which can cause life-threatening neurological damage.

Learn more about what is normal – How Much Water Should a Dog Drink?

Causes of Dog Water Intoxication

Dog water intoxication can occur from the following:

  • Dogs going to the pond, lake, or swimming pool that ingest or drink excessive amounts of water.
  • This can occur from dogs drinking too much from playing in the water and ingesting water. Some dogs will ingest water while swimming or fetching toys.
  • Excessive water ingestion after deprivation. This can occur after dehydration from excessive exercise or from excessive drinking after restriction of water such as a dog being accidently locked in a room without water.
  • Dogs that excessively drink out of a sprinkler or drink from pressurized water flows such as a garden hose or sprinkler.

What Are Signs of Dog Water Intoxication?

Symptoms of dog water intoxication may include:

  • Abdominal distension or bloating
    Coma
  • Difficulty or labored breathing (dyspnea)
  • Lethargy
  • Low body temperature (hypothermia)
  • Low heart rate (bradycardia)
  • Nausea or drooling
  • Seizures
  • Trouble walking
  • Unsteady walking or incoordination (ataxia)
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness

Treatment of Water Intoxication in Dogs

The treatment of water intoxication will depend on the underlying cause and the symptoms displayed by the patient.

  • Very mild cases may be treated with a temporary restriction to water with close observation of blood electrolyte levels and monitoring for progression in symptoms.
  • Advanced water intoxication may require intravenous fluid (IV) therapy with fluids that contain sodium. It is critical that the sodium level in the blood be raised slowly. There are very specific criteria for the treatment. For example, the goal of treatment is to increase the plasma sodium concentration no faster than 0.5-1 mEq/L per hour. Increasing the sodium level too quickly can result in shifts of fluids in the body that can be fatal. Abrupt changes in sodium levels can cause brain damage that may not be apparent for 72 hours post-therapy. Drugs such as furosemide or mannitol may be recommended to help remove fluid and reduce pressure in the brain.

How to Help Your Dog

If you believe your dog has water intoxication, please call your local veterinarian or veterinary emergency clinic immediately. They will help to guide you on the recommendations for care.

You can prevent water intoxication by monitoring your dog’s interaction while swimming or with pressurized water sources such as the sprinkler or garden hose. Give your dog frequent breaks when exercising and offer frequent opportunities to drink fresh clean water.

Additional Articles that May be of Interest About Dog Water Intoxication

How Much Water Should a Dog Drink?
Why is My Dog Not Drinking Water?
Should I Give My Dog Tap Water?
Drinking, Drinking, Drinking – Your Dog and Diabetes
Ideal Daily Schedule for Dogs and Puppies
Excessive Drinking (Excessive Thirst) in Dogs
Why is My Dog Drinking Tons of Water?
Dehydration in Dogs
Why Water is Important
Diabetes in Dogs
Kidney Failure (CRF) in Dogs

What Pet Owners Need to Know About a Kidney Infection in Cats

Kidney infection in cats is a problem that can occur to any cat at any age. The term “kidney infection”, also known by the medical term “Pyelonephritis”, is sometimes mistakenly used to indicate any infection that involves the urinary tract. This means that some people use it to indicate an infection of the bladder, also known as cystitis. Below we will provide links to other types of urinary tract infections in cats that are more common than kidney infections.

Common Diseases of the Feline Urinary Tract

There are several types of urinary tract diseases that can affect cats. This article will focus on infections of the kidneys. Other types of urinary tract problems in cats include:

The cat’s urinary tract is a system made up of the kidneys, ureters, urinary bladder and urethra. These organs work together to produce, transport, store and excrete urine. The urinary tract also rids the body of many fluid waste materials and products and has other vitally important functions, including controlling the volume and composition of the body fluids.

The kidneys are paired, bean-shaped organs. The indentation of the “bean” is called the hilus, which is the area where the blood vessels, nerves and ureters enter and leave the kidney. The structural and functional unit of the kidney is the nephron. There are hundreds of these microscopic filtering units, and each has the ability to form urine by itself. Each nephron consists of a circular ball-shaped cluster of small blood vessels called a glomerulus, and a small tube called a renal tubule. Nephrons are responsible for removing urea, which is combined with water and other waste products to produce urine.

Pyelonephritis is an inflammation of the kidney. We generally refer to pyelonephritis as a bacterial infection of upper urinary tract including any part of the kidney.

How Kidney Infections Happen

There are two ways cats can get a kidney infection. The first and most common way is from having a lower urinary tract infection (such as an infection of the bladder) that ascends to the kidneys. The other way is from an infection which is spread through the blood.

Signs of a Kidney Infection in Cats

Signs of a kidney infection in cats can vary from cat to cat. Signs may include:

  • Abdominal pain which can sometimes refer to the back or appear as back pain
  • Abnormal odor to the urine (foul odor)
  • Blood in the urine
  • Crying during urination (painful urination)
  • Decreased or loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination (can be more frequent urination or increased volume)
  • Lethargy or sleeping more
  • Straining to urinate
  • Vomiting

Infection of the kidneys can be life-threatening and lead to kidney failure. Prompt and thorough treatment is critical.

How Pet Insurance Helps Cover Serious Issues

How much will treatment cost for a cat with a kidney infection? The answer is that it depends on how sick your cat is, any co-existing conditions, the diagnostics and treatments that are recommended for your cat, and potentially your area in the country.

Very minor infections in cats could be treated with antibiotics on an outpatient basis. More severe infections may be treated in the hospital with intravenous fluids, intravenous antibiotics, and medications to treat vomiting and other digestive issues.

This can range from $200 for simple outpatient care at your regular veterinarian to over $5,000 depending on if they do radiographs (X-rays), blood tests, urinalysis, urine cultures, hospitalize your cat with fluids, or more depending on the underlying cause and severity of your cat’s condition.

Pet insurance can help pay for these costs if you have a policy. Depending on your policy, they can pay 80%, 90%, or even 100% after the deductible. Have you looked into pet insurance yet? If you have not done so, take a minute now to see if pet insurance is right for you and your cat.

Pets Best pet insurance has been offering affordable, comprehensive pet health insurance to dogs and cats, and it gives you the protection you need to help keep your pet healthy. Check out Pets Best today and see if pet insurance is right for you and your family.

Reference Articles about Kidney Infections in Cats

Kidney Failure in Cats

Kidney failure in cats can be categorized into acute kidney failure and chronic kidney failure. Acute kidney failure is defined as an abrupt decline in kidney function and chronic kidney failure describes the gradual loss of kidney function. The term “renal: and “kidney” are used interchangeably. Some writers use acute kidney failure (AKF) while others write acute renal failure (ARF).

There is an important and sometimes a difficult differentiation between acute kidney failure and chronic. A new diagnosis can be mistaken for acute kidney failure because it is a new diagnosis when the disease has been present for some time.

Normally functioning kidneys filter excess fluids and wastes from the blood, which are excreted in your cat’s urine. As the kidney disease progresses and reaches an advanced stage, dangerous levels of electrolytes, wastes, and fluids can build up in your cat’s body. Changes that result from kidney failure can affect almost every system. Even with intensive treatment, renal failure in cats can be fatal.

We will address Acute Kidney Failure in cats in this article. For more information about chronic kidney disease, go to Chronic Renal (Kidney) Failure in Cats.

What Causes Acute Kidney Failure in Cats?

There are multiple causes for acute kidney failure. The most common cause is from a urinary obstruction.

  • Urinary obstruction – Urinary obstruction is a type of reversible acute kidney failure that is treated by relieving the obstruction. This is one of the most common causes of acute kidney failure in cats. Learn more about Feline Urinary Obstruction.
  • Toxic injury to the kidneys – There are several toxins that can damage the kidneys.
  • Easter Lily ingestion is an important cause of acute kidney failure in cats. Prevent all access to this dangerous plant.
  • A very important toxin that can cause acute kidney failure in cats is ethylene glycol, which is the active ingredient of antifreeze. Antifreeze generally is sweet and tastes good. Very small amounts can be fatal.
  • Some antibiotics, such as a class of drugs known as aminoglycosides, can cause damage to the tubules of the kidney. Examples of aminoglycoside antibiotics are Amikacin and Gentamycin.
  • Other toxic causes of acute kidney failure in cats include toxicity heavy metals (such as lead or arsenic), contrast dyes used for certain X-ray procedures, and some anesthetics.
  • Decreased blood flow and oxygen delivery to the kidneys.
  • Low blood flow to the kidneys may occur during anesthesia and surgery, which can damage the kidneys.
  • Some drugs such as the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents like ibuprofen may also cause ARF by reducing blood flow to certain parts of the kidneys.
  • Other causes of reduced blood flow to the kidneys include severe dehydration, shock, poor heart function, heat stroke, and overwhelming infection (sepsis).
  • Infections- Acute bacterial infection of the kidneys (called pyelonephritis) can cause acute kidney failure. What Pet Owners Need to Know About a Kidney Infection in Cats.
  • Uncommon causes – Uncommon causes of AKF in cats include:
  • Glomerulonephritis – acute inflammation of the microscopic filtering devices of the kidney called glomeruli.
  • Glomerular amyloidosis – deposition of an insoluble type of protein in the kidney.
  • Obstruction by blood clots of the arteries going to the kidneys.
  • Hemolytic-uremic syndrome – liver and kidney failure caused by a specific E. coli strain of bacteria.

Signs of Acute Kidney Failure in Cats

Cats are very good at hiding their illness, just by the nature of survival. Sometimes disease can be quite advanced by the time of diagnosis. Signs of acute kidney failure can vary from cat to cat and are often not specific. For example, decreased appetite, vomiting and weight loss are common symptoms associated with many different diseases including kidney failure.
Common signs of acute kidney failure in cats include:

  • Decreased appetite or loss of appetite
  • Disorientation
  • Incoordination
  • Increased or decreased thirst
  • Increased or decreased urinations – most often decreased urine production
  • Less engaged with family
  • Lethargy
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sleeping more
  • Weakness
  • Weight loss

What it Means For Your Cat if They Are Diagnosed With Acute Kidney Failure

If your cat is diagnosed with acute kidney failure, the most important thing to try to understand is why. Causes such as from a urinary obstruction or infection can be successfully treated. Causes such as toxins and blood flow or oxygen delivery abnormalities can be more difficult to treat and may be fatal even with the best care.

The most common causes of death during treatment of ARF are high blood potassium concentration, acid-base disturbances, very high concentrations of waste products in the blood that do not improve with fluid therapy and excessive administration of fluids with fluid accumulation in the lungs. If your cat is admitted to the veterinary hospital for treatment, they will address the above issues as part of their treatment.

Who’s At Risk for Acute Kidney Failure?

There is no specific breed predilection but older animals are thought to be at greater risk for acute kidney failure. Acute kidney failure in cats is also more common in cats that are outdoor or go outdoors due to their exposure to toxins including antifreeze. There is also an increase incidence of acute kidney failure in the fall and winter due to pet exposure to antifreeze that contains ethylene glycol.

Average Life Expectancy of Cats With Kidney Failure

The life expectancy of a cat with acute kidney failure will vary depending on the cause and response to treatment. For example cats that get acute kidney failure from a urinary obstruction can have a normal life expectancy with proper treatment.