Chihuahuas drink a lot of water. Lots of it. Because of their size, many people think that they don’t have to drink too much water thereby neglecting to provide them with an adequate supply.
Just like humans, chihuahuas need to stay hydrated to optimize different bodily functions. While it is a no-brainer that water is beneficial and advantageous to the health of your chihuahua, it is important to know exactly how much water your Chihuahua should be drinking to keep track of their hydration.
As a general rule of thumb, Chihuahuas should drink about one ounce of water per pound of body weight each day. An average chihuahua weighs around 3.3 to 6.6 pounds. Therefore, it is recommended to ensure that they have an intake of about 3.3 to 6.6 ounces of water daily.
In this article, we will discuss why exactly does a chihuahua need to be properly hydrated, the benefits that come along with proper hydration, signs that your chihuahua is dehydrated, and to end this article, we will give you some tips on how to encourage your chihuahua to drink plenty of water.
Why does my chihuahua need to be properly hydrated?
One of the main benefits of water is to help regulate bodily functions. All organs, tissues, and cells are made up of mostly water. They need water to carry out their function properly. If there is not a sufficient amount of water in the body, vital chemicals that keep all cells alive cannot be carried around the body.
Water also plays a crucial role in your chihuahua’s body temperature. It keeps the Chihuahua and its organs cool by helping with sweating and releasing heat out through the skin. Because chihuahuas are generally quite small, it makes sense that they might overheat very easily as compared to larger dogs.
Apart from temperature, water also helps your chihuahua flush out any toxins from its system. The liver’s main purpose is to remove toxins from the body. When you neglect your Chihuahua water, it will have a hard time flushing out these toxins due to inefficient liver function caused by a lack of hydration.
Moreover, chihuahua’s skin is very sensitive to dryness and heat. When the dog is dehydrated, their skin will become parched causing dry patches on the nose which ultimately leads to cracks under the hot weather.
Lastly, chihuahuas need to drink lots of water because they have short nasal passages and small throats thus allowing less air to pass through the nose during the breathing process. Since they have smaller noses and throats, chihuahuas could experience problems breathing properly if their nose is dry and not hydrated enough.
Benefits of proper hydration
For starters, when you supply your Chihuahua with an adequate amount of water to drink each day, their urine will be more diluted which means that there is a lesser chance for your chihuahua to form crystals in their bladder which could pose a serious threat to its health.
Secondly, drinking water regularly can help prevent urinary tract infections. As a result of not being properly hydrated, urinary tract infections could occur because there isn’t enough liquid to flush out any bacteria from the bladder. This causes an accumulation of bacteria which leads to bladder inflammation.
Thirdly, water helps with your chihuahua’s weight. It keeps the Chihuahua full and prevents it from overeating while also helping your chihuahua metabolize fat at a faster rate. Healthier organs mean that your chihuahua can live longer because there is no major medical problem slowing their functions down.
Lastly, proper hydration is important, not just for your chihuahua’s health, but also for your chihuahua’s looks. When a chihuahua is properly hydrated, its coat will be shiny and lustrous. It will also prevent your chihuahua from looking wrinkly and saggy.
Signs that your chihuahua is dehydrated
There are 5 clear signs that you should look out for that would indicate your Chihuahua is dehydrated.
First, very dry and sticky gums. If you can touch your chihuahua’s gums and it leaves a white residue on the tip of your finger when you rub it off, then this might be a sign that your chihuahua is dehydrated.
Secondly, a very dry nose. The same goes with your Chihuahua’s nose. If you touch it and the skin on the nose is parched and feels ‘tight’, then this might be a sign that your chihuahua isn’t well-hydrated enough.
Thirdly, sunken eyes. It is very easy to tell when a Chihuahua is dehydrated if you pay attention to its eyes. When a chihuahua is well-hydrated, the skin under the eyes will be plump and puffy. However, when your Chihuahua isn’t getting enough water, this area will appear sunken and deflated.
Fourthly, brown or pinkish-tinged urine. The color of your Chihuahua’s urine is a great indicator of whether it is hydrated enough or not. A well-hydrated Chihuahua will have pale yellow urine while a dehydrated one will have dark reddish or brown urine due to the presence of toxins in the body.
Lastly, very dry mouth. The final sign of dehydration is when your Chihuahua’s mouth becomes very dry. This will be accompanied by a pungent smell that lingers for quite some time. If you notice this, then take your chihuahua to the vet immediately.
How to encourage your chihuahua to drink plenty of water
Chihuahuas can be very stubborn and fickle when it comes to taking in fluids. They usually get dehydrated easily because they get distracted by other things such as playing with their toys that they forget to drink water.
Here are five tips on how to make your chihuahua drink more water:
Offer your chihuahua different kinds of water. Sometimes, chihuahuas develop a preference for one type of water over another. It could be tap or bottled water that your chihuahua prefers drinking from more often than the other. So it is best if you know your Chihuahuas preference on water.
Once you have determined the kind of water they like, keep a large bowl of it beside your Chihuahua at all times. It is best to have an extra-large bowl for your chihuahua as opposed to a small one because they will be more likely not to drink from it if there’s not enough space for them to dip their heads in the water and drink.
Most dogs like their water cold. So the next time around when your chihuahua refuses the room temp water you offer, try getting them a cold serving.
Another way you can convince your Chihuahua to drink more water is by taking it to where they usually go to the bathroom regularly. By doing this, your chihuahua would be able to release more fluids thereby making plenty of room in their bladder to drink more water.
Reward your Chihuahua with treats after they drink water. There are times when chihuahuas don’t like drinking water because it makes them feel full and bloated. It is best if you reward them with something tasty or fun so that they will look forward to the activity, even more, the next time around.
To conclude, just like humans, chihuahuas must drink plenty of water to maintain their health. As a general rule of thumb, chihuahuas should drink about one ounce of water per pound each day. So a ten-pound chihuahua should drink around ten ounces of water each day. Anywhere below this proportion would put your chihuahua at risk for dehydration.
If you notice any of the signs of dehydration as described above, make sure to give your chihuahua plenty of water as soon as possible. Also, consult a vet immediately if dehydration becomes more severe. There are several causes for it and it is best that a professional diagnoses this problem just to be on the safe side.
Anyhow, always make sure that their water bowl is always full even after a drink and your Chihuahua will be in good hands. Till next time!