Staying Hydrated: 3 Ways to Get Your Dog to Drink More Water on Hikes

Staying Hydrated: 3 Ways to Get Your Dog to Drink More Water on Hikes

Summer is almost here, and you and your furry friend have been chomping at the bit to get back on the trail. Hikes are a great way to get your pup the exercise they need while being outdoors. But with the distraction of new surroundings and new smells, your dog might turn their nose to a water break – even if you know they are thirsty.

For humans, the general rule is about one half-liter of water per hour for moderate activity in moderate temperatures. Hotter temps, higher elevations, and more extreme activity calls for more water. Dogs' water needs will vary depending on their fitness levels, age, fur, etc. Make sure to always carry more than enough water for you and your pup every time you set out on an adventure.

It's easy for dogs to get dehydrated even on short hikes, and as dog owners, we never want our pals to suffer. Luckily, we have compiled three tips and tricks to keep your stubborn pooch happy, healthy, and most importantly – hydrated on the trail. 

Dog drinking from a portable bowl foldable

Why Isn’t My Dog Drinking Water?

It isn’t totally uncommon for your dog to be reluctant to drink water when hiking – especially if they’re new to being on the trail. This is usually due to a change in scenery – and there is nothing more exciting than sniffing out all the critters in the forest - “SQUIRREL!” So don’t be alarmed if your dog is not in the mood to drink water at first.

How to Get your Dog to Drink Water

Have you ever been caught on the side of the trail with water cupped in your hands, talking to your dog like a toddler, hoping that they will just take a quick drink? We’ve been there. That's why we compiled three easy ways for getting your dog to drink water on the trail.

1. Bring a Familiar Bowl

Bringing a water dish from home that smells familiar is a great way to make them more comfortable in their new surroundings. It’s acue that lets them know it's time to take a drink. But, carrying around a clunky metal dish that makes a noise every step you take and uses valuable space in your pack is annoying. Our Backpacking Bowl is a great option if you want your hike to remain peaceful and quiet while keeping your dog happy and hydrated. And our Foldable Silipint Dog Bowl is another awesome choice that is a bit bulkier, but can hold water for longer.

Collapsible dog bowl holds 64 ounces of water

This portable dog bowl is a perfect option on the trail. You can test it out at home so that your dog gets used to it before your hike. Its foldable design comes with a carabiner that clips to the outside of your pack or slips inside, taking up little room. Bonus: because of its flexible design, the bowl is sturdy on rocky, unstable surfaces and has a cinch closure that tightly stores kibble for later.

2. Sit Down during Water Breaks

This one seems silly, but when we humans take water breaks on the trail, we usually sip from our water bottle standing up because we are eager to get moving. But, guess who can tell? Fido. And they are just as excited as you and don’t want to be left behind!

So find a rock, a tree stump, or a nice spot on the ground, and take a breather as you pour some fresh water for your pup. This body language tells your dog it’s time to relax and take a break, and that you aren’t headed anywhere just yet. Once they are calm, they will likely notice just how thirsty they are and drink up. 

3. Make it a Game

If your dog is the playful type, this tip should do the trick! Slip a squirt bottle into the water bottle sleeve of your backpack. When you notice your dog is getting parched, squirt the water into their mouth. Your dog will likely be jumping into the air, trying to catch the water droplets. Just when they thought you were the raddest human – you got even cooler with this awesome new game.

Pro Tip: Cut up some cucumber pieces at home and feed them to your dog throughout the hike. A cucumber's high water content is excellent for hydration, and they are safe for dogs to eat.

Lightweight travel dog bowl weighing 2.5 ounces

At Wilderdog, we love helping dogs discover their next adventure with their new gear. Subscribe to our email list to get updated with more blogs about stuff like backpacking with your dog, and the occasional interview with some remarkable canines (okay – we interview their humans, but it's mainly about the dogs). And, if you subscribe now, you’ll receive 10% off on your first purchase as a thank you for joining our pack!

Stay hydrated, friends!