How Much Water Should I Give My French Bulldog?

Cute French Bulldog Playing with Water

As a French Bulldog owner, you want to do everything you can to keep your furry friend healthy and happy. And one of the most important things you can do is ensure they are properly hydrated. Water is essential for all living beings, and dogs are no exception.

Adequate hydration is especially important for French Bulldogs, prone to overheating and dehydration due to their brachycephalic (short-nosed) anatomy. But how much water should you be giving your French Bulldog each day? And what signs should you look out for to ensure they are getting enough?

How Much Water Should I Give My French Bulldog?

The amount of water a French Bulldog needs can vary depending on several factors. On average, adult French Bulldogs need between ½ and 1 cup of water per 10 pounds of body weight daily. Puppies and active dogs may need more.

Additionally, dogs who eat a primarily dry kibble diet need more water than those who eat wet food. It’s important to note that these are just general guidelines. Your French Bulldog’s water intake may vary based on its specific needs. Keep an eye on their drinking habits, and adjust accordingly.

What are the Signs of Dehydration in French Bulldogs?

It’s important to recognize the signs of dehydration in your French Bulldog so you can address the issue as soon as possible. Here are some of the most common signs of dehydration to look out for:

1. Dry Sticky Gums

One of the easiest ways to tell if your French Bulldog is dehydrated is to check their gums. In a hydrated dog, their gums will be moist and slick. If dehydrated, their gums appear dry and sticky and may even feel tacky.

2. Sunken Eyes

Another sign of dehydration in French Bulldogs is sunken eyes. When a dog is dehydrated, their eyes may appear sunken, dull, and listless.

3. Lethargy

Dehydration can cause your French Bulldog to become lethargic and sluggish. They may seem uninterested in playing or going for walks and spend most of their time sleeping.

4. Loss of Appetite

A lack of fluids can cause your French Bulldog to lose their appetite. It may indicate that they’re dehydrated if they’re not interested in eating.

5. Dry Nose

Dehydration can cause your French Bulldog’s nose to become dry and crusty. If their nose is normally moist and it suddenly becomes dry, it may be a sign that they’re dehydrated.

6. Thick Saliva

Dehydration can also cause your French Bulldog’s saliva to become thick and sticky. If their saliva sticks to their mouth or appears stringy, it may indicate dehydration.

7. Dark Yellow Urine

When a French Bulldog is dehydrated, their urine may become concentrated and dark yellow. If you notice that your pup’s urine is darker than normal, it may be a sign that they’re not getting enough fluids.

How Can I Prevent Dehydration in French Bulldogs?

Dehydration can lead to serious health issues if left untreated, and French Bulldogs are particularly prone to dehydration due to their short snouts and susceptibility to heatstroke.

1. Provide Fresh, Clean Water at All Times

The easiest and most effective way to prevent dehydration in French Bulldogs is to ensure they can always access fresh, clean water. Keep a water bowl in an easily accessible location, and refill it frequently.

During hot weather, your French Bulldog may need more water than usual, so monitoring their water intake is important.

2. Offer Wet Food

Wet food contains more moisture than dry kibble and can help supplement your French Bulldog’s hydration. Adding a small amount of wet food to their diet can increase their water intake and prevent dehydration. If you prefer to feed your pup dry kibble, consider adding a small amount of water or low-sodium chicken broth to the bowl to help them stay hydrated.

3. Encourage Drinking

If your French Bulldog doesn’t seem to be drinking enough water, there are a few tricks you can try to encourage them to drink more:

  • Add flavour to their water: Add a small amount of low-sodium chicken broth or tuna juice to their water bowl to make it more appealing.
  • Offer water before and after meals: Your French Bulldog may be more likely to drink water if they’re offered it before and after meals.
  • Offer water during exercise: If you take your French Bulldog on walks or runs, bring it to them frequently.

4. Monitor their Water Intake

It’s important to keep track of how much water your French Bulldog is drinking each day. If you notice that they’re not drinking enough, you may need to adjust their diet or offer more water throughout the day. On the other hand, if you notice that they’re drinking excessively, it could be a sign of an underlying health issue, so it’s important to speak with your veterinarian.

5. Limit Exercise During Hot Weather

French Bulldogs are particularly prone to heatstroke, which can lead to dehydration. Limiting your French Bulldog’s exercise during the hottest parts of the day is important if you live in a hot climate.

Consider taking them for walks early in the morning or late in the evening when it’s cooler outside. Bring water with you on walks or runs to keep them hydrated.

How Can I Encourage My French Bulldogs to Drink More Water?

French Bulldog with cold

One important aspect of your pup’s health is ensuring that they’re drinking enough water. Unfortunately, many French Bulldogs are notorious for not drinking enough water, which can lead to dehydration and other serious health issues.

1. Add Flavor to Their Water

One of the easiest ways to encourage your French Bulldog to drink more water is to add flavour to their water bowl. Add a small amount of low-sodium chicken broth or tuna juice to their water bowl to make it more appealing.

You can also try freezing small pieces of fruit or vegetables in ice cubes and adding them to their water bowl. This adds flavour and keeps the water cold and refreshing during hot weather.

2. Use a Water Fountain

Many French Bulldogs are fascinated by running water, so using a water fountain can effectively encourage them to drink more water. Water fountains provide a steady stream of always-moving water, making it more enticing for your French Bulldog to drink from. Plus, the sound of the flowing water can be soothing for your pup.

3. Offer Water Before and After Meals

Another effective strategy for encouraging your French Bulldog to drink more is offering water before and after meals. Your pup may be more likely to drink water if offered it when they’re ready for food.

Additionally, offering water after meals can help wash down any food particles stuck in their mouth or throat.

4. Make Water Accessible

French Bulldogs are often small and have short legs, making reaching their water bowl difficult if it’s too high or too far away. Ensure your French Bulldog’s water bowl is easily accessible and within reach.

If you have multiple levels in your home, consider placing a water bowl on each, so your pup always has access to water.

5. Experiment with Different Water Bowls

Some French Bulldogs may prefer drinking from a certain type of water bowl. For example, some dogs may prefer drinking from a stainless steel bowl, while others may prefer drinking from a ceramic or plastic bowl. Experiment with different types of water bowls to see which one your pup prefers.

How often should I give my Bulldog water?

Bulldogs require significant water to stay healthy and should always have access to fresh, clean water. As a general rule, adult Bulldogs should drink around 50-70ml of water per kilogram of body weight per day, but this may vary depending on individual factors such as activity level and diet. By monitoring your Bulldog’s water intake and behaviour and ensuring they have access to a clean water source, you can help keep your furry friend happy and healthy.

It is also important to consider your Bulldog’s activity level when determining how much water they need. If your Bulldog is particularly active or lives in a hot climate, it may require more water to stay hydrated. In these cases, it is important to offer water regularly throughout the day and to monitor your dog’s behaviour for signs of dehydration, such as lethargy or excessive panting.

Their diet is another important factor when determining how often to give your Bulldog water. If your dog is on a dry food diet, they may require more water to compensate for the lack of moisture in their food. Conversely, if your Bulldog is on a wet diet, they may require less water as they already receive moisture from their food.

How do I know if my dog is drinking enough water?

French bulldog had to walk in the cold

One of the most important things you can do to ensure their well-being is to ensure they are properly hydrated. However, it can be difficult to determine if your dog is drinking enough water, especially since they can’t tell you when they’re thirsty.

1. Dry Mouth and Gums

If your dog’s mouth and gums feel dry, this is a sign that they may not be drinking enough water. The saliva in a dog’s mouth helps to keep it moist, and if there isn’t enough water in its system, its mouth will feel dry.

2. Lethargy and Lack of Energy

Dehydration can cause your dog to feel sluggish and tired. If your dog seems less active or sleeps more than usual, it may indicate they need more water.

3. Reduced Appetite

A lack of water can also cause your dog to lose their appetite. If your dog is not eating as much as usual or seems disinterested in their food, it may be a sign that they need more water.

4. Dark Urine

If your dog’s urine is dark in colour, this is a sign that they are not getting enough water. Urine should be light yellow; if it is dark or concentrated, it may indicate that your dog needs more water.

5. Sunken Eyes

Dehydration can cause your dog’s eyes to appear sunken or dry. If your dog’s eyes look different than usual, it may be a sign that they need more water.

What happens if a dog drinks a lot of water?

While dogs must stay hydrated, excessive water consumption can sometimes cause concern.

1. Water Intoxication

Water intoxication, also known as hyponatremia, is a condition that occurs when a dog drinks too much water too quickly. This can happen when a dog consumes much water after exercise or during play.

As the water enters the bloodstream, it dilutes the sodium levels in the blood, leading to brain swelling, seizures, and death in severe cases.

2. Bloating

When a dog drinks a lot of water, it can cause bloating or gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), a life-threatening condition that can occur when the stomach fills with gas or fluid and twists on itself.

This can lead to a lack of blood flow to the stomach, which can cause the stomach tissue to die. Bloating can also cause the stomach to rupture, leading to a serious infection known as peritonitis.

3. Urinary Tract Infections

Drinking excessive amounts of water can also lead to urinary tract infections (UTIs) in dogs. When a dog drinks a lot of water, it can dilute the urine and reduce the concentration of salts and other substances that help prevent the growth of bacteria in the urinary tract. This can create an environment where bacteria can thrive, leading to an infection.

4. Increased Urination

When a dog drinks a lot of water, it can also increase urination. This can cause various problems, including urinary incontinence, accidents in the house, and dehydration.

In some cases, excessive urination can also be a symptom of an underlying medical condition, such as diabetes or kidney disease.

5. Dehydration

While it may seem counterintuitive, drinking too much water can also lead to dehydration in dogs. Excessive water consumption can cause the kidneys to excrete too much water, losing essential electrolytes and minerals necessary for proper hydration.

And at the end, it can cause various symptoms, including lethargy, dry mouth, and sunken eyes.


Water is an essential nutrient for your French Bulldog, and providing them with the proper amount of water is crucial to their health and well-being. While a French Bulldog’s recommended daily water intake varies based on age, weight, activity level, and climate, the general rule of thumb is to offer your pup fresh, clean water and monitor their intake to ensure they are adequately hydrated.

It’s important to remember that dehydration can lead to serious health issues. As a responsible pet owner, you must ensure your furry friend has access to enough water throughout the day. Monitoring your dog’s water intake and preventing dehydration can help keep your French Bulldog happy, healthy, and hydrated for years.

Written by Justin Michaels