How Much Water Should I Give My French Bulldog?


All dogs and puppies should have unrestricted access to clean water at all times. But it’s also important that you monitor how much water your French Bulldog is drinking. Too little can cause health issues but a Frenchie that drinks a lot of water could also be a sign of illness. With that said, how much water should your Frenchie be drinking each day and what is the best guidance for water consumption?

How much water should you give a French Bulldog? Adult Frenchies should drink one ounce of water for every pound of body weight. The average weight for an adult Frenchie is 16-24 pounds for a female, and 20-28 pounds for a male. This averages out to about three cups of water a day. 

But what about puppies? 

How much water should you give a French Bulldog puppy? Frenchie puppies will drink more than adult dogs and can drink half a cup of water every couple of hours. Monitor the puppy’s water intake to make sure they are drinking enough, but not too much. It is normal for Frenchie puppies to drink a lot of water.

Puppy drinking and eating
How much water you should give your French Bulldog puppy is said to be half a cup of water every 2 hours.

How much water is too much?

Although it can be difficult to know exactly how much water your Frenchie is drinking (given how sloppy they can be), it’s still important to monitor roughly how much they get through each day.

If you notice they’re not even getting close to drinking enough, check them over for signs of dehydration. This is especially true if your pup is a picky eater, as Frenchie’s can sometimes go off their water and may need a little bribing to get back into drinking again.

On the other hand, if you notice that your Frenchie is draining bowl after bowl, it could be a symptom of something more serious.

According to the Pet Health Network (view website), excessive water drinking (the medical name being polydipsia) could mean the following:

“If your dog is drinking excessively (polydipsia) it is possibly because he is losing excess amounts of water for any of a number of reasons. While a number of diseases result in excess water intake and urine output, the most common of these diseases include kidney failure, diabetes mellitus and Cushing’s disease.”

You can read more about polydipsia and how vet’s approach treating it in this paper abstract by J.P Schoeman in 2008.

If you’ve noticed any drastic changes in your French Bulldog’s water drinking or eating, especially if it seems like they’re constantly thirsty, it would be worth booking your Frenchie in to see a vet as soon as possible.

French Bulldog water consumption too low

If you have any concerns over your French Bulldog’s water intake, and don’t believe your Frenchie is drinking enough here are some signs to look out for.

Signs of dehydration

In most breeds, a dry and cracked nose is one of the clearest signs of dehydration. However, as some Frenchie’s struggle to lick their own nose, this isn’t always the best sign to look out for.

Instead, take a look at your Frenchie’s gums. With the exception of dogs who naturally have pigmented gums, healthy gums should always be a soft pink color. Anything other than this is usually a sign of a more serious health conditions.

Try pressing the gums with a finger. The skin should turn white for a moment, but then quickly return to the healthy pink. If the area is dry and sticky and takes a while to return to its normal color, this is a very strong indicator that your French Bulldog puppy isn’t drinking enough.

Frenchie paddling pool
Dehydrated Frenchies will increase their water consumption and intake in hotter weather.

Other indicators of dehydration include:

  • Thick saliva.
  • Increased panting or difficulty with breathing.
  • Dry eyes that can appear sunken.
  • Lack of energy.

One of the most common causes for dehydration in Frenchies is over-exertion. Frenchies do not need a lot of exercise in general, and they need to be monitored very closely in summer to ensure they don’t overdo it.

They are prone to overheating, and as they already struggle with breathing, it’s absolutely vital that you ensure they are getting enough to drink in 24 hours.

However, if you notice that your Frenchie is really struggling to breathe and has no energy at all, it is vital that you get them booked in to see a vet as soon as possible.

What to do if your pup is dehydrated

If you notice that your Frenchie is displaying signs of dehydration, the first course of action would be to check their drinking bowl. If you notice any dirt or bacteria gathering around the edges, give it a thorough clean with soap and water. Fill it up with fresh, cool water, and try offering it to your Frenchie again.

If this still isn’t enough to persuade your dog to drink, it’s likely you have a picky pup on your hands. Try some of the following solutions to get them drinking again:1.

1. Add water to their food

Canned food already has quite a bit of water in it when compared to dry food, which makes it a great option for dogs who need more liquid in their diet. If you want, you can also soak their kibble in water as another option. 

2. Drinking fountain

Although some dogs are more than happy to drink still water, the pickier among them may be put off by the taste and smell that tends to develop in stagnant water over time. One way to deal with this is by buying your Frenchie a doggy drinking fountain.

Aside from providing constant running water, some fountains also come with filters that will reduce the smell and taste that might be putting your Frenchie off drinking from their bowl usually. 

3. Chicken broth and smoothies

If your pup is proving to be especially stubborn, it might be time to bribe them. One quick way to make your Frenchie’s drinking water a little bit more appealing is by stirring in a little chicken broth. Another fun option would be to make your Frenchie a dog friendly smoothie.

There are plenty of tasty recipes that you can find for your dog online, and as long as you stick to safe fruits and veg, the variations are endless. Fruits such as apples, oranges, and bananas, are all excellent options, while veg such as carrots, chard, spinach, and cucumber will all give your pup plenty of nutrition while also helping to keep them hydrated.

Just make sure that you don’t mix in any avocados, grapes, or dairy products. If you’re uncertain, always check first before feeding it to your dog.

Handy Hint: Here’s a downloadable list of what fruits are safe for Frenchies to eat plus the dangerous ones you must always avoid.

4. Ice cubes and ice pops

This is an especially good option for Frenchie’s in summer, as they are prone to overheating. If you’re in a rush, try offering your pup a simple ice cube. Some dogs love licking them and may prefer this to drinking regular water.

If your Frenchie enjoys this, you may also want to try making doggy ice pops. Simply dilute some chicken broth, or a dog-friendly smoothie, and add the mixture to a silicone ice tray. Freeze it overnight and see what your Frenchie thinks.

If this is something your Frenchie enjoys, it might be worth experimenting with some of the many recipes available online.

My Frenchie is drinking a lot of water

Just as it’s important to make sure your Frenchie isn’t neglecting their water, it’s also important to make sure your Frenchie isn’t consuming excessive amounts of water.

If you are worried about this, it’s important that you still provide unlimited access to cool, fresh water, but it would be worth monitoring your dog carefully and booking them in to see a vet as soon as possible.

my frenchie is drinking a lot of water
If your Frenchie is drinking a lot of water it could also be the sign of something more serious.

It’s important to note that puppies and senior dogs do tend to drink more than adult dogs, but excessive thirst may also be an indicator that your Frenchie is sick, or it could be a response to medication they are taking.

Either way, your veterinarian will need to examine them to determine the best course of action.

Here are some of the illnesses that are most likely to cause excessive drinking in your dog:

1. Fever and infection

Signs of a fever or infection include a dry nose that feels hot to the touch; warm ears; red eyes; shivering; lack of energy; loss of appetite; coughing; and vomiting.

2. Diarrhea 

Loose stools are the main indicator of diarrhea in dogs, but other symptoms may include a loss of energy; lack of appetite; weight loss; abdominal pain; and vomiting.

3. Diabetes

Excessive thirst can be one of the first indicators that your dog may have this illness. Other symptoms include increased urination; weight loss; lack of energy, urinary tract infections; loss of eyesight; sudden changes in appetite; and sweet-smelling breath.

Handy Hint: Changes in how your Frenchie’s breath smells can be an indicator for a range of different illnesses. Read this guide to bad breath and what signs to look for.

4. Liver Disease

Aside from increased thirst, other symptoms of this illness includes increased urination; loss of appetite; weight loss; vomiting; diarrhea; an unsteady walk; confusion or dizziness; general weakness; blood in the urine or feces; bloating; seizures; and a yellowing of the eyes, tongue, or gums.

5. Kidney Disease

Symptoms for this illness include a loss of appetite; increased thirst; increased urination; vomiting; diarrhea; loss of energy; constipation; weight loss; seizures; blood in the urine or feces; and blindness.

6. Cushing’s Disease

Aside from the increased thirst and urination, other symptoms include your Frenchie suddenly having accidents and urinating during the night or when you’re away at work.

They may also exhibit an increased appetite; struggling to breathe; increased panting; a swollen stomach; hair loss; lack of energy; general weakness; bruising; and dry, scaly patches of skin. 

7. Cancer

Some of the symptoms for cancer include lumps under the skin; abnormal body odors; thick, colored discharge; swelling; wounds not healing; weight loss; sudden change in appetite; difficulty breathing; lack of energy; change in bathroom habits; and general signs of pain.

If you notice that your dog is displaying an excessive thirst, along with any of the symptoms listed above, we strongly advise you to book your dog in to see a veterinarian as quickly as possible.

French Bulldog water infections

Another problem associated with drinking can be water infections. According to Dr. Kraemer of Vet4Bulldog, cystitis and urinary tract infections will lead to pain when your dog urinates. He says:

“Identifying the signs of cystitis can be relatively simple. Bulldogs suffering from this infection will often be in various degree of pain and discomfort, often while urinating. Your French or English bulldog puppy may present with abnormal urine, such as urine containing blood, known as hematuria, or urine that may either have a strange odor or cloudy appearance.”

Should you give a French Bulldog water before sleep?

Whilst you should always ensure your French Bulldog has plentiful water on tap, the rules change a little bit when house-training a puppy. I recommend that you take their water bowl away during night-time hours.

Try to remove the water bowl a couple of hours before sleep as this means you can take them outside to do their business, reducing the chances of night-time accidents.

Handy Hint: You can read a guide to French Bulldog potty training which contains more advice on how to house-train your puppy.

Conclusion

One of the most crucial parts of making sure your Frenchie stays happy and healthy is ensuring they maintain a balanced and nutritious diet. Dogs of all sizes need unlimited access to clean, fresh water.

To help with this, owners should try to clean their dog’s water dish regularly with soap and water to prevent bacteria build-up, and they should make a habit of replenishing the water once or twice a day.

How much water a French Bulldog should drink a day will then depend on their age and weight, with puppies typically thirstier than their adult counterparts.

Marc Aaron

I am one of Claude the French Bulldog's human parents. I write about all the things I've learned about owning a Frenchie, the adventures we have, and any advice and tips I've picked up along the way. Read more about Marc Aaron.

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