Updated on December 2, 2022

How Do Huskies Drink Water? [Dog Drinking Explained]

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How Do Huskies Drink Water? Pin
How do Huskies drink water?

Wondering, ‘how do Huskies drink water?’ Well, have you ever watched your dog actually drink water? If you look closely, it looks like they are curling their tongue into a ladle and actually scooping up the water! But surprisingly, that is actually not the case.

And no, most dogs don’t drink water by dunking their heads, blowing bubbles, or chomping at the water either, though it wouldn’t be a surprise at all to see a husky doing those things!

How do dogs actually drink water? 

In recent years, scientists have begun to take a much closer and more disciplined look at how our dogs actually drink water. The results that have come from these studies are truly fascinating.

As mentioned, we previously thought that dogs drank by curling their tongue into a ladle shape and holding the water on the ventral surface or underside of the tongue before bringing it up to their mouth and swallowing. However, researchers have recently learned that the water in the ladle shape hardly ever actually reaches the dog’s mouth! 

Instead, dogs swallow the water that sticks to the dorsal or top side of the tongue. Scientists found that instead of scooping water with their tongues, it is actually more so the speed at which dogs lap up water that gets the water into their mouths. It is simply a matter of physics and perfect timing.

The dogs must accelerate their tongues as fast as possible to get the water to form a column against the front of their tongue that shoots upwards into their mouths. If they close their mouths too early when drinking, dogs risk biting their tongue. But if they close their mouths too late, they risk missing the water entirely and not getting anything to drink. 

How Do Dogs Actually Drink Water?  Pin
Huskies enjoying a drink after walkies! 😋 Image from @huskies_igor_and_ziggy

Why are huskies such messy drinkers? 

Huskies are messy drinkers because of the dynamics involved with drinking water. It is believed that because of the high rate of acceleration at which dogs have to move their tongues in order to force the water to form into a column, it’s more likely that water will splash.

It is also believed that the reason dogs curl their tongue into a ladle shape is that doing so helps them increase the size of the water column, allowing them to get more water per lap. The water that is in the ladle shape doesn’t actually make its way entirely into the dog’s mouth and instead seems to fly everywhere but the water bowl! 

Can huskies drink too much water? 

Though not common, huskies can absolutely drink too much water. Drinking too much water can actually result in electrolyte imbalances and toxicity. When dogs consume too much water, they can develop a condition called hyponatremia, which is a term that describes when there is not enough sodium in the bloodstream. It more commonly happens to dogs that play in the water a lot and might be swallowing more water than they mean to. 

It could also happen to dogs that like to bite at the garden hose and swallow too much water as they are playing with it. But it can also happen just by drinking too much water out of a bowl. Symptoms of hyponatremia or water intoxication include:

  • Loss of coordination
  • Bloating
  • Nausea
  • Pale gums
  • Dilated pupils
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizures.

It’s important to know how often Huskies should drink water.

Can Huskies Drink Too Much Water? Pin
So thirsty I could rink this whole river! Image from @kiasillai

Can dogs get dehydrated? 

Huskies can easily get dehydrated if they are not drinking enough water. Dogs who are dehydrated will have low sodium, chloride, and potassium, all of which are responsible for optimal Husky nutrition and transporting nutrients into cells and aiding in muscle function and nerve activity. 

Ultimately, serious dehydration can be fatal as it can cause a dog’s organs to begin to shut down. Signs and symptoms of dehydration include tacky and pale gums, dry nose, thick and stringy saliva, lethargy, excessive panting, and sunken eyes.

How much water should huskies drink? 

A general recommendation is for a dog to drink between ½ ounce and 1 ounce for every pound that they weigh. So, for example, a 45-pound husky should drink between 22.5 ounces and 45 ounces or roughly 3 to 6 cups of water a day.

How to get your dog to drink more water 

In the event your husky isn’t drinking enough water, there are a few things you can try to get your pup to drink more water.

  • The easiest thing you can do by far is simply adding water to your dog’s dog food. You could also try giving your dog ice cubes or dog-friendly popsicles to get him to lick at the ice and get some water on his tongue that way. 
  • Another thing to consider is how finicky huskies can sometimes be! It is possible that your dog doesn’t like the taste of the water. It could also be that she doesn’t like the bowl the water is being served to her in anymore! Consider filling up your dog’s water bowl with the filtered water in the fridge instead of the tap and see if that makes a difference! 
  • You could also try adding in some low-sodium bone or chicken broth to your dog’s water, as this might enhance the flavor enough for your dog to become interested. You could also try getting a bigger water bowl and see if that makes a difference.
  • Another option might be a dog water fountain, so the water is constantly moving and never remains stagnant. Finally, be sure to clean the water bowl frequently, as standing water can easily become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria.

We recommend the Drinkwell 2-Gallon Dog Drinking Fountain.

Final takeaways about how Huskies drink water

If you used to think dogs drank water by shaping their tongue like a ladle to scoop it up, you certainly would not be the only one! But the fact that they are actually accelerating their tongues so rapidly in the water to form a column of water that goes into their mouth, where they then perfectly time the shutting of their jaw to capture the most amount of water, is almost even more amazing of a concept! 

Have you captured your Husky drinking water on camera?

Share your photos in the comment section below!

References:

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