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Water and Your Dog's Health

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by Andrew Garcia
Apr 02, 2022
5 minute read
TABLE OF CONTENTS
  • Why Do Dogs Need to Drink Water?
  • What Happens When Dogs Do Not Drink Sufficient Water?
  • How Do You Know If Your Dog Is Dehydrated?
  • How Do You Help Your Dog Drink More Water?
  • How Much Water Does a Dog Need Daily?
  • What Prevents a Dog From Drinking Water?
  • Is Drinking Purified Water Compulsory for Dogs?
  • Why Does Your Dog Need a Fountain?
  • Final Words
We are getting into the hotter season of the year – the weather where dogs and most dogs require more water than usual. Similar to humans, dogs also need sufficient water in their body system to function effectively every day. That said, not all dogs like to drink water. But as dog owners, we must ensure we help them get enough liquids into their system.

Why Do Dogs Need to Drink Water?

Dogs, like other animals, require water as an essential nutrient. Water is the most abundant metabolite in most dogs. To underline the importance of water in dogs, a 10% drop in their water requirement can lead to death. In comparison, they can survive on half their regular protein requirement or zero fat. Overall, dogs must drink enough water and be on time to stay alive and healthy.
Here are the specific benefits of drinking water in dogs.

Water Is Required to Maintain Physical Needs

Digestion, absorption of food substances, and other metabolic activities, as well as physiological processes in your dog, require water to run properly. For instance, digestion enzymes can only mix effectively with food substances to ensure breakdown when there is water. Nutrient absorption involves water. Nutrients and metabolites are also dissolved in water to ensure adequate transportation and discharge.

Water Is Essential in Body Temperature Regulation

Just like humans, dogs require water to keep their body temperature cool. The high specific heat capacity of water is the reason it absorbs and releases more heat. Excess heat is one of the by-products of metabolism, which often finds its way to the skin through the water. It can also be discharged through the lungs during breathing. The external temperature is usually higher, so the internal system requires more water to regulate the temperature and keep it healthy.

What Happens When Dogs Do Not Drink Sufficient Water?

Feeding your dogs with insufficient water consistently leads to a deplete water content in their body. As a result, less water is circulating, forcing digestion to slow down. Their appetite also drops, and they experience mild to severe dehydration and a reduction in urine production. If the situation persists for long, diseases may also creep in, with symptoms like yellow urine, dry stool, stones, and tears from dry eye glands.
dog’s appetite drops

How Do You Know If Your Dog Is Dehydrated?

Dogs that do not drink sufficient water regularly face the risk of dehydration. The early symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, and fever. But how can you identify a dehydrated dog?
Grab the dog’s neck slowly and gently. Observe the skin after you have released the neck. The skin should regain its original shape immediately. If this takes time, then your dog may be dehydrated.
Another way to check is to press their gums with your hands. Pressing their gum blocks the blood flow to the area temporarily, so the gum area turns white. The gum area must return to the original pink color when you release your grip on the gum area. If this takes more than two seconds, your dog is most likely suffering dehydration.

How Do You Help Your Dog Drink More Water?

It is not uncommon to see dogs struggling to drink enough water. If this happens, the first step is to assess the dog’s health – certain health conditions may discourage them from drinking.
If your dog is healthy and still uninterested in drinking water, then you should devise ways to encourage the habit. For instance, throw in some form of praise and reward whenever it drinks water. You should also keep the water bowl clean and add some chicken broth as flavor.

How Much Water Does a Dog Need Daily?

Yes, dogs must drink sufficient water every day. However, you must ensure moderation in consumption – drinking too much or too little can adversely affect your dog’s health. For example, over-drinking causes water intoxication and, in some cases, lethargy, nausea, vomiting, bloating, and excessive salivation. Please consult your veterinarian if you discover any of these symptoms.
feed your dog water
Your dog’s average daily water requirement is 80-120 ml of water per kilogram of body weight. If you have a puppy, the requirement is 140-170 ml per kilogram of body weight daily. However, the exact amount of water depends on a few factors, including the general management practices, the dog feed type, and the time of the year.
Your dog can drink water directly and freely at any time of the day.

What Prevents a Dog From Drinking Water?

We have said some dogs may not like to drink water. Here are some of the causes of this dislike;
Dog refuses to drink water

Guilt and Boredom

We know how naughty dogs can sometimes be. If you have recently scolded your dog for soiling the floor while drinking previously, the guilt may prevent it from drinking water again for the day. Similarly, we tend to wipe the neck and chin of our dogs whenever they drink water to keep them dry and clean. Some dogs do not like this – it bores them, so they avoid drinking water altogether.

Laziness

You will be surprised to find out your canine friends can choose not to drink water for the flimsiest excuses. For instance, they may be discouraged if the water bowl is not near. Likewise, overweight dogs tend to be lazy, so they avoid walking long distances to drink water. Pet owners with many dogs at home may discover that some dogs may not want to use the same bowl as others.

Stale Water

If you do not change your dog’s water regularly, it might discourage them from drinking. Instead of filling a large pot with water, use a smaller bowl that allows you to replace the water and keep it fresh. Sometimes, a sick dog may avoid drinking water. Finally, your dogs may be put off by dust or impurities in water. If you have such demanding dogs, they drink only boiled or filtered water.

Is Drinking Purified Water Compulsory for Dogs?

Tap water has been proven to be unsafe for drinking. The primary tap water source is usually groundwater, including lakes and rivers. This type of water is not mineralized and often contains chlorine gas, used for treatment. Therefore, the water tastes differently.
The transportation process of tap water – through long pipe systems – casts doubt on its hygienic quality. For these reasons, experts discourage giving your dogs tap water. If they must drink tap water, it should be minimal.
On the other hand, mineral water contains several minerals added artificially during purification. It is better than tap water. However, if your dog is suffering from urolithiasis or uremia, it should drink less mineralized water.
The best option is filtered water. Dogs are at no health risks with filtered water.

Why Does Your Dog Need a Fountain?

The Fountain Provides Clean and Pure Water

Dog smart water dispensers are designed to filter water and provide only clean and healthy water for your dog’s consumption.
Automatic dog water fountains are equipped with a submersible pump, ensuring the water is in a constant circular motion. This keeps the water cooler and more refreshing than water just sitting in a bowl. Furthermore, the water is filtered using a dedicated filter to get rid of impurities and dirt. So, in the end, your dog gets clean, fresh, and great-tasting drinking water.

It Helps Your Dog to Drink More Water

Moving water is more appealing to dogs – much more than drinking from a dripping faucet or a sitting bowl. According to research, dogs and other animals always choose a moving water source over a stagnant one. In addition, there is a popular theory about the wild ancestors of dogs drinking from only natural sources of water, including running water. That is because running water is less polluted and cleaner, unlike stagnant water.
dog drinks moving water source

Fountains Only Require Basic Maintenance

Maintaining water fountains is easier for dog parents. In addition to its health benefits, water fountains are designed to contain water with little or no chance of contamination. So, you can save time by not cleaning and refilling the container for your dog. When it comes to maintenance, you only need to change filters monthly and clean once every week.

Fountains Make Water Available Always

Dogs live on about 80-120 ml of water per kilogram of body weight. You can meet this demand conveniently with dog water fountains while ensuring that the water stays fresh, clean, and refreshing by keeping it in constant motion. Now your dog can drink more often and stay healthy.

Final Words

Your dog needs to drink water to stay healthy. As a dog parent, you must provide a clean water source and keep track of your dog’s daily water intake.
Moderation is vital when providing drinking water for your dog. Do not deprive them of water just to reduce the amount of urine they produce. Likewise, do not force them to drink too much water because it leads to water intoxication and other health conditions.
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