Many loving and kind-hearted dog owners spend a lot of time and consume their energy trying to figure out which diet is healthier for their beloved pet. They take in consideration famous brands and compare multiple types of foods. They even ask advice from specialists, but they somehow overlook the importance of water. Every person who owns a dog should know how much water should a dog drink and understand that it is an equal part of its diet.
Water is so important because the body of a dog consists of over 70% water, just as the body of a human. Basically, substances need to dissolve and to be transported throughout the body of a dog. Therefore, water contributes directly to the chemical reactions that are vital for a pooch’s digestive system and circulatory system to work properly. In addition, water helps a dog’s body to filter waste and regulates its temperature through evaporation. A possible dehydration of a puppy might cause serious problems and lead to heart and kidney failure.
The appropriate amount of water
There is a general rule that says a dog should drink between 0.6 and 1 ounces of water for every pound of body weight. However, you don’t have to waste your time and calculate the necessary amount. If your dog is healthy and has a bowl filled with water at its discretion, it will drink the correct amount, depending on its needs. Some days it might drink more and some days it might drink less.
Regardless of its behavior, it is recommended to pay attention if your dog drinks water or not. There are cases when they might exaggerate or don’t drink water at all. These are situations that should alarm you because they are usually signs of a health problem.
Tap water might be problematic for some dogs, so in order to make sure that your dog is fully healthy you should consider giving it still water. Tap water might contain excess minerals, heavy metals or too many bacteria per ounce. If you don’t want to buy or you cannot buy water for your dog, then you can simply boil tap water, let it get cold and then give it to your dog. At least, in this way you avoid the problems caused by bacteria. If you have a water purifier, then you don’t need to worry about these 3 aspects. On the long run, your investment in a water purifier will pay off.
Excessive water drinking problems
If you notice your dog drinking a lot of water, then you should start worrying unless it is a really hot summer day or in case your dog only eats dry food. This is because dogs that only eat dry food usually drink more water in order to ensure their daily needs. A dog that eats wet food will drink less water in comparison with a dog that is on a dry food diet, because a part of its hydration needs are met by the food itself. However, a dog that drinks water excessively might be sick. You’d do best to check out this article on water intoxication in dogs to see if your dog may be suffering from this condition.
There are 5 possible medical causes that might determine your beloved pet to drink a lot of water, as it follows:
- Chronic kidney failure. Renal lesions modify the process of eliminating certain blood elements that cause a bad purge of a dog’s body. Its appetite diminishes and it has an acute sensation of thirst. A pup in this condition would sit next to its water bowl all day long. To know the signs to look out for, you should definitely read our article on renal failure in dogs.
- Chronic infections. An infection of the uterus of a female dog is an example of a chronic infection. This diagnosis can only be established by a veterinarian after he or she does an ultrasound and a blood test, looking for an increased number of white blood cells, which usually confirm this diagnosis.
- The lesion of adrenal glands. This affection is also called the Cushing’s syndrome. It is relatively common in dogs and it manifests with skin lesions and excessive thirst as well. This one is fairly easy to notice as well.
- Disease that affect the liver. There are some diseases that affect the liver function of a dog, thus causing chronic liver failure. The first signs are when a pooch drinks a lot of water.
Before establishing a diagnosis, any veterinarian requires some tests after he or she does a clinical exam of the canine patient.
Urine tests allow the detection of excess blood sugar, lack of bile pigments or protein deficiency. All these results are helpful when trying to determine whether or not a dog has diabetes, liver or kidney problems. Glucose, creatinine and urea levels are highly important in these cases. These might not make much sense to you, but the main idea that you should remember is that a thirsty doggy might suffer of a severe affection and it must be taken to the vet.
Not drinking water problems
You cannot explain to your loveable dog how important it is to drink water, but most times you wouldn’t have to. A dog’s instinct helps it consume an optimum amount of water for its body to stay hydrated. As said, water is highly important for dogs because it maintains a normal body temperature and a balanced level of electrolytes. Thus, when you notice a dog not drinking water, you should schedule a visit to the vet.
However, if the vet can’t find anything wrong with your pooch, then you can trick it to drink water by using one or more of the following tips:
- Add water to its food. If you feed your dog with wet food, you can just add a little more water to it and mix the two in your dog’s bowl. Also, you could replace dry food with wet food in order to ensure a higher level of hydration to your stubborn doggy that doesn’t want to drink water.
- Add a spoon of sugar in your dog’s water bowl along with fresh water. In case your pooch is not responsive to this trick, then forget about the sugar and add chicken soup in its water. The smell and the taste should convince it to drink. Do not use salt when boiling the chicken. However, if your dog is not a chicken fan, just put a treat inside the water bowl. It will have to drink a little in order to get to that treat and eat it.
- Treat your dog with ice cubes. Some dogs perceive ice cubes as snacks, so they might eat them without hesitation. It’s worth giving it a try. Once melted in its stomach, the ice cube can successfully replace water
If you are still worried that your canine friend is not hydrated enough you should observe it and conclude whether or not it is depressive. Its eyes might look sunken inside its orbits or its nose might get dry. If its nose is dry use a cotton swab soaked in water to moisten it whenever to think it’s necessary. Don’t give up and look for signs constantly. A puppy can become much more dehydrated after the visit to the vet, so don’t hesitate to bring it back. The vet can administer intravenous fluids to your doggy if its case is severe.
Warnings and conclusions
Your dog’s water bowl should be washed daily. Invisible bacteria can multiply inside it, making the water taste strange. Therefore, your dog might not touch it because of that reason. In addition, do not just rinse the bowl. It takes an antibacterial soap to kill these microorganisms. Otherwise, your canine friend might get sick due to such an ordinary reason.
Try to make this a habit, just like washing your teeth or some other ritual that you have in the morning. Except this important step, you should also be aware of another aspect, namely the toilet. Some dogs see it as an exhaustible fountain and do not hesitate to drink from it. Train it not to drink from it or keep the toilet lid down at all times.
The bacteria from the toilet can get a dog sick, as well as all the chemicals that you use to clean it or that you put inside the toilet in order to keep it fresh. Even the most careful of us might forget to take one of these steps sometimes, but that is not an excuse when it comes to the health of our beloved pets.
As long as a dog has one or more bowls filled with fresh water, it should not attempt to drink from the toilet. Therefore, you shouldn’t have problems keep it hydrated. Try to keep in mind that water is as vital for dogs as it is for humans.