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Canine Hydration – The Importance of Adequate Water in a Dog’s Diet

Canine Hydration – The Importance of Adequate Water in a Dog’s Diet

02.07.2020

It is a well-known fact that water (H2O) is critical for the survival of all living creatures.  For the vast majority of us, water makes up 70 - 80% of our being.  It is the primary component for all healthy cells, and we just can’t last long without it.  Humans can go up to 3 weeks without food, but only about a week in mild conditions without water.  Our canine companions typically aren’t as big as we are, and therefore can only go up to a week without food and only about 3 days without water.  Therefore, it’s very important to keep your pooch well hydrated at all times so they function at the top of their ability and ward off any health issues that could creep up due to dehydration.

This is all interesting and useful information, but how much water does a dog actually need on a daily basis?  What is an adequate amount?  According to Pet MD, dogs need about one ounce of water for every pound they weigh.  So, if Fido weighs 60 pounds, he will need at least 60 ounces (a little less than a half-gallon) of water daily.  If temperatures are warmer, this amount will likely increase as more moisture is lost through more intense panting and sweating.  Yes, sweating.  You may have heard that dogs don’t sweat, but they actually do.  They just don’t sweat like you and I do as you will read below.

The bottom line is:  An adequate, clean and constant water supply is crucial for a healthy pooch.  The Richell Pet Rehydration System is a perfect example of a well thought out and engineered solution for dog owners who want to keep their furry friends well hydrated at all times so water doesn’t run out. 

Sometimes we may slip up and forget to give man’s best friend water for a day.  Though not the best situation, no harm will be done outside of some sad, thirsty looks.  But, things get more critical in days two and three if water is not provided.  Below you will find some additional, more detailed information on why proper water hydration is so important and how to provide the best hydration possible. 

 

 

Why Proper Hydration is so Important for Dogs

 

Keeps Dogs from Dehydrating

Water equilibrium is the key to a well-hydrated dog.  Water leaving a dog’s body through urination, panting, stools or sweating must be equaled by water intake.  It’s a delicate balancing act, especially since dogs can’t replenish their water reserves as quickly as we can.  Dehydration is one of the worst things a dog can experience.  When dehydration reaches critical mass, their eyes can be a telltale sign that dehydration is taking hold.  Tears stop forming in the corner of a dog’s eyes and their eyes might appear a little sunken in.  Also, their nose can be dry and not moist like it is supposed to be.  If your dog’s gums appear dry, gummy or pale in color, it could signal dehydration is present.  According to Pet MD, you can pick up a fold of loose skin over the shoulder blades and if it bounces right back into place, then dehydration is likely not occurring.  However, if it takes longer for the skin to bounce back and it stays up for a few seconds, then dehydration may be a concern.  Also if your pooch becomes lethargic and loses their appetite, it could signal that dehydration is setting in as well.

 

Richell Pet Rehydration System

 

Maintains Normal Body Temperature

Dogs need water to help regulate their body temperature.  Their primary way of maintaining a normal temperature is to pant.  They don’t sweat like we do, although as mentioned above, they do sweat to some extent.  But mostly they sweat through their paws.  Sometimes on a warm day, you might even notice that there are damp spots under their paws.  This is from the limited sweating they do in fact participate in.  However, when they pant their tongue almost doubles in size to speed up the evaporation of  water, thus cooling off their body even faster.  This is the most efficient way they remove heat from their body.

 

Helps Move Nutrients and Release Waste and Toxins

Blood carries nutrients and oxygen throughout the body, thus feeding cells from a dog’s nose to its tail.  A major component of blood is water.  And it’s the water’s job to help move nutrients into and out of cells so every muscle and organ receives the proper nutrition.  Water also helps remove waste from every cell once the nutrients have been utilized for their energy.  And this waste, in the form of urination and bowel movements, is also aided by water so elimination can take place almost effortlessly.

 

Digestion is Aided

According to Global Animal, water is very important for a dog’s digestive system. Water helps dogs break down the food he/she ingests and then aids in the absorption of those nutrients.  Water also aids in the secretion of enzymes and the acid necessary to fully complete the digestive process.  And the easier it is for a dog’s digestive system to function normally, the more healthy and active a dog is.  If a dog is not eliminating regularly and seems lethargic as well, proper hydration may be an issue to consider.

 

Lubricates, Cushions and Makes Movement Easier

As we have seen, water plays an important role in nearly every biological process.  In addition to aiding digestion, moving nutrients and waste into and out of systems, maintaining normal body temperature, and keeping a pooch well hydrated, water also lubricates and cushions joints, making movement and mobility possible without pain.  Other internal organs and tissues also rely on water for their proper function, including the eyes, spinal cord, mucous membranes, and many other internal systems.

 

An Indication of Health

A healthy dog is one that drinks just the right amount of water.  Not too little and not too much.  Again, it comes down to drinking about 1 ounce of water per pound/day.  If your dog weighs 60 pounds, then you want to see it drinking about a half-gallon of water daily in spring/early summer temperatures.  When it is cold your dog will drink less and when it is hot he/she will drink more.  However, if your dog’s drinking habits change drastically and he/she starts drinking a lot more than normal or a lot less, then it may be time to check in with your vet to make sure everything is going well.

 

Canine hydration is very important.  It’s something to monitor closely and make sure an ample supply of clean, fresh water is available at all times.  Water plays a vital role in the functioning of all bodily systems and with too little or too much of this precious resource, things can go downhill and quick.  As dog owners, keeping enough water around for our pets to maintain a healthy condition is arguably our most important role, and the Richell Pet Rehydration System can certainly help make this responsibility much easier.  Of course, our pooches also need to eat, play and exercise, but keeping them well hydrated is arguably the most important and vital responsibility we assume when we become pet parents.  Here’s to happy drinking.

 


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