Did you know it's National Pet Hydration Awareness Month? This is observed throughout July to promote awareness about the importance - our days and nights are getting hotter and our hydration needs are increasing. Humans receive plenty of reminders from adverts and social media to stay hydrate. We can buy special bottles with timings on to remind us to drink so much by a specific time; we can set alarms on our phones and download apps to complete hourly. Our dogs rely on us!
We are responsible for refilling our dog’s water bowl, and ensuring its cleanliness. We can set a reminder to fill our dog’s bowl with cold water.
Our dog’s body is 80% water and when our dog cannot get enough water they quickly begin to lose health and well-being. It can seriously affect their mobility, strength and chronic dehydration can cause death. Water is essential to our dog’s hydration and it allows them to regulate their temperature too. Our dogs do not sweat like us and only sweat a small amount from their nose and paws. They regulate their temperature by panting and this causes water evaporation. It is therefore critical that we maintain their hydration levels especially during hot periods.
How much water should our dog drink?
Our dogs need to take in enough liquid to prevent them from becoming dehydrated. This amount varies depending on our dog’s size, diet and activity levels. Generally, this is between 30ml-50ml of water per kilogram of body weight. This allows normal body function, and normal nutrient transportation, circulation and digestion. Some of this water will be obtained from their food. Water can be obtained from tinned and raw food. Kibble has been dehydrated during processing and contains reduced amounts of water.
Signs of dehydration
It is important to know what the signs of dehydration are:
Sometimes our dog’s reduce the amount of water they intake. This can be caused by:
We must get our dog to the vet if our dog stops drinking.
Like us, some of our dogs do not really like the taste of tap water. It is preferable to give our dog fresh, filtered water. Experts now consider glass and bamboo bowls ideal for our dog’s water due to plastic leaching into the water. Healthy snack that are hydrating can be a good way to get extra water into your dog. Cucumber, is low calorie and full of water. It also makes a refreshing drink. When you are providing any water supplement please ensure there is plain water available also, we like our dogs to have choice. Watermelon is another suitable snack that contains a high eater content. Bone broth is a good way to hydrate your dog too. You can make your own or buy it from your local raw food supplier. I stress the importance of not replacing good clean water, provide both.
Some dogs can best be described as athletes and never tire regardless of how much exercise we give them. It is vital that these dogs have a drink during exercise. This is often from their favourite water hole, in hot temperatures this is likely to dry up. We must therefore carry water with us for them. Top your dog up during their walk and at the end. I carry an insulated water bottle with me; who wants to drink warm water? I don’t, neither does my dog. I also carry a collapsible water bowl. Some companies sell a two in one bottle.
Travelling with Our Dog
Always carry water with you. Unexpected things happen, vehicles break down, traffic can build up, accidents occur. If you happen to get stuck in one of these unfortunate events, you dog will be so grateful you remembered their water and a bowl.