We know how important it is to drink water, as humans. However, you might overlook just how important it is for your dog, as well. It’s so crucial, in fact, that veterinarians recommend you make fresh, clean water available for your dog throughout the whole day. However, even if you make water more available for your dog, it can still be difficult to get them to drink it. How can you ensure they will? Find out by reading the post below!
Benefits of regular water intake
If you’re not hooked on the idea that your dog needs to drink water, it may be beneficial to read up on the many benefits of ample and regular water intake for your dog. In general, water helps your dog by:
- Carrying nutrients into and out of the cells of your dog’s body.
- Aiding with digestion of food allowing the body to absorb nutrients that come from food.
- Cooling the body down, while helping it to maintain a normal body temperature.
- Helping to cushion joints, lessening the likelihood of joint injuries.
- Helping in the process of removing toxins and waste.
A good rule of thumb is that your dog should drink about one ounce of water for every pound of their body weight. So, a forty-pound dog should drink forty ounces of water. Even though the extra water may mean more trips outside for you and your dog, the benefits heavily outweigh the nuisance. Your dog will be happier and stay hydrated, even during the warmest summer weeks.
Dangers of not drinking enough water
Did you know? There are (many) dangers posed to your dog for insufficient water intake. A dog is actually more at risk from dehydration than a human who does not drink enough water. This is because dogs release heat from their bodies more slowly than humans. In fact, since most dogs have no sweat glands, most dogs can really only control their body temperature through panting, or by releasing it through the pads on their feet.
The food your dog eats also includes some water, but it is certainly not enough. The 10th Edition of the Merck Veterinary Manual states that dry food only contains only about 3- 11% water. Food that is semi-moist contains 25-35%, but that’s still not sufficient. To compensate for this, many do owners put water in their dog’s dry food, which is actually a flawed idea. Doing so can encourage plaque build-up and harm your dog overtime.
So, how to get your dog to drink more water? Consider the five tips below.
Top Five Tips: Getting your Dog to Drink More Water
Fortunately, there are a few ways to safely get your dog to drink more H2O. Consider the top five:
- Change the water regularly: Just like you, your dog does not want to drink old, dirty water. Keeping the water in your dog’s bowl fresh and clean will entice the dog to drink more.
- Put out more than one bowl: You might find that if your dog is not drinking enough water, the bowl may be the culprit. The dog may have a preference to a certain type of bowl, while others may even develop an allergy or sensitivity to certain bowls. Leave a couple different ones out with fresh, clean water, and see if your dog prefers one over the others. Also, keep in mind that, in general, stainless steel bowls seem to be a great option. They are pretty durable, and you can throw them right into the dishwasher. They are often exposed to fewer chemicals than plastic alternatives.
- Think about using a fountain: A dog water functions will circulate and filter the water you leave out for your dog. This makes the water taste a bit fresher and it keeps it cleaner. In many instances, the dog may even prefer the running water, and this alone can entice more drinking.
- Make sure you always have water with you: If you are taking your dog with you to run errands or make a trip to the park, be sure you bring water with you. Those silicone collapsible bowls are a great option when you are on-the-go.
- Use water additives: If you have a dog who really will not drink enough water, you can always consider using water additives. We encourage this as a matter of last resort. If your dog gets a taste of the additive and loves it, you might find that the dog never again wants plain water. However, this trick can really work if you need your dog to drink more water. You can use things like bone broth or a low sodium chicken broth. Note that no matter what you choose to add, stay away from any sugar or sugar substitutes.
Discover More Practical Dog Tips
Interested in learning more creative solutions to help your dog stay healthy and happy? For the best practical tips for keeping your dog happy and healthy all year round, reach out to Paw Pals, today, or subscribe to our monthly newsletter!