Dog Water Bottles and More! How to Prevent Dehydration in DogsReading Time: 4 minutes
Just like humans, dogs can survive for quite a long time without food. When it comes to a dog drinking a lot of water, that’s a whole different story. If you wonder how much water your dog needs to drink on a daily basis to remain healthy, you have come to the right place. Above that, you will learn all you need to know on how to prevent dehydration in dogs, the importance of drinking water quality, and you will find 11 tips that will help you to keep your best friend well-hydrated. And hey, maybe even learn about a dog water bottle!
Get Your Dog Drinking Water: How much water does a dog need on a daily basis?
In order to prevent dehydration in dogs, the most important question to ask is how much water does your dog need on a daily basis? Unfortunately, there is no definite answer to this question, because as with many things in life it always depends…
First of all, there are dog-specific factors, such as body mass, age, and level of activity, that you need to take into account if you want to adequately determine how many ounces of water your furry friend needs to drink on a daily basis to stay healthy. Then there is another important determinant: Climate.
- Body mass – It’s simple: The bigger the dog the higher the demand for drinking water.
- Level of activity – The same goes for a dog’s activity level. Running, jumping, pulling, playing – basically any form of exercising makes thirsty.
- Age – Relative to their body mass, puppies need to drink smaller amounts of water but more frequently, since their metabolic rate is increased and they are still in a stage of growth. Senior dogs usually need to drink less.
- State of health – If your best friend is ill, chances are that he may require more fresh water.
- Diet – Canned food is made of 70% fluids, which means that it contributes to the daily water intake. In contrast, dry food lacks moisture, which needs to be compensated.
- Climate – When it’s hot outside, your dog is craving for a refreshing drink after a long walk just as much as you do. A dog doesn’t sweat, but still loses a lot of water in warm weather due to excessive panting.
A General Rule Of Thumb To Have Your Dog Drinking A Lot of Water
Is there a general rule of thumb that you can use as a guideline to determine if your dog is drinking a sufficient amount of water throughout the day? Yes, there is:
For healthy dogs, the easiest and most reliable rule is to stick with 1/2 to 1 oz (14 to 28 ml) of water per pound body weight and day. According to this rule, an Australian Cattle Dog weighing 40 lbs requires between 20 and 40 oz (570 to 1136 ml) of water.
This guideline is a good starting point for sure. However, it’s also important to monitor your dog’s drinking pattern and make minor adjustments if needed.
Dehydration in Dogs Symptoms
Under normal circumstances, dogs will usually drink enough water to stay properly hydrated. Nevertheless, you should learn how to recognize dehydration in dogs as a safety precaution.
Slight dehydration will lead to dry eyes and a dry nose as well as sticky, pale gums.
In a more severe case, your dog’s skin will lose its pliability. You can test for this by pulling a bit of skin and see if it quickly jumps back into place. If it doesn’t jump but moves slowly or even stays up, that’s a clear sign of serious dehydration.
What to do if your dog already is dehydrated?
If you think that your dog already is dehydrated or you are concerned that he hasn’t consumed an adequate amount of water for the last couple of days, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.
For mild levels of dehydration, you can take care of the issue yourself. Simply encourage your dog to drink multiple times per day. You should also try to find out what’s causing your dog not to drink enough water. Is it because the water stays in the bowl for too long or you forget to refill an empty bowl in a timely manner?
How important is water quality?
Without giving it a second thought, you probably provide your dog with municipal tap water. Depending on where you live, this could turn out to be a big mistake. Why? Because the overall quality of water drawn from public water systems is in many cases disastrous – even in countries such as the United States.
The Environmental Working Group is an organization that has analyzed the current state of U.S. municipal tap water and created a free-to-use Tap Water Database that allows you to find out more about the quality of water that you receive in your home.
All data originates from official Consumer Confidence Reports, which the Environmental Protection Agency requires public water utilities to publish once a year. The free reports provide insights about pollutants that were found in the water the previous year.
The majority of reports clearly show that tap water quality is nowhere near as good as most of us assume. More than 200 different contaminants were found across the U.S., many of them linked to an increased risk of cancer, associated with brain damage, or potentially causing fertility problems.
If and how any of these substances can negatively affect your dog’s health is a question that remains to be answered. However, the organism of dogs is quite similar to ours, which is why long-term exposure might lead to serious health problems.
Dog Water Bottle And Water Filtration
The bad news is that using bottled water instead of tap water is not a viable solution to the contamination issue for the following three reasons:
- In 64% of the cases, bottled water is tap water filled into a bottle.
- Compared to tap water, the quality standards for bottled drinking water are even lower.
- Bottled water is much, much more expensive.
This is why it’s recommended for you to use a filter and clean your water yourself.
Depending on what pollutants were found, reverse osmosis filter systems are your best option. They are capable of removing all different kinds of substances and do the best purification job. A decent model is available for about $200, which seems a lot but compared to the price for bottled water, it’s a real money saver over time.
An alternative is water bowls or fountains that come with an integrated carbon-medium filter. The only problem is that most carbon filters won’t eliminate many of the harmful chemicals and heavy metals such as lead, and the majority of viruses potentially dissolved in your water.
Whichever filter type you choose, please make sure that it’s capable of removing at least most of the potentially dangerous contaminants you are facing.
And of Course, Getting a Dog Water Bottle!
Reusable dog water bottles are perfect when filtering your water like above. It’s helpful to the environment as well as your pup! But make sure to clean it properly!
How to Prevent Dehydration in Dogs: The 11 Tips
Lastly, here are some helpful tips to prevent dehydration in dogs:
- Provide a constant supply of fresh water wherever you are and refill an empty bowl as soon as possible. This is especially important after an intensive exercise.
- Place multiple bowls around the house near your best friend’s favorite places.
- Adding flavors to water – think chicken broth – is an easy way to make it much more appealing.
- Some dogs love drinking water fountains. Others enjoy drinking out of a water bottle. Why not give it a shot?
- Have you ever tried feeding ice cubes in very hot weather?
- If you want to monitor how much water your dog drinks on a daily basis, measure out the cups beforehand. At the end of each day, take note on how much water is left.
- Auto-replenishing water bowls are a great solution if you are out of the house for a large part of the day.
- If you feed dry food, you can add a small cup of water to it and let it sit for a couple of minutes until it’s soaked.
- Vegetables and some fruits make healthy snacks not only because they contain lots of nutrients, they are also full of water.
- If your dog is an under-drinker, you can encourage him to drink more by praising each time he starts to drink. A little treat is likely to improve the result of your training efforts.
- A dog that drinks far too much water might suffer from a serious condition. You should monitor the water intake for three to four consecutive days and consult a veterinarian if the situation does not improve.
Dehydration In Dogs – A Serious Issue, But Easy To Prevent
Dehydration in dogs is a serious issue, but it’s also easy to prevent if you know how to recognize the signs and follow the tips provided.
How much water your dog needs to drink on a daily basis depends on his size, age, and diet among other factors. A general guideline is 1/2 to 1 oz of water per pound of body weight per day.
Also, make sure not to feed plain tap water, as it’s often contaminated with potentially harmful substances. Treated your tap water with the help of a water filter often turns out to be the best option.
Gene Fitzgerald is an expert in all things drinking water. She knows about the importance of proper hydration and also how to get unlimited access to water free from contaminants. She shares her extensive knowledge on BOS.
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