The importance of water for dog nutrition

2017-07-04 06:01

Why does my dog drink a lot of water?

A balanced diet is not the only necessary part of keeping your dog healthy. Water for drinking is also a very important part of your dog’s daily requirements and overall nutrition. Water is the main component of healthy, living cells of the body.

Without water, your dog’s body will not be able to function properly. More specifically, your dog will dehydrate. In order for your dog to get enough water daily, you need to provide water along with a healthy, balanced diet (which also provides some moisture).

What does water do for dog?

The purpose of water is to carry and move important nutrients into and out of the cells of the body. It aids in the digestion of food and helps the body to absorb the nutrients. Water also serves to cool the body down and works to maintain a normal body temperature.

Water lubricates and cushions joints and makes movement easier. The spinal cord and other internal tissues are also cushioned by moisture and wastes are removed from the body through urination and bowel movements.

Basically every important body function requires water and without adequate supply, your dog can become ill quickly and become dehydrated. Organs will eventually become damaged with sustained water deficiency. If the deficiency lasts long enough, organs (such as kidneys, liver, etc.) will begin to shut down. Death will follow shortly after.

Providing adequate water for dogs?

To make sure that your dog always has enough water to keep him/her healthy, you must provide clean and clear water daily that is easily accessible to your pet. Keep your dog’s bowl filled at all times and always refill with fresh, clean water daily.

As a rule of thumb, dogs should drink approximately one ounce of water per pound of body weight each day. There are many factors that can affect how much your dog will drink, however. Depending on the environmental temperature and the amount of exercise your dog performs during the day, more water may be necessary. This is because water is lost due to excessive panting and salivation.

As we mentioned previously, your dog’s food also contains a small amount of moisture. Dogs that are fed a canned food diet will receive quite a bit more moisture as canned food is about 70-80% water. These dogs may drink less than dogs that eat a dry food diet on a daily basis.

Signs of dehydration in dogs

In general, a healthy dog will drink enough water daily to stay well hydrated, but there are a few instances where dehydration can occur. Dogs suffering from illnesses like kidney disease, metabolic disorders (such as diabetes), cancer and pregnant/nursing animals are at risk of becoming dehydrated more readily.

To check your dog for dehydration, pick up a fold of loose skin over the top of the shoulder blades, pull it up gently and release it. Watch for the skin to fall back into place.

Under normal circumstances, the skin should quickly return to place without any hesitation. If dehydration is present, the skin will slowly return or may even stay up for a time before falling back into place.

Another place to look for dehydration is in an dog’s mouth. If the gums appear dry, sticky or pale, this is a sign of illness and dehydration. Dehydrated pets will also have dry, sunken eye balls and a dry nose and mouth.

If you are concerned that your dog is not getting enough water to maintain health, talk to your veterinarian for advice. Maintaining proper hydration is too important to your dog’s health to ignore.

- Supplied.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Watch: Investing in the future through child development

An investment of R32-million into 11 early childhood development centres is changing the future for children in the Northern Cape.

Partner Content
What all investors should know about index investing

Index-linked investments are growing fast in popularity globally, and are growing in size and complexity too.

/News
 

Makeover saves dog’s life

Lucky Charlie got a complete make-over that helped him get adopted.

 
 

Paws

For the love of Corgis!
Can we communicate with our pets?
8 great natural remedies for your pet
Buying a puppy? Don’t get scammed!
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.