At Pet Wants, we’re incredibly passionate about dog nutrition. We believe that fresh and balanced food is the key to ensuring that dogs are able to live healthy & happy lives. While the food we offer is specifically designed to provide dogs with the optimal balance of nutrients they need, there is another important element in this equation. That element is water. During the hotter months of the year, the need to keep a dog’s water bowl full is easy to remember. But what often gets overlooked is that dogs need to get enough water all year long.
As humans, we often think we’re hungry when our bodies actually just want us to drink more water. That’s why one of the most effective dieting tips anyone can follow is to prioritize drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Since many people have at least a few misconceptions about dogs and their water as well, we want to clear those up by diving into exactly why dogs need plenty of water on a consistent basis, as well as what owners can do to supply the right amount:
Why Water is So Important for Dogs
When water goes into a dog’s body, it’s used to move nutrients in and out of cells. So even if a dog is getting the right nutrients, not getting enough water means they may not be able to properly absorb them. In addition to absorbing nutrients, water is used during the digestion of food. It’s also vital for regulating body temperature. Given that dogs may be exposed to the heater running a lot during cold Cincinnati winters, it’s still possible for them to have an elevated temperature even when the weather outside is quite cold. To top things off, water plays a central role in joint lubrication, as well as cushioning internal tissues and ensuring optimal urination & bowel movements.
Recognizing Dehydration and Providing Dogs with Plenty of Water
In extreme cases, dehydration can cause a dog’s organs to shut down. However, dehydration can still be a serious issue even without things going that far. In most cases, as long as a dog has access to enough water, they will keep themselves hydrated. That being said, there are a few conditions like diabetes that can cause dehydration, which is why it’s important to know how to recognize this condition.
If you think your dog may be dehydrated, you can check by picking up a fold of their skin around the shoulder blades. If the skin doesn’t quickly return to its position upon release, you should have your dog checked by a vet for dehydration. And to help prevent this condition, make sure your dog has daily access to at least one ounce of clean water for every pound of body weight.