Water is something that seems obvious but it can easily be overlooked as beneficial for our dogs. It’s an essential part of living for all beings, including our dogs. I know I’m always monitoring, my dog, Henry’s water consumption. Are you the same way? Or do you just fill up the bowl when it’s empty? Water is as vital as air. The benefits that the molecules of water (yep, hydrogen and oxygen or H2O) can deliver to your dog’s body are really amazing! There are many benefits to water that you may not have even thought about for your dog. Today, let’s dig in and discover some awesome reasons your dog needs water.
Budget tip: Water is such a simple resource. Yet when your dog drinks an appropriate amount of clean water you can expect his/her body to function better. That means organs are working at a healthier level. In turn, your dog won’t have as likely a chance of severe health issues or the associated high vet bills. That’s a win-win for you and your dog!
What are the benefits of water for my dog?
When your dog drinks clean water and the proper amount of water, there are a multitude of benefits. You’re shocked, aren’t you? Consider the following benefits of fresh water for your dog:
1. Better cognitive function
You’re wondering how aren’t you? Well, when your dog drinking enough water level then oxygen can flow to his/her brain easily. Consequently, it helps your dog’s brain to function optimally.
2. Increased digestion
Once again, when your dog drinks water at an optimum level then it helps to break down food, absorb essential nutrients, flush the digestive tract, and relieve constipation. Impressive, right?
3. Healthy functioning organs
Water keeps blood from becoming thick and supplies all vital organs with essential oxygen. That’s the O part of H2O. Thus, when the optimum amount of clean water is drunk by your dog, his or her organs will function more optimally.
4. Improved joint movement
Water helps to keep your dog’s joints lubricated and makes it easier for him/her to move without pain.
5. Improved muscle strength
You might be surprised to know that muscles are largely water. Kind of like a sponge. When your dog drinks an optimum amount of water it allows the nutrients from the food you so carefully select to be sent to the muscles and support them. Additionally, waste is easily carried away. Thus, your dog’s muscles are stronger or at least healthier.
6. Healthy nerves
Again, when your dog’s water is at an optimum level it allows his/her body’s electrolytes to stay at a level. This in turn permits the nerves to communicate with the brain successfully. Basically, the nervous system functions in a healthy manner.
7. Improved energy
This is a byproduct of your dog drinking the optimum amount of water. What do I mean? As mentioned, water increases the oxygen level of all the organs. As a result, it assists the organs in functioning more optimally, while removing waste and toxins. Thus, when your dog’s body is functioning well with an optimum amount of water and consequently oxygen, then it correlates that energy increases as well. Pretty cool, huh?
8. Vet bills are kept in check
I’m certain it’s no surprise that when your dog’s body is functioning more optimally with the proper amount of water, organs are receiving optimum oxygen, and toxins are being carried away successfully, then your dog isn’t visiting the vet as much. Your dog being properly hydrated makes for a much healthier dog. That’s definitely a good thing.
What signs of dehydration in dogs should I look for in my dog?
Keep in mind that some health problems or medications can result in dehydration (which is simply water loss). Also, some older dogs are more prone to dehydration. If your dog is experiencing any severe signs of dehydration, call your vet immediately for assistance.
These are some signs you’ll want to look for if you think your dog is dehydrated:
- Excessive panting
- Increased body temperature
- Dry nose
- Thick or sticky salvia
- Gums are dry and often look more white than pink
- Vomiting or dry heaves
- Lack of appetite
- Skin lacks elasticity
Simple dehydration dog test
I know you’re wondering about the symptom of skin lacking elasticity. Actually, it’s a great way to test if your dog is dehydrated. Heck, I even use it on me and did it with my horses and cats as well.
Here’s how to test your dog:
Gently, let me emphasize that, gently pinch the skin on your dog’s back. If it IMMEDIATELY snaps back into shape, then your dog isn’t dehydrated. If it takes a few seconds to snap back, your dog could be dehydrated. To be safe, if I get a slow snap back, I treat my dog, Henry, as if he is dehydrated.
If you have a cat, you’d test the same way with a GENTLY pinch on the back. Wondering about where to pinch a horse? It’s the neck.
However, to test yourself to see if you’re dehydrated, pinch the skin on the back of your hand.
How much water is enough water for my dog?
This is a great question. And I have a great answer. Actually, this is a simple calculator to figure out how much water your dog needs to drink in a day. Or you can simply ask your vet.
What kind of water should my dog drink?
I always think that Henry should drink water that I would drink. That means that if I wouldn’t drink the tap water, I won’t give it to Henry. If the water smells or tastes bad and I don’t want to drink it, then Henry’s not drinking it. Or if I’m drinking filtered water, then that’s what I give Henry. That’s not to say that your dog needs some kind of high-priced water system. No! Just clean, safe water to drink. If you’re completely unsure, look at what water you drink. Or ask your vet.
How to entice my dog to drink more water?
Some dogs simply don’t like water. It could be the bowl has a smell or even the bowl is too small and they don’t like getting their muzzle wet. Here are some ideas that generally work to help increase your dog’s water intake:
Use a bigger water bowl.
Extra water bowls
Place extra water bowls in convenient locations (Henry has 4 water locations).
Fresh clean water
Make sure to provide fresh clean water.
No toilet bowl
Keep the toilet bowl cover lid down. Even a clean toilet bowl can have microbes that are dangerous for your dog. It also goes back to my fallback of giving your dog the water you’d drink. I’m certain, you wouldn’t drink toilet bowl water.
Place ice cubes in the bowl. This can be fun for some dogs to lick or chase ice cubes in the bowl.
Add frozen treats to the water bowl like frozen blueberries or chopped-up frozen strawberries. The bonus is that it also flavors the water, which many dogs like. But be careful to only put 2-3 small pieces in a bowl so you don’t give your dog too many berries.
Sometimes it helps to hydrate a dog simply by adding water to dry dog food. Although some dogs, like Henry, don’t like dry food being wet.
Some dogs, especially senior dogs or dogs with dental or mouth issues may respond well to soft canned food. However, always check with your vet before changing your dog’s diet.
Giving a dog plain chicken broth (no salt or spice) can help with getting fluids into a dehydrated dog.
White rice with double the amount of water or made with plain chicken broth (again no salt or spices) can help hydrate a dog.
This is a bit odd, but it worked like a charm for a little dog I knew who’d only drink from a hamster-type water bottle. I think she was more comfortable with not getting wet.
Henry has a water fountain. It took him several minutes to adjust to it. But likes it a lot now. In fact, he doesn’t like to drink out of the fountain unless it’s turned on and the water is flowing.
The idea is to get more fluids and moisture into your dog and increase your dog’s water intake. While these tricks may not always be drinking they do normally help hydrate dogs. Although, if your dog is severely dehydrated, always consult your vet for assistance. It’s best to act quickly than slowly.
What are the budget benefits of my dog drinking an optimum amount of clean water?
This is the fun part. As I said earlier, water is an essential resource that we often overlook the benefits of and how it can help our dogs and our budget. Consider for a minute a dog that doesn’t drink an optimum amount of water. Here’s what could happen:
|Kidney disease leading to kidney failure||$2,500-8,000|
Honestly, if it gets to the point of euthanasia then, the cost is truly immeasurable. Who can measure a broken heart?
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Summary of reasons your dog needs water
I know water seems simple. As I’ve said, it can easily be overlooked. Heck, when I first adopted Henry, I wasn’t used to him drinking water so quickly. So, he got in the habit of flipping his empty water bowl like a top and then looking at me. Of course, I felt like a heel. But it also made me laugh. He doesn’t do that anymore. I wish he still would just for the added humor.
Honestly, now I change his water because he’s got grass, leaves, fur, and who knows what in it. Certainly, nothing I would drink. Although, I will say when he’s a bit lethargic, the first thing I do is check to see if he’s dehydrated. Sometimes he is and I’ll encourage him to drink a bit more. Then he’s back on track. After all, we are all mostly water. So, we need to keep our dogs’ water intake at an optimum level to keep them as healthy as possible. Truly fresh clean water does a dog’s body good!