Unfortunately, there are quite a few dog owners that don’t quite understand how to keep their loyal companion properly hydrated. Dogs are much like us, with most of their body being made of water. This is incredibly important when considering their overall health, day to day lifestyle, and how they act and perform through extra-curricular activities. According to Dogtime.com, “digestion, circulation, waste filtering, and body temperature” are huge aspects related to hydration. On average, for a dog that is sedentary and not highly active outside, they need an ounce of water per pound of their body weight every day. If more active, then they need more than that.
Dogs can easily get dehydrated compared to their human counterparts. Fortunately for us, we are able to get moisture from the food we intake. Not so for dogs. Their dry dog food has very little moisture when served by the package instructions. Petsafe recommends adding a little bit of water to their kibble for additional water intake and more appeal.
Watering Your Dog
Dogs’ water bowls need to be cleaned daily. I have seen so many people with grime and slimy filth in their dog bowls because they continue to refill the bowl on the ground without ever picking it up. The amount of bacteria that collects in that bowl is astounding, and I can bet you never thought about drinking water in a metal cup that has been sitting around for months on end with water sitting in it 24/7.
Also, buy a dog bowl that is hard to knock over. If it has a weighted bottom or a wide base, it may be harder for them to accidentally knock it over when you’re gone all day.
If your dog doesn’t like to drink from their water bowl, they may do better with fountain bowls. Some animals prefer to drink from moving water, and the fountain bowls provide just that.
Tips & Tricks to Keep Your Dog Hydrated
- Always have fresh water available. Multiple water bowls around the home and outdoors promote drinking water. Using running water helps as well, especially when it keeps the water cooler.
- Add water to dry dog food, or use wet dog food for added hydration. This also helps meet the “one ounce of water per pound of dog” requirement.
- Maintain good grooming for heavier dog coats. Less panting and keeping the body cooler will, in turn, reduce dehydration. By no means am I saying to shave the little fella, but talk your local vet to see what the perfect length and cut for your particular breed and living area is.
- Make sure you walk your dog during the proper time of the day. Extreme heat will quickly deplete your dog’s hydration levels. Not to mention, if your pal is jumping around because their paws cannot stand the hot surface, it’s time to go in and wait till evening or morning. If you can’t walk barefoot on the pavement, neither can they. Forcing them to walk on hot surfaces will do damage to their feet.
- Buy your dog a small plastic kiddie pool for the backyard. This allows your pet to run around and exercise outside while keeping cool with periodic dips in the water. Don’t add chemicals like bleach or chlorine to the water, but be sure to empty and refill it daily.
- There are several hydration supplements available for dogs, similar to Gatorade or Vitamin Water. If you know you’re embarking on a long hike or if it’s extremely hot, you might want to consider providing your dog with additional electrolytes and minerals.
Overall, it’s important to keep a close eye on your canine companion, especially in the hot summer months. Although dehydration can occur in the winter, people tend to not change their water habits when going from the cold season to the warmer part of the year. Make sure there is always a source of water in and out of the house, and when long trips and walks are taken, take a collapsible water bowl with you to provide a much-needed water break.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.