Water and Your Dog’s Health: Tips to Avoid Dehydration

As a responsible dog owner, you likely pay careful attention to your pet's nutrition. But are you also particular with how much your four-legged best friend is drinking? All mammals, including dogs, rely on water to keep their body functioning well. Water is an essential part of your dog's diet. Like humans, your beloved pet's body is also mostly made of water.

Water is key to virtually every crucial body function. These include absorbing nutrients, aiding digestion, lubricating the joints, cushioning internal organs, and regulating body temperature. Without sufficient water intake, your dog can become sick. Do you want to learn more about how important water is to your dog's health? Read on to see what tips can help avoid canine dehydration.


How Your Dog Gets Dehydrated


Your dog will suffer from dehydration once its body loses more fluid than what it's taking in. It's natural for your pet to gain and lose water throughout the day. Common activities like sweating through their paws, panting, urinating, and defecating, contribute to normal water loss. Your dog compensates for this loss by eating and drinking. If your dog doesn't drink enough water or has no access to it, it can get dehydrated.


When your dog reaches a point where its normal water intake fails to make up for the lost fluid, the flow of their blood and the volume of fluids in their body is reduced. This results in the decrease of oxygen delivered to their organs and tissues. Canine dehydration also leads to the loss of electrolytes in the body. These electrolytes include sodium, potassium, and chloride. These minerals play a crucial role in balancing your dog's pH levels, moving nutrients into its cells, facilitating its muscle function, and regulating nerve function.


What You Can Do


The American Kennel Club states that the best way to protect your dog from getting dehydrated is to ensure that it doesn't get the condition in the first place. This means that you'd have to provide your pet with a constant supply of clean, drinking water. Leave the water bowl where your pet can easily access it. Since your dog may knock over the container as they drink from it, use one that's designed not to tip or easily spill. See to it that you clean their water bowl every day. Equally important is to refill the container often. This way, their water supply stays fresh and clean.


Your dog may also need to drink more water on certain days than others. This generally depends on the weather and their activity level. A good rule of thumb is to ensure that your furball gets at least one ounce of water each day for each pound of their body weight. For example, a 15-pound dog will have to drink at least 15-ounce water daily. One way to monitor how much water your pet drinks each day, try making a note of how high you fill their water bowl. Then check it against how far the level has dropped the following day.


Are you wondering what signs to look out for that may indicate your dog is dehydrated? At Elizabeth Veterinary Clinic Inc., we can discuss how to spot the symptoms and what to do once you suspect dehydration in your pet. Visit Elizabeth Veterinary Clinic in Roselle, New Jersey, or call (908) 245-7853 for more information.