The health benefits of drinking water are universally known and understood. Even slight dehydration can negatively impact your physical and mental health. So vital is water that it’s trendy. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and all the other media platforms, are full of daily reminders: “Don’t forget to drink water today.” With that being said, there is no reason this shouldn’t extend to your pets as well.
Do you just assume your dog knows how much water to drink? For us it’s pretty easy; so, maybe we expect that it is just as easy for our pets to determine how much water they need to drink as well. That might be why we tend to just leave them a bowl of water for them to lap up at their discretion.
The thing is while some dogs may know when they are thirsty, others may not. It is possible that your dog is dehydrated or even over-hydrated! With that in mind, it might be good to consider monitoring your dog’s water intake. The side-effects of dehydration are largely the same for dogs as they are for humans— it can lead to kidney stones, UTI’s, and, worst case, organ failures. Less commonly known are the side effects of being over hydrated. Consuming too much water can be really dangerous. Essentially, it can cause your pet’s international system to expand too much too quickly.
Furthermore, the amount of water that your dog is consuming can be indicative of more extreme things. Typically, if your dog is sick he will be less inclined to drink water.
To tell if your dog is dehydrated you can gently pull up on their skin. If the skin goes right back, then your dog is well-hydrated. However, if the skin takes longer to return to its resting position, then your dog may be dehydrated. If this is the case, look for other signs, as well. For example, if your dog has pale gums or a dry nose, these are other indicators of dehydration. Observe and contact your vet.
All dogs are different, but a general rule of thumb is that they should consume one ounce of water for every pound of their body. This rule does not take into account any other medical conditions your dog may have. Some medications make dogs very dehydrated— try to be aware of that. Additionally, if your dog exercises or plays a lot they might need more water. Always consult a veterinarian before you make any changes to your dog’s day to day life, though.
In short, your doggo needs fresh and clean water just like you. Your dogs water bowl should be washed at least once a day. Replace older water with fresh water and, lastly, if you wouldn’t drink water from your sink, than your dog shouldn’t either. Try to facilitate those needs as best as you can and with the help of your vet!
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