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Water is definitely the most important ingredient in a dog’s diet. It represents 84% of a newborn puppy and 60% of an adult dog. Basically every single function of the body depends on water. It regulates the body temperature; it transports other nutrients and oxygen through the blood system to the cells; takes part in most chemical reactions of the metabolism; it removes the toxins from the body; it helps with the lubrication of the joints and lung tissues and ensures the electrical polarity in the cells without which no living being can exist. Sick dogs, working dogs and puppies need more water than normal. In other words, water is essential for the body. Animals can survive without fats and proteins but just 10% loss of the body’s water can cause serious illness and 15% loss can result in death.
How much water does my dog need?
There is no definite quantity that you have to provide. His needs depend on his age, breed, physical activities and diet. What you need to do is always make sure that your dog has access to clean, fresh water. He should learn that water is always available, preferably in the same spot of the house.
As a general rule, dogs should have 2.5 times more water than the daily amount of food. For example, if a dog eats 2lbs. of dry food, he should have 5lbs. of water. Canned food contains large amounts of water which means that a dog eating canned food needs less water than one eating kibbles.
What kind of water?
Untreated water can be a source of bacteria, viruses and parasites. Tap water can have a high level of fluoride, iron and magnesium, which can lead to health problems in time. The best choice would probably be bottled water. You can also consider filtering tap water just to improve its quality.
Dehydration and diseases
Water is essential for your dog’s health. Almost all diseases can be treated more rapidly if you increase the amount of water that your dog drinks. Water prevents dehydration and replaces lost fluids. The only moment when you should prevent your dog from drinking more water is when he’s vomiting. However, never withhold water for more than 24 hours. A dehydration that follows vomiting should go under medical attention.
Hygiene is very important. Both water and food need to be placed in clean bowls because the quality of the water and food doesn’t really matter if the bowl is dirty. Replace the bowls temporarily and wash them daily.
Dog Training Tip #1