Hydrated & Happy – the importance of drinking water for dogs
Every responsible dog owner knows that their dog needs to drink water to stay healthy and active but how much should they be drinking and how to make sure they get enough? Understanding the importance of water consumption for dogs and taking a few simple steps will make sure your dog stays hydrated and happy all year round.
Hydrating for health
Staying hydrated is an essential part of keeping your dog healthy. Drinking enough water keeps your dog’s digestive and circulatory systems working correctly and prevents all sorts of conditions such as kidney problems, heat stroke (particularly important as the summer approaches), liver and heart problems. Dogs also drink as a means of cooling down, so ensuring your dog maintains hydration will help him keep his core temperature stable
Over-eating is often a concern for dog owners but where water is concerned, healthy dogs are self-regulating and will drink what they need. This means that there will be times when your dog drinks more than at others, but it will usually be related to the environment, whether he needs a drink after a long romp in the park, or it’s simply a hot day. If you are concerned that your dog really seems to be drinking a lot, and you can’t identify why it might be, do take him to the vet, but don’t restrict your dog’s access to water unless you’ve been advised to.
Top tips for water intake
Give your dog fresh, clean water every day. Given the option, he will drink from water butts, buckets in the garden, puddles… but encourage him to drink from clean bowls that you keep refreshed.
Wash his water bowls regularly in hot soapy water, and make sure they are in good condition. Steel bowls are hard to damage, but ceramic bowls are less liable to be knocked over – just take care that they don’t become chipped. Likewise, you should replace plastic bowls once they become too scratched.
Have more than one bowl of water available for your dog and in different locations in the home and the garden. This gives him a variety of options and ensures he has access to clean water if one bowl is knocked over or depleted before you can refill it.
Top up the bowls at the same time each day to keep an eye on how much he’s drinking.