When most of us think of what we want out of life, not only for ourselves but our dogs as well, we think of happy and healthy. But, what about hydrated? Is it important enough to be listed right along with the significance of healthy and happy?
It’s just as important for dogs to stay hydrated as it is for humans. Their bodies are also made up of around 70 to 80 percent water which means to feel their best, dogs need to stay hydrated. Hydration affects every part of the body including mental and emotional areas. Though our dogs can’t tell us in words what they are thinking or feeling, they do possess mental and emotional capabilities.
For the most part, dogs in this day and age eat dry kibble. Keyword here, dry. It doesn’t help with staying hydrated and it wreaks havoc on liver function when processed food scrapes its way through the body’s biggest filter system without proper hydration.
You can lead a horse (or dog) to water but that doesn’t mean they are going to drink!
In other words, even if you have a nice fresh bowl of water out and available, it doesn’t necessarily mean your dog is drinking enough. It is sort of a misnomer to assume your dog knows to drink enough water.
Think about the fact that most of us know the answer for how much water should a human drink each day – eight glasses. Yet, how often do you actually drink this much? Because your dog has no idea he or she should be drinking half to one ounce of water per pound, there is no consciousness to do such a thing.
Ever get that buzzie, foggy feeling in your head? Or even a full-on headache? Feel fatigued as early afternoon sets in?
It’s a familiar enough feeling that the realization the cause of this is something as simple as lack of enough water is easily ignored. It affects our mood, our clarity and our general happiness factor. It also affects overall health.
Guess what? Those facts are all true for our dogs, too! They just aren’t able to complain about a headache or other symptoms.
While you start reminding yourself to drink more water upon the thought that your liver is in a somewhat toxic state without it, start remembering to remind your dog to drink more as well. Seriously, a simple thing like hydration can make your dog feel better and, more importantly, create more health and a longer life. After all, dogs don’t get to be with us that long. Doing something simple like encouraging your dog to drink more is totally worth a healthier, happier dog that lives longer.
How much water should your dog drink?
Use this helpful guide to calculate how much water your dog should drink. Your athletic active dog may require a bit more attention to hydration. Read How Much Water Should Your Active Dog Drink as a guide for dogs who fall under this category.
Five Ways to Get Your Dog to Drink More Water
1. Add ice cubes and let your dog fetch them out of the bowl. In the act they tend to drink water, too.
2. For those dogs that do anything for food, drop a few pieces of kibble or a favorite treat in the water bowl while your dog is watching.
3. Teach your dog the trick of drinking out of a camel back or water bottle as you squirt it in the air a couple of inches above an open mouthed dog.
4. Simmer chicken breasts or thighs in a pot of water using no spices (cut the simmered chicken and use as a whole food treat later). Add one-half to a full cup of the broth to a bowl of water. The smell and taste of meat will entice your dog to drink.
5. Freeze the chicken broth in ice cube trays and give as treat or add to water bowl.
Remember, you should encourage your dog to drink water several times a day. Don’t assume your dog will drink because of thirst. Keep yourself and your dog happy, healthy and hydrated.