Sunday, June 2, 2013

How Much Water Does Your Dog Really Need?

How often does my dog need fresh water?
As the weather warms up and more and more people get outside with their dogs, it is important to make sure you and your dog stay properly hydrated. Most dogs will naturally drink the proper amount of water, but it is possible for dogs to get dehydrated and even over hydrated. While at home, check your dog's water bowl every hour during the day and fill will cold water as needed. If you are traveling or even going on a walk, it is  important to have water with you for your dog and a way for your dog to drink that water. There are many eco-friendly drinking devices on the market, from reusable water bowls that fold up to reusable water bottles that have a flip out bowl. I have a reusable water bowl that has a clip which allows me to attach it to my little backpack I wear when we walk. I put cold water in the backpack and every mile or so, I stop and pour some water into the reusable bowl for my dog. If my dog seems to be panting tto much, I will shorten the walk and increase the water stops. 
How much water does your dog really need on a hot day? 
The size and activity level of the dog will determine how much water is needed, but most dogs will drink about an ounce of water for each pound of body weight. If you have multiple dogs drinking from the same water bowl, like I do, it can be difficult to monitor how much water they are drinking. Once you have an idea of how much water your dog is drinking on their own, you can determine if they need to be drinking more or less and adjust as needed. This is especially important for puppies, since under-drinking can be a sign of Parvo, a dangerous virus that can lead to severe illness or death. 
Is all water safe for my dog to drink?
What kind of water you give your dog is also important. If you have a well, it is important to get the water tested on a regular basis to make sure it is free of harmful bacteria. Many homeowners buy spring water to drink and serve their dogs water from the tap, but never have the water tested and monitored. This could lead to illness in your dog. Another thing that well water users need to keep in mind is how they are cleaning their well. Some people use UV lights to kill bacteria and others use bleach. If you bleach your well, be sure not to serve water from the tap to your pet for a few days. If you have public water, you should also make sure it is healthy for your dog to drink and be aware of any warnings that are issued by your local water authority. If you allow your dog to drink water while out and about, from a stream, lake or other fresh water source, it is best to limit how much they drink from those sources and do your research on how well the water is monitored. We have a lake near our home that has had many problems, so we are very careful not to let our dogs drink that water when we go there. As an eco-friendly dog owner it is important to investigate the water sources in your area and determine which ones are safest for your dog. You can do this my contacting your local water authority, state park service, or other water-related resources

Knowing how much water your dog needs and what kind of water he is drinking, can lead to a healthier and longer life for your dog. Please check out my links tab to eco-friendly stores/sites, to find environmentally safe drinking bowls and travel bowls for your dog. For more guidance on how to determine if your dog drinks too much or too little water, check out Dogster

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful tips! We have well water and filter it and also drink from our spring water. We have it tested, too.
    Our doggie LOVES to drink water. In his case, we actually have to restrict his water because if you put 5 gallons in front of him, he will drink all 5 gallons. If you put an two cups or five cups of food in front of him, he will eat it all. haha...we actually have to actively monitor his eating and drinking - he's a five-month-old puppy and came from the shelter so he's still learning how much he needs and whatnot. :)