Water is life, and there are things every responsible dog owner should know.
- Keep the water bowl full and clean.
- Bring water with you on longer hikes.
- Watch out for signs of dehydration or hyponatremia.
- Don’t play fetch with your dog in water all day long.
- Don’t spray water directly down your dog’s throat (watch out for water sprinklers).
It should hopefully be no surprise to any dog owner that dogs require water. For dogs water is the other lifeblood; necessary in digestion, movement and cooling down. How much water a dog needs is usually decided on by the dog himself, but there are things a responsible dog owner should know…
Are your dog’s nose, mouth, gums or eyes dry? All of these are signs of. Go check their water bowl. Usually dogs regulate their own water needs, so your worry should be to keep their water bowl full – especially during hot summer days. Without access to water your dog could suffer from heat stroke due to inability to cool down; or in cases of sustained water deficiencies they could die due to organ failure.
Another water related danger is hyponatremia – ingestion of too much water, which unbalances bodily fluids (sodium levels). It is rare in healthy dogs, but it does happen. Smaller dogs are more susceptible due to smaller amounts of water required. The problem tends to arise when water is forced down the dog’s throat; for example, when they’re swimming with their mouths open (playing fetch in water), or when having a water hose spraying directly into their mouths. Another situation is a dog gulping down large amounts of water after a strenuous activity – during which the dog had no access to water – if he drinks his entire water bowl, you should not refill it immediately. Bring water with you on longer hikes and this will be less of a danger.
Signs of hyponatremia: vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, loss of coordination.
Third water danger has to do with water cleanliness. Bacteria buildup is a serious problem even in clean looking water bowls. Dog bowls should be kept as clean, and be cleaned as often as your own water glass. Simply emptying the bowl and replacing the water is not enough – clean it daily and thoroughly.