It’s mighty HOT out there. Yesterday, on my Facebook page, Nutrition-InCheck, I dedicated my post to the consumption of water and why it is so important. I know we hear it all of the time, but I think recently, it has really hit me just how important it is..not only for the humans in the house-hold but for our Fur-babies as well. Over the past year, well almost a year, I have been proactively on a mission to optimize my health and wellness. Let’s just say, I was DONE struggling, and decided that it was finally time to put all of that incredible knowledge I have gained over the years, along with some wise input, from “key” individuals in my network, and just get the job done. I have lost 30Ibs but better yet, I have implemented a lifestyle that is based on “wellness”. It honestly feels so good, I am not sure why it all didn’t kick in beforehand. Well, I know why! Guess it is the right time now!
So..getting back to water…well, every individual, who has been helping, guiding, and supporting me in this life-long journey, talk excessively about water! It seems the key number is “9” glasses a day for us adult women. For all you men, out there..the key number is “13”. So, drink up..flavor it up if necessary, timing is key, and keep in mind that it takes 21 days to create a habit! I am finally doing it and hoping some of you MDB fans can join me as well.
Another thing I am encouraging and hoping all of you all will do, is to take the time to check your dog’s drinking habits. It is so important. One of my neighbour’s has a Golden Lab. In her attempt to regulate her pet’s water intake, it ended up that the dog was just not getting enough. It is OK to regulate water. Of course, it is not recommended to give a dog a litre of water before bedtime, just like that wouldn’t be a good idea for any of us. It’s all about moderation and timing. Dogs can form habits just like us. They can under drink or over drink. The problem: Too little water can lead to dehydration in dogs, kidney stones, organ failure, and possible death. On the oter hand, drinking too much water can lead to stomach bloat, electrolyte imbalances, and Hyponatremia (water toxicity). Most dogs will instinctively balance their own water intake and naturally ingest what is necessary but like many of us, they just don’t. Proper water intake can be beneficial for all of us …improving our health, preventing illness, and insuring proper hydration.
The chart below will show you on average, the amount of water, that your dog, or dogs, should be drinking on average. This could go up, if your dog, is getting a lot of exercise and activity.
Daily Doggie Water Chart – Approx. 1 Ounce Per Pound
- Extra small (up to 11 pounds):Chis, Miniature Dachshund, Pekinese, Yorkshire Terrier, Toy Poodles- approx. 1- 11 Ounces/water/day
- Small (11-22 pounds): Beagle, Jack Russell, Pug, Boston, Cavalier King Charles-approx. 11- 22 Ounces/water/day
- Medium (22-55 pounds): Basset Hound, Bull Terrier, Springer & Brittany Spaniel-approx. 22-55 Ounces/water/day
- Large (55-77 pounds): Labrador/Golden Retriever, Border-Collie, German Shepherd, Boxer-approx. 55 – 77 Ounces/water/day
- Extra-Large (77 pounds and Over): Great Dane, St. Bernard-approx- 77 Ounces/water/day
It is very simple to find out how much water your dog really needs-calculate weight of dog and multiply by 1oz. For humans, If your urine is white or slightly yellow, it’s a good indication that you are hydrated. And to be precise about the number of glasses:
Weigh yourself and write down or note your weight.
Take the number of pounds you weigh and multiply that by 2/3
Voila-That is the number of ounces you should drink everyday.
If you are working out a lot like I am-Add 12 ounces of water for every 30 minutes you work out.
Since it is always so much better to be doing things with a friend, why don’t you make a pact with your furry companion to make sure you are both getting ENOUGH water everyday.
If your dog is not drinking enough, here are a few ways you can try to encourage more water intake:
1. Put water in with their food. It will help slow them down when eating and will help them get more water per day. Plus you control it.
2. If they don’t like drinking from their bowl replace it or try another method. Some like drinking from a water bottle, others form the toilet, others from the tap, and some from a kiddie’s pool. There are even pet water fountains available.
3. Try chicken/ beef broth or watered down carrot juice instead of water. You could even try homemade soup.
4. Active dogs are thirsty dogs. Take the dog for a walk and immediately go to the water bowl following exercise.
5. Make sure the water is in a place that is accessible and easily seen by the dog. Dogs can simply forget to drink. I know some of you can resonate with that!
6. Give ice cubes as a treat. gthey can be plain or flavored using broth. Many love to play witht he ice-cubes.
7. Train the dog to hydrate on command from your hand or the bowl. Set specific times for hydration so the animal comes to anticipate the event, just as he/she would expect food, a treat or positive attention.
8. Offer water by dipping your finger into the bowl and letting the canine lick the water at first to stimulates interest. They love the attention.
Sometimes just changing things up can do th trick. They are often like us. They can bored or simply forget. But..never deprive your dog of water unless it is suggested by the Vet for specific reasons. Know your dog and understand the signs; they pant when they hot, in need of water, or uncomfortable. Older dogs get dehydrated much more rapidly. And if the dog tips over the dog bowl, he is clearly letting you know what he wants.:)
There are a few things you can do to check if your dog is dehydrated through your dog’s snout, gums and skin:
- Is the nose dry?
- Are the gums pasty and dry, or are they sufficiently wet?
- If you pinch the skin on the back of the neck, does it spring back to normal or does it appear wrinkled and takes awhile to go back?
We all know the importance of water for ourselves so let’s not forget our furry babies as well. As I said in the beginning it is HOT out there and we all need to be prepared to handle the heat while enjoying of course!
And if you want to follow me on my “wellness” journey, to not only drinking more water, check out and like, Nutrition-INCheck. I will also throw in the occasional tip for doggie health because they are also WORTH it!
Shelly Elsliger, Dog Gone Green:)