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Water: The Essential Ingredient to Your Dog’s Overall Health

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Jessie, the fully hydrated canine, ready to dish on water and why it is important for your dog:

Of course, we all know how important it is to maintain a balanced diet for your dog. Drinking adequate amounts of water is part of that equation. Water is the main component of healthy, living cells in the body. Without water, your dog will not be able to function well. Without enough of the cool stuff, your dog can become dehydrated and ill.  With continued deficiency, organs can begin to deteriorate and shut down and death will follow. Be sure to keep your dog’s bowl filled with fresh water at all times.

Typically, a dog should consume about one ounce of water per pound of body weight each day. However, if your dog is active and/or in warmer temperatures, more water may be necessary, as water is lost through panting and salivation.

Dry dog food contains a small amount of water, and canned food contains more than dry food. As such, dogs that eat canned food may drink less than dogs that enjoy a dry food diet.

Healthy dogs will drink enough water each day to stay hydrated, but when they suffer from illnesses such as kidney disease, metabolic disorders, and cancer (or are pregnant/nursing) are at a greater risk of becoming dehydrated.

How do you know if your dog is dehydrated? A simple test can show you. Simply pick up a fold of loose skin over the top of his shoulder blades; gently pull it up and then release it. The skin should fall back into place quickly. However, if he is dehydrated, the skin will return much slower and may even stay up for a period of time before falling back down.

You can also check your dog’s mouth. Dry, sticky or pale games are a sign of illness and dehydration, as are a dry nose, mouth and sunken eyeballs.

As simple as a fresh bowl of water sounds, it is vitally important to the health of your dog. If you have concerns about your dog’s hydration level, please consult your veterinarian.

Thanks to petmd.com for this great information! (Boy!  That made me thirsty!)

 

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