Dog Hydration and Tips. As summer time begins and temperatures increase, dog parents may wonder if your dog is drinking enough water. Staying hydrated is important for people, and just like humans, dogs need water to live and thrive.
While it may seem obvious as to why your dog needs water, here is a basic explanation:
Water gives your dog basic essential electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and chloride . It further assists with circulation, digestion and bowel movements. Water also helps kidneys flush out toxins and promotes a healthy cardiovascular system. If your dog isn’t getting enough water it can lead to organ failure and even death.
Signs to look for in terms of dehydration (not enough water):
Dry, Sticky, Discolored (Pale) Gums
By gently opening your dog’s lips and exposing their gums, notice if their gums are dry, sticky or pale. If they are, that is a major warning sign. A dog’s gums should be moist and pink. Their saliva should be thin and slippery versus thick and ropy (long, strong, and fibrous).
Lethargic, sleepy or fatigued
If your dog suddenly has less pep in their step with no other signs of illness, a bit of water could go a long way. Dogs need to be hydrated to fuel their muscles, lubricate joints and more.
Loss of Appetite
We all know that when a dog won’t eat, something is really strange! A loss of appetite is a potential indicator of many bigger issues. For the purposes of hydration, we will assume your dog is otherwise healthy. Start off by making sure that fresh water is available in several convenient locations. Monitor the situation and encourage drinking. If the situation improves, great! If your dog is absolutely reluctant to drink, call the vet immediately.
Increased Heart Rate / Excessive Panting
A clear symptom of dehydration in dogs is an increased heart rate and excessive panting. There are some variables that can make it difficult to discern whether you should be alarmed or not. We are counting on you to know what is truly normal for your dog. If you notice an unusual and rapid heart rate, check the above items to determine potential dehydration signs. Try to cool them off and keep them relaxed. Even the air conditioner in your car can be helpful if needed. Ultimately, this could be serious. If the symptoms continue, call your veterinarian immediately.
How much water should my dog be drinking?
Most dogs need about an ounce of fluids per pound of body weight per day, so a 10-pound dog needs a bit over a cup of clean water daily . Based on this math, here is a handy guide. It is simply for reference as there are many variables to consider.
• Dogs 10 – 15 pounds: 1 – 2 cups per day
• Dogs 15 – 30 pounds: 2 – 4 cups per day
• Dogs 30 – 45 pounds: 4 – 6 cups per day
• Dogs 45 – 60 pounds: 6 – 8 cups per day
• Dogs 60 – 75 pounds: 7 – 9 cups per day
• Dogs 75 – 90 pounds: 9 – 11 cups per day
Of course there are variables to this. For example, if it is a really hot day and your dog has been very active, your dog may need 3 to 4 times the normal amount of water! With practice and paying attention you will figure this out. Just like humans, it is critical that your pets get proper nutrition and hydration.
Kos Tonics assists with the nutrition part, but your dogs water intake is entirely in your hands.
It’s worth nothing that dry dog food (kibble and the like) usually only contain less than 20% water. Your dog may need to drink more water if they are on a dry dog food diet.