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The Importance of Water

PetMD Editorial
Updated: January 06, 2012
Published: December 08, 2011
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A balanced diet is not the only necessary part of keeping your pet healthy. Drinking water is also very important in your pet’s daily requirements. Water is the main component of healthy, living cells of the body. Without water, your dog’s body will not be able to function properly. In order for your pet to get enough water daily, you need to provide water along with a healthy, balanced diet (which also provides some moisture).

Digestion, Absorption and Lubrication

The purpose of water is to carry and move important nutrients into and out of the cells of the body. It aids in the digestion of food and helps the body to absorb the nutrients. Water also serves to cool the body down and works to maintain a normal body temperature. Water lubricates and cushions joints and makes movement easier. Wastes are removed from the body through urination and bowel movements.

So Fresh and So Clean

Basically every important body function requires water and without adequate supply, your dog can become ill quickly. Organs will eventually become damaged with sustained water deficiency. Death will follow shortly after. To make sure that your dog always has enough water to keep him/her healthy, you must provide clean, clear water daily that is easily accessible to your pet. Keep your pet’s bowl filled at all times and always refill with fresh, clean water daily.

Need a Refill?

Dogs should drink approximately one ounce of water per pound of body weight each day. There are many factors that can affect how much your dog will drink, however. Depending on the environmental temperature and the amount of exercise your pet performs during the day, more water may be necessary. This is because water is lost due to excessive panting and salivation during a hot day or when exercising for a long period of time.

Moisture in Dog Food

Your dog’s dry food will also contain a small amount of moisture. Animals fed a canned food diet will receive quite a bit more moisture as canned food is about 70-80% water. These animals may drink less than animals eating a dry food diet on a daily basis. In general, a healthy pet will drink enough water daily to stay well hydrated, but there are a few instances where dehydration can occur.

Is Your Dog Dehydrated?

To check for dehydration, pick up a fold of loose skin, pull it up gently and release it. Under normal circumstances, the skin should quickly return to place. If your pet is dehydrated, the skin will very slowly fall back into place. If you are concerned that your dog is not getting enough water, talk to your veterinarian for advice. Maintaining proper hydration is too important to your pet’s health to ignore.

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