It seems that it would be wrong to consider water in a dog’s diet as a nutrient, but if we take into account that pet can go without food for several weeks, then it can not live without water for more than 3 days.
The body of a dog is 2/3 composed of water, and all the tissues of it’s body seem to bathe in water. For example, it contains in muscle tissue (80% relative to its weight). If a dog can use up all its fat and half of its protein composition while remaining alive, then the loss of just pouring 10% of water in relation to the weight of its own body leads to its inevitable death.
Since water performs many important functions in the animal’s body, it is the main component in the dog’s diet (as, indeed, of all living things). The water in a dog’s diet daily demand is about 60 ml per 1 kg of body weight (although under certain conditions, for example, during lactation, pregnancy, physical exertion, high ambient temperature, this need is much higher than the specified rate).
Healthy dogs themselves know how much and when they need to drink, which can not be said about young puppies and old dogs. To avoid serious health problems, make sure that amount of water in a dog’s diet enough. To do this, you will need to make changes to your dog’s daily diet, as well as put a bowl of water in a suitable place.
Proof #1. Signs of dehydration
As a rule, healthy dogs can regulate their drinking regimen without human help. Be aware of the following symptoms, which may indicate that your pet is suffering from dehydration or has other serious health problems:
- Gently grasp the fold of dog skin at the back of the neck or between the shoulder blades and release it. If the skin fold does not immediately return to its original position, your dog may suffer from dehydration.
- Gently press your finger on the dog’s gum until it turns white, then remove your finger. If the gum does not immediately return to its original color, your dog may suffer from dehydration.
- Other possible signs of dehydration include lethargy, loss of appetite, or changes in the volume and color of your dog’s urine. By themselves, these symptoms are not cause for concern if they last no more than a day or are mild.
Proof #2. Consider risk factors
Age and health problems can affect the severity of dehydration. Pay special attention to your pet’s condition if you observe the following symptoms:
- Vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive salivation can cause dehydration if the dog does not drink enough water to make up for the lost fluid.
- If your dog has diabetes, is pregnant or feeds the puppies, and if your pet is still a puppy or your dog is already old, be sure to consult your veterinarian if you suspect dehydration.
#3. Other dog’s health problem
Consult your veterinarian. If your dog has at least one of the above symptoms and refuses to drink water, visit your veterinarian as soon as possible. The veterinarian will give the dog saline or make subcutaneous injections to restore fluid balance in your pet’s body.
The veterinarian will also be able to evaluate your pet’s health by identifying diseases that could be causing dehydration, such as kidney stones. After the veterinarian makes the correct diagnosis, he will prescribe medication or a special menu with correct amount of water in a dog’s diet.
#4. Need for first aid
Give your pet a rehydration solution. If you notice signs of dehydration in your pet but are unable to show the dog to the veterinarian, dissolve the special powder for rehydration in water.
Do not add other ingredients, otherwise you may aggravate the condition of your pet. If possible, consult your veterinarian before giving your pet a rehydration solution.
#5. Use syringe if necessary
If the sick dog refuses to drink, infuse the fluid with a syringe without a needle. Pour fluid from the side, and not directly into the throat, so that the dog does not choke.