Posted by Dr Sam, On 9 Apr, 2019 | Updated On 21 Nov, 2020 No Comments »
Do you know your dog daily water requirement?
Water is certainly the most essential nutrient. This common substance is commonly overlooked when considering a dog and all other animals’ daily nutrient requirements. It is vital to the functioning of all living cells. It helps prevent disease like kidney stone.
Water should be the #1 consideration because no amount of nutrients will be utilized without adequate amount of water. A dog can survive the loss of 90% of her body’s fat and over 50% of protein. However, a dog will die if she losses about 13% of her body’s water. These are the same with all other animals.
The body system of the adult dog contains about 60% water. Water content in the puppy’s body is higher than 60%. The body has a limited capacity to store water, and water deprivation causes death much more quickly than does deprivation of food.
As dogs and all other domestic animals often have restricted access to water, it is imperative from a management view that you know what dog daily water requirement is. From a health perspective, it is will help you to quickly know health status of your dog from her voluntary water intake.
How Dogs Get and Lose Water
Dogs get water in liquid form, from food, and as a result of oxidation of hydrogen during metabolism. The latter is known as metabolic water.
Oxidation of 100 g protein gives about 40 g metabolic water, 100 g carbohydrate gives about 55 g metabolic water and 100 g fat gives about 107 g metabolic water.
Generally, 100 kcal of energy metabolize to give about 10 to 16 g metabolic water. Hence, a dog consuming 2,000 kcal ME per day may derive 200 to 320 g water from body metabolism.
So in each of homemade dog food recipes given in this site, amount of water your dog should consume along the daily meal for well-balanced nutrients is given.
Water gain is balanced by water loss. Water is lost mainly through the urine, lungs, skin, and feces. In the nursing bitch, a large amount of water is secreted in the milk.
Amount of Water Your Dog Needs
Under normal conditions, the body water content is remarkably constant. Therefore, water intake plus metabolic water must balance water release.
Daily water requirement and voluntary daily water intake of your dog will depend on many factors. It is important to note that, water intake will need to increase to make up for any increased water losses.
The daily water requirement in milliliters (ml) for a healthy dog:
20 – 70 ml per kilogram (kg) of body weight.
For instance, an active working dog of about 20 kg (44 pounds) will need about 1420 ml of water per day. While inactive sedentary dog of the same body weight will need less amount of water.
Factors that Influence Dog Daily Water Need
The following factors will make your dog consumes more water than required under normal conditions.
1. Dry Food: eating of dry food like cookies and biscuit increases voluntary water intake of a growing puppy and inactive adult dog by 2 to 3 time the size of the dry food intake.
2. Amount of Physical Exercise: increased in physical exercise definitely increases panting (heavy breathing) and food intake thereby resulting in higher water consumption.
Don’t allow your dog access to large amounts of water immediately after serious physical exercise. This is because of the dangers of water intoxication.
3. Environmental (Weather) Temperature: just like you, the air exhaled by your dog contains water. The colder and drier the outside air, the more water is lost by your dog. Dogs also lose significant water through panting when the weather is warm.
4. Medication: dog water intake will increase with some medications like cortical steroids as a side effect.
5. Illness: sickness like diarrhea and vomiting increase water loss and hence leads to higher water consumption. Problem with kidney in concentrating the urine will also increase water intake of your dog.
All things be equal, over-consumption of water by your dog is a sign of ailment and it is advisable you consult your vet.
How to Develop Good Drinking Habit in Your Dog
To encourage good water taking habit, your dog should be given free access to water. The water must be measured.
Always give sufficient water to your dog a few hour before physical exercise. Then give a wet feeding after the run.
The wet feeding can be cookies in a pint of water.
When weather is cold, give warm water to your dog.
Dogs enjoy warm water in cold weather, just as you enjoy a hot drink.
How to Know If Your Dog is Well Hydrated
You can check your dog’s hydration status by observing her teeth gum and skin.
- By Skin: lift up the skin at the shoulder with your five fingers. A tent (i.e. a cone-shaped lifted skin) is formed. If your dog is well hydrated, the tent should collapse within one to three seconds.
- By Teeth Gum: press on the pink area of your dog’s gum. A white spot is made. The white spot should disappear within one second or less if your dog is well hydrated.
Your dog is probably dehydrated if either of these processes takes longer time. Depending on the severity of the problem, intra-vascular fluid supplementation may be needed.
Water Toxicity in Dog
Over consumption of everything has bad side effect. When your dog drink water more than required, she is at danger of hyponatremia. Hyponatremia is over dilution of sodium in blood. Symptoms include:
- Nausea and bloating—stuff
Surprisingly, the symptoms are the same as the ones for dehydration.
In critical cases, hyponatremia can result in organ failure, seizures and even death.
What Over-Consumption of Water Tells You about Your Dog
Is your dog drinking more water than usual for his size and level of activity? The condition is called polydipsia – an abnormal, excess thirst. This is a sign that your dog may be having one or more of the following ailments:
- Diabetes Mellitus
- Hypercalcemia – high blood calcium
- Kidney Failure
- Cushing’s disease – condition with excess hormone production.
- Pyometra – infection of uterine in unspayed females
These ailments are progressive and complicated. It is advisable you see your vet doctor before they cause irreparable damage.
Never limit your dog access to water in an effort to reduce her water intake. This is because the restriction may well lead to dehydration that will make her conditions worse.
Dog Daily Water Requirement – Conclusion
Water is the most essential part of a dog’s diet. While deficiencies in other nutrients affect a dog’s health, it may take several days, weeks or months before such problems are evident. However, dehydration affects dog and even you immediately.
A dog gets water by taking it directly, by eating wet foods, and by deriving it from metabolism.
It is hard to know the exact amount of water a dog needs per day. This is due to the fact that factors like level of activity, weather and health status influence the amount.
So, it is recommended that you give between 20 – 70 ml of water per kilogram (kg) of body weight of your dog. Your dog will take amount close to 70 ml per kg of her weight per day if she is active and in warm weather. And amount close to 20 ml per kg of body weight per day if she is inactive and in thermo-neutral weather.
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