Monday, June 14, 2010

Dogs Need Ample Amounts of Water

Water is the essence that sustains all life. Water makes up 63 percent of the human body, over 75 percent of the planet, and about 60 percent of an adult dog. Amazingly, a dog's body can lose all of its fat and most of its protein and still survive. But, it only takes a 10 percent reduction is water for a dog to begin to experience serious health consequences.

How Much Water Should a Dog Drink
On a hot day, with a low humidity level, a dog can become dehydrated in a matter of a couple of hours. It is so essential that a dog has access to fresh water that Animal Control, in many states, has made it a criminal offense to house an animal without sufficient amounts of water. There are no hard fast rules to how much water a dog needs, but there are some factors to consider as well as veterinary advice. A dog's weight, how much he exercises, whether he eats wet or dry food, and potential medical conditions all play a part in his necessary water intake. A veterinarian will advise that a healthy dog should have access to as much fresh water as he wants. And physiologically speaking he should drink at least 2ml's per pound of body weight, daily.

If a dog drinks a little extra water during the day, for whatever reason, that is a good thing. But, it is insufficient amounts of water that can have devastating effects on a pets health.

Water Characteristics
Water quality varies with region, topography and communal standards. One factor that should be taken into consideration is the amount of TDS, or total dissolved solids, that are in the house tap water. Most counties will either have that information or be willing to test the water. The local swimming pool store has the ability to do this test as well. All they need is roughly 6 oz. of water in a clean glass container. According to Kenneth M. Vigil's book, Clean Water, Oregon State University Press, May/2003, water containing less than 5,000 ppm (parts per million) of TDS is suitable drinking water for pets.

Dogs should never be allowed to drink unfamiliar water, as water can be a breeding pool for bacteria, parasites and giardia. Household tap water is considered safe for pets as it has most likely been treated. But, again, it should be tested because an abundance of TDS can cause kidney and gall stones, among other pet health problems. And while many dog owners like the idea of bottled water, it is not recommended as a regular source, as it can lack minerals.

Read more at Suite101: Dogs Need Ample Amounts of Water

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