Straight from the Snout
Drink wisely, today and every day.
There’s no denying, we are well on our way to warming up for spring! I can almost bet that wherever you are a good clean water supply will be in great demand soon. Not just for the benefit of a good time, but for the nutritional and physical health of your body, mind, and spirit as well. I thought this would be the perfect time to talk about water – it’s functions, quality, and quantity. Did you know that water is essential for almost every function of your pet’s body?
This could quite possibly make water the most important nutrient of all, essential for life and optimal health.
Did you know that the quality of your pet’s drinking water is of significant importance to optimal health? Do you know how much water your pet should be drinking every day? Water makes up 75%-80% of a newborn puppy and 50%-60% of an adult dog’s body. Water plays the most significant role in the regulation of your pet’s temperature and is the carrier that transports and helps assimilate nutrients throughout your pet’s entire body. To name a few of water’s function according to Your Great Pet – water:
- Flushes wastes and toxins from the body
- Metabolizes stored fats
- Protect body cells from disease and viral infections
- Lubricates the spaces between joints
- Boosts the immune system
- Helps in the breakdown of foods into small particles
- Transports various substances inside the body
- Acts as a natural laxative
The water your dog is drinking also plays a role in their immediate and long-term health. Equally compelling, there’s a whole lot of conflicting information out there on this topic. My conclusion is that you and your dog should be drinking clean, pure, or filtered water. I suggest you eliminate the intake of your municipal tap water, because of it’s regular treatment with fluoride and chlorine – which is said to contribute to kidney, bladder, and other types of cancers. Your well, spring, river, lake and pond waters may also carry potential hazardous waste and other toxins, heavy metals, parasites, and other organisms that can cause potentially fatal sicknesses. Contaminated water can affect your pet’s health from external contact as well – not just from drinking it. Make sure they are drinking and playing in the same good, clean water you desire for your own health.
The preferred temperature of your pet’s drinking water is cold, cool, or room temperature. You can control the temperature of the water by rotating and changing your pet’s water bowls often enough to keep the water cool and palatable. Research shows that if drinking water is too cold, it may cool your pet down too fast and result in the tightening of their stomach muscles – causing muscle spasms, convulsions, and stomach bloat. Different dogs have different palates and differences in what they can tolerate – so just become attuned to your pet!
Equally as important as the above topics, is the over-consumption of water and the potential of water intoxication – which is the result of drinking an abnormally large amount of water in a short amount of time. Usually, this can occur after physical activity, and can, unfortunately, be fatal. The amount of water your pet should be drinking depends on many factors, including the climate and temperature of your environment, your pet’s size, age, and physical activity. Pets can also lose a great deal of water through urination and evaporation (respiration, panting). A loss of as little as 10% of your pet’s internal water can result in serious illness.
That being said, it’s imperative that you keep an adequate supply of pure water available for your pets twenty-four hours of every day. Pet Educators advise that a general rule of thumb be an animal needs to consume 2½ times the amount of water as its daily intake of food. So, if your pet eats 2 lbs. of dry food, they should also be consuming 5 lbs. of water.
The moral of this story is – be conscious of what and how much your pet is consuming. Making sure they are getting enough clean water is essential to maintaining their health throughout the spring and summer months.
Don’t go thirsty!
Recipe for Skin & Coat
Eat to the Beet Juice Shot
Make this juice shot and freeze for your pooch, or drink as a liquid for yourself!
- 6 large organic juicing carrots (peeled)
- 2 large organic beets (red or golden, scrubbed)
- 2 organic apples (seeded)
- ½ organic cucumber (peeled)
- ½ cup organic frozen peas
- 2-inch piece of ginger root
- Handful organic curly parsley
Juice all ingredients. Portion them in tiny paper Dixie cups and/or ice cube trays. Freeze until solid. According to CJ Poutinen (The Encyclopedia of Natural Pet Care), providing your pet is not allergic and/or sensitive to the ingredients, small dogs are allowed 2 tablespoons, 2-3 times per day (one cube). Dogs up to 50 pounds are allowed up to 5 tablespoons per day (2 cubes). Can be made in smaller amounts and served fresh over kibble.