2/3 of our dog’s body is made up of water and dehydration can create a 2% reduction in body mass. At our children’s schools we have for several years been encouraged to send our kids in with water bottles that they can have access to throughout the day. Like with children, dehydration can cause a reduced cognitive ability, this can be as much as a 10% reduction.
As with children, puppies are not the most amazing at seeking out water or realising they are thirsty so the visual prompt of a water bowl is essential. But what to do about those pups that love to play and splash about in the water bowl?
1) Try raising the water bowl up, using a stand or clip on the side of the crate.
2) Try a travel water bowl such as a Road Refresher – these bowls only show a small amount of water on the top of the bowl with a reservoir underneath so great for more than just travelling. You can find these at http://www.roadrefresher.com/
3) Place the bowl inside and object like a tyre so the puppy needs to stretch to get it and is less likely to use it’s feet.
4) You can also teach a dog to use a pippet type water bottle (like those found with rabbits etc).
Things that may effect the amount of water needed:
- Health e.g. nursing bitches
- Food (dry kibble has little moisture within).
The effects of dehydration and signs:
- Dry nose
- Dry eyes
- Dry mouth
- Thicker saliva
- Loss of skin elasticity
- Excessive panting
- Eyes appear sunken
- Other signs of shock may start to appear.