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Dog Water and Water Bowl Maintenance

A cartoon dog drinking water.

Let’s gather around the water bowl... for a chat! 

Do you know how much of a canine body is made of water?

While we're familiar with the fact that about 60% of the human body is water, did you know that for dogs, this percentage is even higher? It's a whopping 70% or more! 

Imagine this: a mere 10% drop in your dog's water intake can throw off their digestion, elimination, cell turnover, blood volume, and electrolyte balance. That's how crucial water is for our furry friends!

Warmer weather is already upon us, and the hot summer months are right around the corner. Know what that means? It means it’s time to step up our water game!

Fine and Dandy Mini Aussiedoodle relaxing in a galvanized steel bucket.

In general, pups should drink about one ounce of water, or 1/8 of a cup, per pound of body weight daily. Don’t worry about measuring it out or anything like that, though (unless instructed by your veterinarian). Just make sure they always have access to fresh, clean water, and you’ll be just fine. 🙂

Perhaps more important is being able to notice when your dog is drinking way more or way less than it normally does, as this could indicate a health issue. So, find your dog’s normal, then pay attention to any significant changes.

Too much water can also become a problem, especially if ingested at one time, diluting the electrolyte balance or even causing a dangerous condition called Bloat, in which the stomach becomes very distended and can twist over, blocking blood flow to the heart, spleen, and pancreas. Bloat is more common with large breed dogs with deep chest cavities, so our Mini Aussiedoodles aren’t high risk, but the condition is still good to be aware of. 

Now, it’s time for some dog water bowl talk -- Ya’ll know that dog water bowl slime? Yeah, that. The icky slipperiness you feel when you finally wash the dog water bowl.

That slime is caused by dog slobber and bacteria and develops very quickly. If left too long, the water bowl will grow algae and even more bad bacteria and gross stuff. 

Fine and Dandy Poodle sitting in a small vintage tub.

It’s true that dogs have great immune systems and can eat the grossest stuff and not get sick. Dead, half-rotted squirrel, anyone? Some unknown creature’s poo berries, anyone? How bout a squished frog that’s been baking in the sun for week? Or, a still somewhat wet chicken bone with ants all over it? get the idea!  😁

Even though they have great immune systems, they can still ingest the bad germs and feel sick. They may have soft stools, vomit, or be lethargic.

Doggie water bowls should be rinsed or washed and refilled with fresh, clean water every day.

In some situations, for those with multiple dogs and very large water bowls, antimicrobials could be added to the water bowls to help prevent slime and bacterial or microbial overgrowth. One such antimicrobial is Copper. Now, dogs don’t need a copper supplement, and too much copper is bad for them. But the right amount of copper is okay, and it is a neat tool to use in large water containers to help keep them fresher for longer. There are pet supply companies that sell copper bowls for regular household dog use. 

I talk more about it in the video below, and I also share how I change up the Fine and Dandy water game once the months turn warm. Be sure to check it out below!

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