Winter, Water and our Animal Friends

Winter Hiking

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The winter season in Colorado can be dry and brittle…thirst is always a factor. Moisture evaporates fast. I’m so grateful for indoor plumbing…turning on the faucet and having clear, clean and cool water fill a glass is wonderful! When I fill my glass, I’ve made a habit of checking my furry friend’s water dish

Animals can loose all of their fat and half of their protein and survive. However, if they loose only 10 % of body water, serious illness can occur. If you can feel a dryness in your mouth, dehydration has begun. Our animal friends get just as thirsty as we do. A dog or cat can become dehydrated in only a few hours if fresh water is not present. I keep three dishes of water in my house and two outside.

I recently learned something from my vet. If I feel the inside of my Pieper’s gums are dry, it’s a clue that she is dehydrated; if moist she is fine.

How Much Water?

Water constitutes 84% of a newborn puppy and 60% of an adult dog. Water is necessary for almost every function in an animals body. Hot temperatures and exercise or nursing will also increase the needed amount of water two or three times above normal. Don’t take water for granted, provide access to water at all times! Also, considering the huge quantity and importance of water consumed in a lifetime it is important that the quality of the water is the best possible. I have a water filter on my faucet; Peiper drinks filtered water at home.

Animals need to consume 2.5 times the amount of water, as its daily intake of food. If an animal eats 2 lbs. of dry food it should consume 5 lbs. of water. (There are 8 lbs. in a gallon.) If he eats 4 oz. of dry food, he should drink 10 ounces of water (11/4 cup). Continue reading