Most of us do not value the importance of water given that, in most cases, it is easily available just by opening a tap.
Pets, however, depend once more on their owners’ concern and attitude. Daily access to fresh, clean water is indispensable for man’s “best friends”.
You must keep in mind that this element is of vital importance, essential but frequently not valued. A proper diet is the main requisite for your pets’ best health, and this ideal diet includes water. The total body weight of a healthy animal is 50 to 60 per cent water. In puppies this proportion may be as high as 75 per cent.
Your companion animals must always have access to water that is clean and at a pleasant temperature (neither hot nor cold). If water does not meet these conditions, your pets will drink less of it than they should to meet their needs. On the contrary, if the water is “just right”, they will drink as much as they need to remain healthy.
An animal may survive if it loses almost all of its glycogen, the main form of carbohydrate storage for animals. It is also able to survive if it loses almost all of its stored body fat or almost half of its proteins. But if an animal loses only ten per cent of its body’s total water content, it will suffer great harm, and it will die if the loss is 15 percent.
Your pets’ daily water requirements also depend on the type of food they eat. They will logically need to drink less water if they eat canned food than if they eat only dry food.
And finally, you must also keep in mind that thirst is the sensation that is responsible for controlling the water volume in the body. Thirst is relieved when an animal drinks. But the thirst mechanism is not turned off until half an hour to an hour after drinking, which is the time it takes for water to be absorbed and reach the body tissues. Keep this in mind if your pet has been deprived of water for longer than it should have.
In short, even though owners worry more frequently about other needs, they should never forget to have water available for their pets.
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Colegio Oficial de Veterinarios de Alicante
Mendez Nuñez, 38 · 03002 Alicante
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