The importance of fresh water

Fresh water is the basis of good health for all animals. Consider your dependence on it and you will appreciate how important it is for your pet.

28th May 2015

Water is the basis of good health in both humans and animals. It flushes out toxins, maintains cell function and keeps us, and them, hydrated. Consider your dependence on water and you will appreciate how important it is for your pet. 80% of a dog’s body is made up of water, so they need regular access to it for survival. Food is often mistakenly seen as the most vital source of sustenance for our pets, yet animals can actually survive a lot longer without food than they can when deprived of water.

A dog’s bowl should be cleaned daily, and only fresh water should be given to them. You could try a bowl with a reservoir which dispenses fresh water like the Torus bowl which we reviewed. If you notice it has gone stale, you need to change it straight away. Many dogs won’t drink water that is not up to the standard they need, which can dehydrate them even further. Think about whether you would drink the water from your pet’s bowl yourself. If the answer is no, you need to reconsider your cleaning regime. Neglecting to clean the bowl could result in the build-up of bacteria, viruses and parasites, which can cause serious health problems for your pet if ingested.

Failure to provide them with fresh water can lead them to obtaining it elsewhere from areas that can cause harm, such as the toilet. The bacteria in dirty water can be responsible for many ailments, from urinary tract infections to gastrointestinal problems. Furthermore, water loses oxygen when left out for long periods of time, meaning your pet won’t receive the nutrients that are present in fresh water.

Without it, a dog’s body would not be able to function in the appropriate way it needs to survive. Water is essential for everything, from breathing in oxygen to digesting food. The heart, muscles and blood all require it to function properly because it transports oxygen to the cells as it moves through the body. It also enables effective waste removal and digestion. Moreover, water is vital for regulating body temperature, as panting involves the release of water through respiration. Without a sufficient amount, the dog will become dehydrated because panting alone isn’t enough to cool them down. It is surprising just how many bodily functions rely on water; it converts fuel in the body into energy by burning it, and a dog’s nose needs to be hydrated to allow it to smell.

As well as maintaining functionality, water helps to eradicate toxins from the body by flushing them out. Without water, the body would absorb these harmful elements and vital organs would be damaged.

Providing your dog with fresh water helps to stave off dehydration. In warmer temperatures and whilst partaking in lots of activity, it is imperative for maintaining good health. Always leave various fresh water sources around the home and in the garden for your dog to have easy access to should they need it. Purchase strong, sturdy bowls that are difficult to knock over, in case your boisterous dog is prone to spills. A small paddling pool may also be beneficial on hot days, but always supervise if your dog does use one.

It is always extremely important for your dog to receive the amount of water they need, even if they are a reluctant drinker. Try flavouring it with beef broth to make it more attractive for them, and give them ice to lick. However, you must not give ice to a dog that is overheating, as the huge contrast in temperature can be a shock to the system.

Don’t leave your dog alone outside on a hot day, even if there are plenty of fresh water sources available, as the rise in temperature can prove fatal. When at home in the garden with them, always leave the door open so they are able to access shade when they need to, and make sure you always have clean, fresh water around. The more exercise your dog does the more water they need, so when on a walk make sure you bring enough for them to drink.

More on our dog blog

Read more news articles, opinion pieces, reviews and personal stories behind our dogs on our blog. 


Need dog insurance?

Dog insurance can help cover the cost of veterinary treatment if your dog gets injured or falls ill.


We know pets

Animal Friends Insurance is a multi-award winning FCA-regulated pet insurer, founded in 1998 to provide industry-leading pet insurance and first-class animal care to create a better life for every animal.
As one of the UK’s largest pet insurance providers, Animal Friends works with vets, veterinary professionals, and partners pioneering the latest veterinary technology & healthcare advancements to achieve our vision.
Our policyholders have helped donate over £8.5 million to more than 800 animal charities worldwide and by educating and inspiring others to act on current events and responsible pet ownership, Animal Friends is driving positive change for animal welfare and conservation.