Every dog owner knows how important it is to have fresh water available for their pooch. This is particularly true in the summer months when the temperatures start to rise.
Unfortunately, there are times when dog owners need to go out and hope that the water bowl stays upright during that time.
For owners of any dog who enjoys playing in water, a regular bowl is simply a temptation to overturn it and perhaps get their feet wet.
This can mean going without water for some time until their humans come back home. There is a solution to this.
Water fountains and water dispensers may need to become a part of your dog’s life if they are to stay hydrated while you are not there to keep topping up the bowl.
So, What are Dog Dispensers or Fountains?
These are same as the water bottles that you often see in places like offices, doctors and dentists’ waiting rooms.
You may even have seen them in your local supermarket as they are fast becoming very popular in high street shops.
Automatic water dispensers work on the same principal as these ‘upside down’ water bottles.
They are basically a reservoir which uses gravity to fill a dish with water as soon as the level drops below a certain mark. This means that your pooch has their own endless supply of fresh water.
How Much Water Does a Dog Need?
This is a tricky question and largely depends on several factors instead of one blanket answer. Let’s look at the factors which influence the amount of water your pooch needs.
1) It stands to reason that a large dog will need more water than a smaller dog and a good rule of thumb is about 1 ounce of water to every pound of body weight. Of course, this also varies with each dog and the activity levels, season of the year and age.
2) If you have a puppy you will need to be the person in charge who encourages the pup to drink because puppies may not get enough because they sleep so much.
Adult dogs will tend to head for the water bowl when they are thirsty, but pups are often either playing, peeing or asleep so need to be reminded to drink.
3) What your dog eats greatly influences their water needs. A dog who is on a dry food diet will need to drink more water than those who have wet foods.
Additionally, you should check the sodium count in the food because extra sodium will increase a dog’s thirst.
4) When your dog pants in the summer weather it is a sign that they need a little more water.
Just as you would feel the need to drink more in hot weather, your dog will instinctively know that they needs more fluid.
5) If you have been out for a long walk your dog will be thirsty when they gets home. You should take water with you if you are out for a long time.
You can buy bottles with drop down cups so that your furry friend can drink along the way.
Because some dogs suffer from bloat, you may want to give them ice cubes on your return and then water when they have rested.
6) There are some medications which make dogs extra thirsty. If your dog has recently been prescribed with any medications, you should query with the vet as to how thirsty they will make them.
Why Does my Dog Need Water?
Drinking water plays a vital part in keeping your pooch healthy. Even with a good diet, if they do not get adequate water, they will not be a healthy dog.
Dehydration will soon follow if they do not get enough water.
Water cools down the dog’s body when they get too hot. It helps to reach and then maintain a normal body temperature.
Water helps in the digestion of their food and ensures that their body absorbs the nutrients.
Water acts as a lubricant to make movement easier and cushion their joints. In addition, the spinal cord and internal organs are cushioned by the water. Waste is removed through water and when your dog needs to pee.
Literally every bodily function depends on an adequate intake of water. If this is not available, your dog will become dehydrated and then seriously ill.
If they stay dehydrated for a long time their organs will start to fail and shut down and death will follow soon afterwards. A dreadful thought for something that is so easily rectified.
How do I Know my Pooch is Dehydrated?
A dog that is in good health will be hydrated if they have plenty of fresh water left for them. Problems start when a dog is ill, this is when they are most likely to suffer from dehydration.
Kidney disease, diabetes and cancer are some examples of when a dog is at risk of dehydration. Another risk of dehydration is when a dog is pregnant or lactating.
A quick and easy way to check if a dog is dehydrated is to pick up the fold of skin at the top of the shoulder blades. Pull it upwards gently and then release it. Keep an eye as to how fast it returns to normal.
A well hydrated dog will have the skin return to normal quickly without any hesitation. In a dog who is dehydrated the skin will either be slow in returning to normal or may even stand up and not fall back down.
A second option to check for dehydration is inside your dog’s mouth. Look at their gums and if they are pale and dry or sticky, then they may be dehydrated. They may also have sunken eyeballs and a dry mouth and nose.
If you notice any of these symptoms you need to get your dog to the vet as soon as possible to find out whether they are ill. Keeping your dog hydrated is too important an issue to ignore.
Can I Tempt my Dog to Drink?
Occasionally you will find that you have a dog who genuinely does not want to drink that much. Unfortunately, there is always a risk of the dog becoming ill if this happens.
There are several ways you can do things to encourage them to drink a little more.
- Every dog wants to hear their master praise them so every time they take a sip of water, you should shower praise on them. Give them a small treat and lots of cuddles. They will soon learn that this is a great way to get more praise.
- Make sure that you place their water bowl close to their bed. Place another one next to their food bowl. In fact, place a water bowl anywhere they normally sit down. This way they are confronted with fluid at every turn and is more inclined to take a sip every so often.
- Flavour it. You can add such things as beef or chicken broth to their water. Over time you can reduce the broth until there is more water and they have become used to drinking.
5 Best Automatic Dog Water Dispensers and Fountains
1) Pet Fit for Life Water Fountain Dispenser
If you have ever watched a dog when you turn on the hosepipe, you will see that they love the stream which comes out. It is far more exciting than having a bowl of standing water – even if it is fresh.
This fountain dispenser is designed to tempt your pooch to drink. The water flows at a gentle rate so it is suitable for smaller dogs as well as large ones.
Because the fountain is elevated your dog does not have to strain downwards to drink.
The fountain is charcoal-activated and comes with a water-softening filter to keep the water clean and fresh.
The fountain comes with a non-slip mat, so you won’t find that your exuberant dog has overturned it and is rolling it around your kitchen!
What I like about this fountain is that the motor is so quiet. Even if you are sitting close to it, you will be unaware of it working away to keep the water circulating and fresh.
The tank section is made from BPA-free plastic, so you don’t need to worry about any chemicals or strange tastes in their water.
2) Petmate Stainless Steel Replendish Waterer
You will notice that the wide mouth bottle is also easy to clean, and the stainless steel is recommended by vets who agree that this is great for households with more than one dog.
The gravity flow technology with this dispenser means that the bowl fills slowly as the dog drinks ensuring a constant supply of fresh water.
The curves steel base means that your dog stays safely in place and will not be knocked over. It is also easy to lift the water area without spilling any excess water.
What I like about this water dispenser is that it looks very modern and stylish. It will fit into even the most modern kitchen with the stainless sections looking very sleek.
The water capacity is one gallon, which should be plenty for most dogs for several hours.
3) PetSafe Healthy Pet Water Station
The water reservoir locks into place so cannot be accidentally overturned. The bowl is made of stainless steel and is dishwasher safe.
The water station is easy to assemble and take apart for cleaning. There is a flow-control valve which refills the water bowl as your dog drinks ensuring a constant supply of water through the day.
The dispenser is what I would call ‘neat and tidy’ and that’s what I like about it. It is space-saving and modern and will fit in with most kitchens.
Because of the wide opening it is easy to clean either by hand or with a cleaning brush.
4) PetSafe Drinkwell Platinum or 1 Gallon Pet Water Fountain
Because this fountain has the water free-falling, it is constantly being aerated and filtered. This is also an added attraction to dogs to lap at the running water, which means that they will automatically drink more.
The dispenser holds over a gallon. All the carbon filters are replaceable. They serve to keep the water fresh and sweet smelling. You won’t find any strange odours in this water!
The reservoir holds 1.3 gallons and is perfect for dogs under 60 pounds in weight.
What I like about this water dispenser is that you can adjust the flow, so in the cooler seasons you may reduce it slightly and increase it in the hotter months.
So that we humans are not disturbed by the sound of constant running water, there is a spout and receiving ramp to keep the noise level down.
You can also buy additional things such as carbon replacement filters and a fountain cleaning kit.
5) Pioneer Pet Raindrop Stainless Steel Pet Drinking Fountain
The stainless-steel surface means less bacteria build-up and the fountain comes with a replaceable charcoal filter.
Because of the charcoal filter you will find that the water smells and tastes fresh, with no unnatural taste.
The water keeps circulating to encourage your dog to drink more and stay hydrated.
The capacity of the reservoir is either 60- or 90-ounce sizes, and the dispenser is dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.
What I like about this station is that it comes with the power cord and a replaceable charcoal filter.
While a good, healthy diet is just what every dog needs. It is very clear that even more important is an adequate amount of fresh water every day of their life.
If your pooch does not keep their water bowl upright with water to drink, then it may be time to consider alternative options such as a water dispenser or fountain.
Dehydration is something that can be fatal if not dealt with right away. Fortunately, it is also something that can be taken care of quickly and easily.