Let’s talk about Hydration

A healthy person needs 30 to 50 ounces of fluid per day. To put that into perspective an average drinking glass of water is 8 ounces.  Staying hydrated and drinking enough fluids is crucial to staying healthy and maintaining the function of every system in your body, including your heart, brain, and muscles. Fluids carry nutrients to your cells, flush bacteria from your bladder, and prevent constipation.

It is very important to stay hydrated in hotter weather as your body processes fluids quicker in hot weather and you perspire more.  As you age your sense of thirst decreases, and older adults often don’t feel the need to consume water as often therefore the risk of becoming dehydrated is greater.  Warning signs of dehydration include weakness, low blood pressure, dizziness, confusion, or urine that’s dark in color.  To ensure you keep hydrated drinking water or juice with every meal helps to keep your fluids up.  Water-rich foods such as salads, fruit and applesauce are also great ways to keep hydrated.

Pets also need to stay hydrated. This makes proper pet hydration vitally important. Among other things, water helps prevent infection and disease, increase energy levels, maintain stable body temperature and blood circulation, filter waste, process food and speed up recovery time from sickness, surgery or injury. Most dogs need one ounce of water per pound of body weight daily.  Which would mean a 10 pound dog requires 10 ounces or just over a cup of water.  Older dogs and puppies tend to drink more water then a healthy adult dog.  

Water is life; our pets cannot live without water just as people can’t.  Pet owners tend to pay attention to many aspects of their dogs’ lives, including diet, but water is often ignored, taken for granted, or not taken seriously enough.

Chose a large water bowl that holds more then your dog normally drinks, therefore allowing them to always have access to water.  Size is important because your dog shouldn’t have to lean in to drink or put pressure on the front of his neck to get water.  Plastic bowls can absorb bacteria and some dogs develop chin acne from contaminated bowls.  Metal or ceramic lead free bowls are the best option.

If your dog spends time both inside the house and outside, he should have a water bowl in each location. Remember to provide fresh water every day and keep the bowls clean, whether they are inside or outside.  Keep a collapsible bowl in your car for providing water on the go when travelling, or teach your dog to drink from a bottle or the palm of your hand. 

Whether we are walking on 2 legs or 4 legs – water is the number one nutrient that is instrumental to a healthy, hydrated life.

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