Water is another very important part of a dog's health and nutrition. Much like our own bodies, a dog's body requires ample amounts of water to keep the tissue properly hydrated and aid with digestion as well as tissue growth and repair. It is important to have clean, cool water available for your dog at least at mealtime and several other times throughout the day. Leaving a dish of fresh clean water that is always accessible by your dog is the best option.
It is important to use high-quality, filtered or bottled water for your puppy at least for the first few weeks after bringing him home. Puppies have very sensitive systems and some cannot handle the chlorine and chemicals added to our filtered tap water. These chemicals may cause gastrointestinal tract irritation which may lead to diarrhea and dehydration. After your puppy has been home a few weeks you may begin the switch to tap water if necessary. This switch should be done gradually by mixing the purified or bottled water with tap water and gradually decreasing the amount of purified water used over the course of a few days. If possible, giving your dogs filtered drinking water whether from a bottle, filtered pitcher or filtered faucet is still the best option.
During house-training access to water may be limited to specific times throughout the day. Putting your puppy on a strict food and water schedule will aid in house-training the puppy. Puppies can be very active at times and it is important to keep a close watch on them and make sure they get a chance to drink after periods of increased exercise or playing. Dogs pant to cool themselves which causes their bodies to lose moisture which can lead to dehydration if not given ample water.
After your puppy becomes an adult proper water is still an important part of their continued health. When giving your dog water it is important to provide it in a clean bowl that should be washed daily. Dogs should never be allowed to drink from puddles, pools, flowerpots, etc. This water may contain fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides or other chemicals that may harm your dog. Some diseases such as Leptospirosis can also be caused by drinking from contaminated puddles. Following these simple guidelines can give you a happy, healthy dog.