|Greer enjoys the snow on a winter walk.|
Sweet, pure, refreshing WATER… the elixir of life! Too often this important third naturopathic Law of Health is overlooked. Yet it is vital to take a close look at both the quantity and quality of what our pets drink.
It’s been calculated that carnivores eating a Species Appropriate Raw Food diet receive around 80% of their daily requirement for water from the meat itself. That leaves a minimum of 20% that human caretakers need to provide. Depending upon activity level and heat/humidity at any given time, they may need more. We have working dogs. After helping with the livestock or accompanying us while we set fence line in the hot sun, our dogs are thirsty. Fresh cool water is available to them at all times, but especially after activity. Sometimes the dogs drink straight from the cattle water trough!
Besides drinking water, who doesn’t enjoy playing in it on a hot day? Our dog Greer is a fiend for playing in the hose! And wading in the creek is another pleasant activity. Playing hard increases the need for water, as well.
In winter the tendency may be to think that our pets have decreased water needs. The fact is they need it in the depths of winter just as in the height of summer. Frigid air and heated homes result in loss of hydration. Freezing temperatures can even pull the moisture out of wet laundry! Even though the dogs enjoy eating snow as much as they love playing in it, snow should never be the main source of water for any animal. It lowers their body temperature thereby increasing their need for food and shelter to keep warm; and they simply cannot fill their water needs in that form… period. Have you ever melted a big pot of snow to see how much water you get in the end? Barely a fraction of what you collected! We keep the pets inside water dish filled at all times. They drink almost as much at 10 degrees Fahrenheit as at 100 degrees. Kitty shares the bowl with them so we make sure there is always enough for her winter time needs too, which increase slightly due to the heated indoor air.
The purity of water is paramount. City water is routinely treated with chlorine and most cities add fluoride, too. Both are toxins which have severe adverse effects on the health of us and our pets. We used a basic filter system for such in the city. In the country we don’t have to worry about those particular chemicals, but there are other possible contaminants. Both well and spring water are tested for safety.
Along with the exercise you’ve hopefully been enjoying with your dogs, make sure to drink plenty of water yourself, too!