Is Your Dog Drinking Enough Clean Water With Their Food?

There are hundreds of choices of dog food on the market today. Everything from wet, dry, high protein, high fat, low protein, and low fat foods fill the aisles of our pet stores. So how is one to choose the right one for their dog?

But before we talk about food, let’s talk about something even more important – water. All the beneficial ingredients that go into the best dog foods will not help solve the dilemma of a dog drinking enough clean water.

Water is the most important nutrient. Adult dog’s bodies are 60% water and a puppy’s body is 84% water. Dogs can lose all of their fat and half of their protein without adversely affecting their health, but a 10 % water loss can cause significant problems.

Dog owners should place as much attention on the importance of the quality of the water their dog drinks as they do on the ingredients that go into the best dog foods; not all water is the same. A criterion for clean drinking water for dogs is similar to the criteria for clean drinking water for people. Tap water generally provides the best nutrients and least contaminants; however, if the tap water contains high amounts of nitrates, magnesium and iron it can cause long term health risks.

dog drinking enough clean water from a bowl
Image credit: Openverse

For those who fear their tap water may be contaminated bottled water is a better choice. Stainless steel and stoneware dishes are safe choices for food and water bowls. Plastic bowls may scratch giving contaminates an ideal place to live. Water should be cool in the summer and room temperature in the winter. The dogs bowl should always be clean; if you think it may need changing ask yourself if you would drink the water. If the answer is no – change the water.

Dogs should have access to fresh water all the time. This is even more important than buying the best dog foods on the market. Dogs need three times more water than food every day. They need even more if it is extremely hot, the dog is lactating, or the dog is exercising more than normal.

Dogs that eat canned dog food do not drink as much water because of the high amount of water contained in the canned food. In addition to better health, proper hydration also contributes to the performance of a dog. Many owners of working dogs flavor their dog’s food in order to make sure they are drinking the appropriate amounts.

Studies have proven that proper hydration increases working ability by 80%. The next time you pour one of those best dog foods into your dogs bowl, remember if the dog doesn’t have the right amount of clean water the food is useless.

Okay, now let’s move on to dog food. First you need to have one basic goal in mind: Feed your dog the brand that keeps your dog looking and acting the best. This is the most important thing to remember when choosing food for your dog. You may have to try several brands of dog food over a stretch of time before you can determine which is the best choice.

Another important factor is likeability. You need to choose a food that your dog likes to eat. You’ll want it to be easily digestible, which is indicated by a small to moderate stool volume. Ideally, you should check a week after switching.

After a few weeks of the new food, check the dog’s coat and see if there is any improvement, such as it being shiny and healthy looking. In addition your dog’s skin should be a healthy color, without sores or trouble spots. Your dog should have a healthy look overall.

Lastly, many consider the cost when making your pet’s food choices. One simple rule to remember is SPEND MORE TO SAVE MORE. Why you ask? Well, the principle is simple: the better quality, more expensive foods usually cost you less per feeding than inexpensive foods because you feed your dog less of these highly digestible foods, costing you less in the long run.

Whether you choose dry dog foods which are soybean, corn, or rice based, and are recommended for animals that are larger, or canned types that contain meat products and water for moisture for dogs smaller than 30 lbs., remember, dog foods contain fats and carbohydrates which are necessary for your pet’s energy.


  • Mike Long

    Mike Long is an experienced dog trainer who focuses on educating people about the different ways of training their dog or puppy.

    View all posts