Many dogs like to drink water from sources other than their fresh clean water bowls. The two most common places where dogs will drink from other than their bowl are the household toilet, and a foreign body of water (puddle, river, lake, etc). In most cases, drinking water from these sources will not harm your dog, but from time to time a dog can become ill if the waters contain certain types of organisms or hazardous chemicals.
Poisoning and Parasites
One danger is drinking from a body of water contaminated by parasites or bacteria, such as Giardia. Both are common in stagnant bodies of water, such as ponds, bogs and small lakes. You should be concerned if your dog shows the following symptoms after drinking from a stagnant water source:
Some weight loss, as a result of the diarrhea
Excessive gas, caused by the parasite
- Provide fresh cold water at all times (may need to change it 2-4X daily)
- Always bring fresh water sources with you if your pets are going to be around a lake or river.
- If you see them drinking water from these sources direct their attention to their bowl of clean water.
- Make sure bowls are placed in easy-to-access spots — one may place one bowl on each story of a multi-storied home, especially when pets are old, young, or have mobility problems such as arthritis.
- Add ice cubes to the water in the bowl or use an insulated bowl to help keep the water cold.
- Close doors to bathrooms and keep toilet lids down. One can even install childproof locks on the toilet lids for large, strong, or more determined pets.
Just like you, a dog’s body is around 80 percent water. This water is essential to help dissolve and carry substances throughout his body. It’s also the basis for most processes and chemical reactions that keep him healthy. Digestion, circulation, waste filtering, and body temperature regulation are just a few of the internal processes driven by water. If your dog is dehydrated, he can suffer kidney and heart damage, as well as other problems. As the summer’s dog days turn up the heat, ensure your best friend stays happy, healthy and hydrated with fresh, clean water.