With all our enthusiasm on feeding a healthy whole food diet it’s time to take a moment and think about the most essential nutrient of all, water.
Most natural foods contain approximately 70% water, in fact there is an equilibrium of 70% water throughout nature.
Dogs and cats need to take in approximately 50 mls of water per kilogram body weight per day to stay hydrated. Mild dehydration can affect them on a physical and emotional level.
Dry or semi moist foods have become convenient for us to feed but can contain as little as 10% moisture. This is particularly a problem for cats who evolved in deserts with a low thirst drive.
We all know to offer our pet’s fresh drinking water but have you ever offered a choice?
Tap Tap water can contain chemicals such as chlorine, hormones, and pesticides that our pets are more sensitive to in terms of palatability.
Bottled If you chose to offer bottled spring water, use a variety over time as they will have differing proportions of minerals.
Filtered Filters can be particularly effective at removing toxins but also remove the minerals. They can also alter the Ph to become acidic.
Distilled Avoid distilled water long term as it is so pure, nutrients can actually be lost through drinking especially in hot weather.
Rain Although rain water will contain some contaminants from pollution it’s a very popular choice for our pets to drink. Avoid water that has been standing for a long time as it may well become contaminated.
In short variety is key.
Pets can lose water in many ways, with the promise of hot weather this month here are some tips on keeping your pet cool
- Feed a moist diet or add water to their food to help get the moisture content up to a desirable 70%.
- Ensure there is plenty of fresh water available. Offer a variety of sources as they may be turned off by chemicals in your water.
- Cats prefer drinking from a glass or ceramic bowl.
- Offering treats such as frozen bone broth into cubes or enrichment can be a great way to keep a dog cool.
- Take care playing with water as too much water can cause an electrolyte imbalance , playing with hoses can be great fun but keep an eye on how much water they are actually ingesting
If your dog is showing signs of overheating it’s really important to cool them down slowly and gently, offering ice at this stage can be potentially harmful as the cold triggers blood vessels to constrict to preserve heat rather than dilate. Offer tepid water and cool off with tepid water over the body. Greens have a variety of products to help keep your pet cool. Homemade lollies can be made with our natural treats frozen into water or bone broth, alternatively make a smoothie as a treat.
Smoothie recipe for a medium dog
Banana and Berry
300 grams natural or goats yoghurt
10 grams of Almond butter
A handful of blueberries
Teaspoon of chia seeds
Half a cup of water
This recipe provides vitamin B and E, a healthy calcium phosphorus ratio and much needed magnesium.
Apple and Carrot Dairy free smoothie for a medium size dog
300 mls of unsweetened coconut milk
10 grams coconut oil
One grated carrot
One grated apple
A desert spoon of pumpkin seeds
This recipe provides a much needed boost of magnesium and manganese
By Katie McCaul VN BSc Hons Dip Naturopath
Pet Nutrition Consultant