Water is the fountain of life
These days we’re all much more familiar with the adage “ you are what you eat’.
Yet often we don’t think about transferring our healthy eating values to our pets.
Opting for healthier choices we’re reading labels, choosing gluten and wheat free, and eating our five a day.
I feel lucky that I’ve always fed my dogs a raw diet with ethically produced and locally sourced like Natural Instinct’s balanced species appropriate options.
In our modern world there’s a dramatic rise in environmental pollutants that are ubiquitous: the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink, isn’t as natural as it might once have been.
Industrial farming means that pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, travel down the food and water chains. Similarly heavy metals like lead, and chemicals from industrial by-products can infiltrate our water supply.
Whilst there’s little anyone can really do to control the depleted soil or the chemical composition of the rain, we can control what our dogs eat and the water they drink.
In my study with the College of Integrated Veterinary studies I learnt to err on the ‘precautionary principle’ and to filter tap water as better than using bottled water.
For years I drank bottled water whilst I gave Molly my beloved Miniature Bull terrier tap water. Perhaps a bit ironic as I was overly conscientious about what she ate, but hadn’t thought about her water intake at all!
The subject of which type of water: tap water, bottled; distilled; carbonated; still; to filtered rain water is debated with varying opinions. Just like the food we choose to eat, the water we drink is also a lifestyle choice.
I’m opting to use filtered tap water over bottled. Despite years of drinking containers of water, there’s enough evidence to suggest that bottled water can be chemically treated. Plus ensuring its purity in a plastic bottle isn’t always assured.
Water is the fountain of life and dogs just like us need to drink water to replenish cells, be a cooling agent, promote digestion, oxygenate the blood, flush out toxins. It hydrates a dog’s system, which like ours is 70 per cent water.
Prudence loves water!
Generally speaking, dogs should drink about 25-50 ml per kilo bodyweight, but every dog is different. Water consumption varies according to many environmental factors like diet, lifestyle, age and seasonally.
Monitoring the amount you dog drinks is prudent for gauging your dog’s well-being. For example excessive drinking might, in older dogs, signify health issues.
The quality of tap water varies regionally. In London the water is hard, which has three times as much calcium and magnesium as soft water.
Both these minerals are good for dogs, but in the right proportions and concentrations. Studies that have shown dogs drinking hard water are more prone to urinary conditions.
I use a cost-effective Brita filter to potentially balance the mineral content in our London tap water and intercept any residual chemicals that may be lurking.
For me it’s the fact that chemicals can insidiously promote a negative health effect overtime.
Even if I’m 100% sure any plastic bowls are BPA free, I’ll still opt for a ceramic water bowl.
I’m not shy of the ‘vintage’ touch and ‘back in the day’, before plastic was invented, it was the only choice.
Ensuring any bowl remains chip and scratch free is important. Minute grooves give bacteria a handy nesting opportunity, which can taint the water poured in.
These days many plastic bowls come BPA free and remain popular as they are cost effective and infinitely portable. (The plastic tubs Natural Instinct put their food in are BPA free!)
Stainless steel bowls are great, but can rust over time, and should be replaced at this point.
Keep it fresh! Replenish your dog’s bowl regularly. Keep the bowl clean and the water fresh and oxygenated so your dog laps up a healthy gulp that’s the fountain of life.