Leading A Dog to Water, But You Can’t Make Them Drink
Keeping Your Dog Hydrated
As a veterinarian, I know that dogs are more than members of our family, they are natural born athletes who will take on any challenge. It’s our responsibility as their owners to ensure our loyal friends receive the appropriate hydration and nutrients after activity. The same way we recover more efficiently from sports drinks, our canine athletes can also benefit from water supplements! Learn how to lead your dog to water!
The most important step to enhancing your dog’s recovery is ensuring they are drinking enough water. Sounds simple, right? Unfortunately, most overheated dogs do not drink enough water and I frequently have to rehydrate them with IV fluids in the clinic. Panting is a dog’s primary cooling mechanism but the process does not operate efficiently when they are dehydrated. The process works as follows: As a dog pants, the exhaled air extracts body heat from the warm blood in the surrounding vessels in the muzzle, and in effect cools the body temperature of the dog. However, if there is insufficient blood volume from dehydration, they cannot cool down appropriately. If the resulting elevated body temperatures go too high above normal, detrimental effects such as heat stroke, organ damage, and even death can occur.
Because of my experience as a veterinarian, dog agility competitor, and former All-American Track Athlete for Rice University, I fully appreciate the importance of hydration to keep our canine’s performance optimal. To solve the problem of rehydrating dogs that refuse to drink and restoring energy levels after exercise, I created an on-the-go supplement, called REPLENISH, which is mixed with water and given to your dog during or right after exercise. The all-natural chicken broth flavor entices water consumption even in the midst of heavy panting.
In addition to water, research has shown that giving your dog simple carbohydrates within 1 hour of exercise is highly beneficial because it restores cellular energy back to 90-100% within 24 hours. In comparison, these same studies show that feeding a regular dinner multiple hours after exercise will only restore energy levels to 70-80% in 24 hours. Therefore, REPLENISH was created to contain a highly dissolvable carbohydrate source to better rebuild the body’s energy supply.
Furthermore, recent studies on sled dogs have shown that ingestion of blueberries increases blood antioxidant levels. For this reason, blueberry powder is incorporated to combat oxidative damage that occurs with intense exercise. Lastly, by adding Vitamin B6 and B12, REPLENISH will also promote cellular recovery. Since dogs do not sweat and lose electrolytes like us, electrolytes are not included because excess supplementation can be harmful.
The combination of nutrients in REPLENISH is the optimal formula for recovery in active dogs but can also be used to treat mild forms of dehydration in sick dogs. REPLENISH is a product that I’ve been working on for years in conjunction with veterinarian nutritionists to provide total body recovery in active and sick dogs and am excited to offer it to my native city! Now you have learned how to lead your dog to water and make them drink.
By: Rachel Walsh, Replenish