Water- a transparent, odorless, tasteless liquid, a compound of hydrogen and oxygen, H2O, freezing at 32 degrees F or 0 C and boiling at 212 degrees F or 100 degrees C, that in a more or less impure state constitutes rain, oceans, lakes, rivers, etc.
Water, we all drink it and we all need it. But what type that water takes and how it is administered can come in many forms. When I take Luke and Elsa to the beach they like to sip the ocean. I try to stop any ocean water drinking but they slip in a few sips here and there. Luke learned very young that salty sea water is not desirable although if he is thirsty he will drink it; as will Elsa. They don't gulp it but tend to have a hard time ignoring that it is water. We have seen the results of drinking ocean water from Tilley years ago. As a maniac retriever she was taking in a great deal of water just by grabbing her ball in the ocean at the beach. As we left the beach, poor Tilley resembled a liquid dispenser from both ends. Lesson learned.
Playing in the water can be great fun but you must take care where and when you are allowing your dog to do it. I have written about toxic green algae that can grow in any pond or lake. Not worth the risk if you suspect it at all.
Hose fun is great as well but shooting water directly at your dog can cause problems. Water can go down the wrong pipe causing your dog to choke severely. It can happen accidentally, heck I've had a drink go down the wrong way and it's not fun. Be careful when playing with hoses, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Always shoot from the side and never too high powered, even for those crazy Labradors.
Water consumption can turn from a nice little drink to a problem if there is too much of it. Often dogs will drink themselves silly which will just as often end up on your living room floor. If dogs drink too quickly they can have a tendency to upchuck it. Jessie did this often if she drank too much. For some reason her little stomach couldn't tolerate it and out it came in a gooey form. Not great but at least it was just water, sort of.
With large dogs there has been a trend to raise bowls. Not a good idea, it is not a natural way for a dog to drink. You can literally hear the air going in when they drink from a raised water source. The air gets into their stomach making all sorts of rejection noises. If you are lucky that air will come out via a burp or eventually the other end. But it is best to leave the water on the ground where it is meant to be. The same goes for when you are out walking your dog and need to hydrate them. If you have a portable bowl like I do, hold it at ground level or very low so that your dog does not suck in a ton of air while trying to drink. I see a lot of people holding the bowl at face level which makes it difficult to drink and allows a great deal of air to get into the dogs stomach.
When you are out hiking, running or just walking your dog give small amounts of water at a time. There is no need to allow your dog to drink a huge amount of water at one time. Stop more often and give them a small amount. This is why I like my small bowl that is attached with a carabiner to my dog walking pouch. It is expandable and always with me. When we stop at a fountain, Luke and Elsa get a small drink and we keep going.
Do not allow your dogs to drink from community water bowls. Lots of dog friendly places put out water bowls for dogs but you don't know who drank from it before your dog. As great as it is to see out in front of an establishment, don't use them. Bring your own water and your own bowl. If there are water fountains around you can use them but with your own bowl.
Do not allow your dog to drink from water fountains. People do not appreciate this. It may be cute, yes; and I have done it in a pinch but many humans do not like to see this. The more complaints that are made against people and their dogs the fewer places we will be allowed to frequent. So bring a bowl for your dog and use it.
A drink of water is great and needed for our dogs. If you feed dry dog food your dog's body will need more hydration. Take care how much water is consumed at one time. Just like food it is better to give smaller amounts more often than one big gulp. Big, huge amounts of water can like I said tend to come out doing the dog no good at all. Or they can just end up with too much water in their stomach. Water has an expansion to dry kibble so when feeding dry dog food watch how much is taken in at one time.
Water is essential to life; it can be fun to play in and fun to drink. But take care where, when and how much is taken in.