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How do I know if my dog is getting enough hydration in the hot, dry months? (And can it lead to less shedding and a healthier senior dog?)

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Do you know if your Lab is getting enough moisture? Here in this drought-laden country this summer, it’s all on our minds. Most pets aren’t getting enough fluids, and simply setting out a bowl of water for them to drink doesn’t solve the problem. Dogs’ and cats’ bodies are 65% moisture, and unlike us, they are designed to get their moisture from their food – not just from their drinking water. They need 70% moisture in their FOOD to keep hydrating them all day, through the digestive system, despite water intake from a water bowl.

As with humans, water forms the basis for many functions in your pet’s body, assisting with the absorption of nutrients from their food. Water is also essential for circulation, cushioning the joints and spinal cord, waste removal, and much more. When your pet isn’t getting enough fluids, dehydration stresses their kidneys, possibly resulting in kidney disease and even kidney failure. Many times this is what kills your beloved senior pet—they lose mobility (their joints stiffen), they then stop getting up to drink, and they eventually die from organ failure (usually kidney or liver goes first) caused by dehydration. I can’t tell you HOW OFTEN this happens!!! Its soooo SAD!

A raw dog food diet is a natural way to provide your pet with true, enhanced hydration with each and every bowl.

Kibble only provides between 6-10% of the moisture that pets need in their diet. When a pet is fed a kibble-only diet, they are likely not getting enough moisture to be healthy – even if a water bowl is left out for them. A better solution is providing a diet that already includes moisture, such as a raw diet, which mimics the prey your pet’s ancestors consumed for both food and fluid. Especially in the hot summer months and ESPECIALLY in dry climates like the southwest, mid-west, and the south.

4 PRIMAL WAYS TO ADD MOISTURE TO YOUR PET’S DIET:

  1. Frozen Formulas. formulas include moisture. For example, BARF World patties) contains 70% moisture, making it a great option for adding necessary fluids to your pet’s diet. Check out other canine and feline raw frozen Formulas for other meal options with plenty of moisture.
  2. Raw Goat Milk. It’s everything that kibble isn’t. Known as the universal milk, goat milk is easily absorbed by a variety of mammals. It not only adds great moisture to kibble (make a pet cereal!) or a Freeze-Dried Formulas, it also contains vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, enzymes, proteins, bio-available nutrients, and fatty acids that contribute to your pet’s optimal health. Raw Goat Milk is 79% moisture.
  3. Bone Broth. Add much-needed moisture to kibble, canned food, dehydrated, freeze-dried, and raw foods with nutritious and delicious Bone Broth. With key benefits including digestion and liver support, joint health, appetite stimulation, and more, supplementing with Bone Broth is an easy way to keep your pet hydrated and healthy. Primal Bone Broth is a whopping 98% moisture.
  4. Add room temperature or warm water (not hot, or you might cook raw foods) to kibble or to our Freeze-Dried Formulas to soften foods and add fluid to their diet. Be sure to continue to leave out water for your pet to drink in between meals.

***Whatever the reason, pre-moistening your dog’s dry food can make it easier to eat and more appetizing. Softening the food can be as simple as adding some water or some other tastier liquids.

What if your pet doesn’t like wet foods? Start by crumbling a Freeze-Dried Formula into a bowl. Serve it dry at first, and then slowly work your way into rehydrating it as directed on the back of the package. Over time, as you add slightly more water to each meal, you may be able to get your pet used to consume a rehydrated diet.

Soaking the food softens it, and so eases the initial workload of the digestive enzymes which may well be struggling during illness or a period of recovery.

By feeding your pet a diet that gets them the moisture they need, you’ll be protecting their kidneys, tissues, and many other systems for a long, healthy life – just like any good ‘pawrent’ should. Not only that—all that hydration will PREVENT SHEDDING AND CREATE A LUXURIOUS, SHINY COAT!!! Happy hydrating!

****As a rough guideline, normal water intake for a dog is around an ounce per pound (50 mL per kg) of body weight per day. That means that a 65-pound (30 kg) Labrador would drink approximately half a gallon (1.5 liters) of water per day.

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