Occasionally we pet sit for friends. Our most recent guest was a dog who is currently fed kibble. We now call it the “dehydration diet.” It has been a while since we’ve experienced a dog on dehydrated kibble as their primary food source. I was amazed at how much water a dog has to drink on this type of food (kibble alone), and how uncomfortable it must be to be this thirsty every day!
Being an avid fitness person, I cannot ever imagine becoming this dehydrated from food, guzzling water to recover, and then doing it all over again, then exercising or competing on top of it. This dog is a working class dog, who also competes in agility. I cannot help but think how much better he would do in competition if he felt hydrated, or at least “not” thirsty all the time.
For those of you feeding kibble and dealing with guzzlers, consider providing at least 1/2 of their meals as hydrated, moist meals. Adding water to dehydrated kibble typically doesn’t work because kibble is coated with a flavoring that washes off or is diluted when water is applied, making it less desirable for the animal to eat.
In any case, guzzlers face bathroom challenges – particularly if they are required to hold it 8 – 9 hours a day. Being devoted to you, they will not drink, knowing the consequences, leaving them that much more dehydrated. Or worse, they drink because they have to, and then cannot hold it.
This also applies to cats. Cats require a considerable amount of water if provided with only a dehydrated food source.
In terms of survivability, water is the single most important nutrient for the body!