Pet owners have to walk a fine line when it comes to deciding what goes into the food and drink their pets are offered. Something as seemingly trivial as flavoring up your dog’s water can affect its health in subtle ways if it is not done correctly. So, how exactly can you flavor your dog’s water?
Dogs love the taste of frozen fruit and homemade beef or chicken broth in their water. Other things you can flavor your dog’s water with include peanut butter powder, liquefied canned food, carbonated water, and dog-safe alcohol, flavorings, vitamins, and supplements.
That was the straightforward answer but this subject needs more context. Let’s take a closer look at what you can and cannot flavor your pupper’s water with, what is toxic to dogs, how much they need to drink, and specific water additives for dental health, bad breath, vitamins and supplements.
How You Can Flavor Your Dog’s Water
Make A Canned Food Cocktail
Here’s the easiest way – grab your pup’s favorite canned food and whisk in a tablespoon of it with about 16 oz. of water until there are no lumps. You can even use a coffee shaker, as long as you don’t have any plans to start your day by drinking out of it.
It’s simple, takes virtually no effort and your doggy will love it. On a side note, this can also be replicated with frozen dog treat mixes.
Spice Things Up with Some Broth
It’s no secret that canines absolutely adore meat, so it should come as no surprise that flavoring their water with chicken or beef broth will make them very happy. Your little friend will be very grateful if you mix a teaspoon of broth in its bowl.
However, make sure it’s homemade. Most store-bought broth contains onion which is extremely harmful to your pet.
Peanut Butter Powder Is Real and It’s Awesome
This may come across as a surprise but dehydrated peanut butter in powder form is a very real thing. Whisk in 1/4 tablespoon of peanut butter powder (Amazon link) into the water for a happy and hydrated doggy.
Most dogs love peanut butter so it would hardly be any effort to get yours to finish its bowl up. But do keep in mind not to do this too often as peanut butter powder is generally very calorie intense.
Add Some Frozen Watermelon and Cucumber Chunks In the Water
Canines generally love watermelon and cucumber. Freezing chopped-up pieces of watermelon and/or cucumber, and adding it to a bowl of water can make up for a very refreshing and healthy drink.
You can optionally add some crushed ice, but the absence of it won’t make it a bit less enticing for your pet.
What Not to Do While Flavoring Your Dog’s Water
Do Not Use Store-bought Broth
Majority of premade broth is for human consumption, meaning it is very likely that it contains onions and that’s no good. Onions contain N-propyl disulfide which is toxic to dogs and can cause anemia. Dogs that consume onion as little as 0.005% of their body weight can turn out to be fatal.
There are dog-safe bone broths available in the market but they might be a tiny bit hard to find. We highly recommend the organic bone broth by Native Pet, which is available from Amazon and perfect as a liquid bone broth or can be sprinkled over your dog’s food.
Know Which Fruits to Steer Clear Of
Just because you enjoy eating certain fruits, does not mean your dog will as well. Sometimes fruits that are seemingly harmful can create serious health problems for your dog.
Grapes, cherries, and raisins are known to cause kidney damage for dogs. Citrus fruits like lemon, orange, lime, etc. on the other hand can upset its stomach. You don’t want to make a frozen fruit water bowl out of these fruits if you value your pet’s health.
Sometimes Plain Water Is the Best Option
Dogs are very active animals so it is only natural that they love water. You don’t want to overdo it by regularly flavoring your pet’s water, because it’s an easy way to lose track of how many calories are being consumed.
Moreover, excess sodium is not healthy for your furry buddy.
Can My Dog Drink Anything Besides Water?
Carbonated Water Can Be A Great Treat
Carbonated water is safe for consumption as long as you regulate how much your dog drinks. It can be a rare treat from time to time but do not make it a regular habit.
Is Milk Safe for Dogs To Drink?
This may come across as a surprise but most dogs are in fact lactose intolerant despite their love for it.
Milk is full of rich nutrients like protein and calcium, but it can upset your pooch’s stomach and leave you with a mess to clean up. Although not all dogs react the same way to lactose, it is better to stay on the side of caution.
Dog-safe Alcohol Actually Exists
There are many dog-friendly beers, wine, and prosecco which are great treats for your dog on special occasions.
That being said, under no circumstances can regular alcoholic beverages be offered to dogs. Alcohol is very harmful to most animals which is why pet-safe beer, wine, etc. are non-alcoholic.
Simple Hack: Ice Cubes
Giving your dog ice cubes is probably the easiest way to encourage them to drink water. It is also the most effective method of slowing down water ingestion as it is best to give small quantities of water after an active outing.
It is better to wait till your little friend is calmer before you give them a full bowl.
Caffeinated Drinks Are a Big No
As harmless as it seems, caffeine is toxic to dogs. One mistake such as offering your pet some leftover coffee can be the reason its health deteriorates seemingly out of nowhere.
Dogs are much smaller than human beings so even a sip can turn out to be damaging to their well-being.
Vitamin and Protein Supplements Are Great If You Know What You’re Doing
Throughout their lifetime, your pets’ dietary requirements change gradually. If you know what you’re doing, supplements are a great way to make up for such changes.
Products such as K9 Power offer supplements for dogs of all ages. On the other hand, Wolf Spring is a plant-based vitamin beverage specifically tailored for young pups. Both products are available on Amazon.
Is There Flavored Water for Dogs?
The short answer is no, there is no pre-packaged flavored water that is dog-friendly.
However, there are water flavoring and enhancers available that are specifically made for dogs. Nulo Hydrate (available on Amazon) is one such product.
What Can I Flavor My Puppy’s Water With?
By rule of thumb, it is best to stick with freshwater or the milk of the pup’s mother. Although making a broth cocktail is an option, doing it regularly is not recommended due to bacterial reasons.
When it comes to young puppies, it would be ideal to consult a professional to know exactly what you need to do for your pet.
How Much Water Should My Dog Be Drinking?
Canines are messy when it comes to eating and drinking. So it can be a little tricky to keep track of their water intake accurately.
Generally, dogs need about an ounce of water per pound of body weight every day, according to WebMD. However, factors like your furry friend’s diet, weather, illnesses, and amount of exercise can cause this rate to fluctuate. Wet food supplements a portion of the required water intake. And naturally, if your dog has been physically active or if the weather is hot, it will need more water than usual.
However, make sure to restrict free access to water if your pet is tired from exercise or not calm. Drinking a lot of water while exhausted can make your dog vomit everything back out.
How To Encourage Your Dog To Drink Water
- Hygiene is key: Make sure to frequently clean and replace your pet’s bowl with fresh water.
- Invest in multiple bowls: Sometimes dogs can get lazy too, so having multiple bowls around the house can make it easier for them to access water.
- Add some water to their food: If your pooch isn’t drinking enough water, adding small amounts of water into their food can be really helpful, particularly if its diet consists mainly of dry food.
- Get a pet fountain: Dogs love moving water just like most animals. This is almost a sure-shot way of making sure your little buddy is enthusiastic about keeping itself hydrated. Moreover, many pet fountains now come with built in filter so that’s a sweet bonus!
- Offer from hand: When extremely tired or dehydrated, dogs may be unable to stand and drink out of a bowl even if they desperately need it. Offering them some cupped in your hand not only ensures they get some fluids, but can also help build a better bond with your pet.
- If your furry friend is outright not drinking water despite all your efforts, it could be due to an underlying health issue. Contact your veterinarian immediately.
Additional Additives You Can Add to Your Dog’s Water Bowl
Just like humans, your dog also needs a good intake of vitamins and other additives that takes care of its health. It is very easy to know how balanced your pooch’s diet actually is, and with over two-thirds of dogs over the age of 3 suffering from some form of gum disease, these additives could be a life-saver.
Here is a list of water additives for your dog. Follow the links for more information and their most up-to-date prices.
Purpose: Anti-plaque water additive. The first and only dental water additive approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council.
Price: USD$ 67.00 (from the Healthymouth website)
Purpose: Supplements vitamins and proteins.
Price: USD$ 18.00 – 90.00 (covering a range of products from the K9 Power Amazon store)
The Bottom Line
Although it may seem quite intuitive, flavoring your dog’s water is a nuanced process and requires a lot of context. As easy as it can be to keep your pet hydrated in this way, it is best not to make it a regular gig. After all, dogs love water, and sometimes keeping it natural is the best way.