One of your most important tasks as a dog owner is providing for your dog’s nutritional needs. Choosing a well-balanced dog food made with healthy ingredients is a good start, but there is one nutrient that is more important than all the rest: water. Not only does your dog need plenty of fresh water to survive, but water plays an important role in his digestive health as well.
Your dog needs to drink plenty of fresh water each and every day in order to stay hydrated, but that isn’t the only function water serves – water is also important for your dog’s digestive health. For one thing, the water your dog drinks helps him to break down and digest the food he eats. From the moment you set your dog’s food bowl on the floor, he will start to salivate. Not only does that saliva contain digestive enzymes that help to start the process of breaking down the food your dog eats, but it also contains water that moistens the dog’s mouth and tongue to ensure easy chewing and swallowing. When the food reaches your dog’s stomach, water helps to jump-start the digestion process.
Water continues to help to break down food as it moves through the rest of his digestive system. It carries digestive enzymes and acids that help to extract nutrients from the food your dog eats – this process takes place in several organs including the liver, gall bladder, and pancreas. After extracting the nutrients from the food, your dog’s body carries the leftover waste through the digestive system and out of the body; water plays a key role in this process as well. If your dog doesn’t get enough water, his stools may become too solid, which could lead to constipation.