Could Water be the Enemy of Your Canine?

by Stacey Ennis Betters

A dog day outing at my parents ended with my dog vomiting over and over. Long after he had rid himself of his food, he vomited foam and water. He would not eat and lapped up water like it was some delicious canine concoction.

A trip to the vet, an anti-nausea shot and antibiotics and he was on his way to recovery. After discussing the cause of his sickness with the vet, it occurred to me that my dog could have been drinking stagnant rain water at my parents. We have had an enormous amount of rain lately and there was standing water in various containers, planters and basically anything that could hold a little water.

According to the vet, standing, stagnant rain water mixed with leaves and dirt can harbor all kinds of bacteria and make your dog sick. It basically becomes a toxic stew and a danger to your dog.

Close-up of beautiful white dog looking sick with a blue hot water bottle on his head

My dog had a speedy recovery after his vet visit which makes me think that the stagnant water was the culprit.

To nurse my dog back slowly the vet tech said to encourage the dog to drink plenty of fresh water. You can also offer low sodium chicken broth, Pedialyte or Smart Water. Pedialyte or Smart Water contains electrolytes that your dog is losing in the vomit or diarrhea.

To ease my dog back into eating slowly I fed him chicken and rice. It is soothing to the system. Make sure that the chicken is boiled or grilled with no spices and no fat. It should be 1/3 chicken to 2/3 rice. Feed smaller meals and make sure the chicken is cooked extremely well. Adding 1-2 teaspoons of canned pumpkin or cooked sweet potato to each meal for added fiber is also recommended. The fiber will help bulk up the stools and regulate the digestive tract. Continue feeding this for 2 days after the symptoms stop. Then slowly transition back into his regular food by slowly mixing it in with the chicken and rice.

My dog responded very well after a couple of antibiotics and a few days of boiled juicy chicken, rice and delicious broth. I think he is going to turn his nose up to dog food now.

The moral to this story...if I would not drink the water, the dogs should not either.

The information provided is not intended as medical or veterinary advice. If ever in doubt about any aspect of the health and welfare of your dog, I strongly recommend that you contact your veterinarian.