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Like humans, dogs need plenty of water to stay hydrated, especially during the hot summer months. Dehydration can range from a minor discomfort and quickly escalated into a serious condition.
While bichon frises are diminutive dogs that might not require as much water as a larger breed, it is imperative to ensure your pooch has access to fresh, clean water at all times, especially if you live in a warm climate.
Can You Give Your Bichon Frise Tap Water?
Do you drink tap water? Any water you deem safe to drink yourself should be fine and dandy for your bichon frise.
Tap water is safe for dogs to drink because it is treated with chlorine, which kills bacteria and other contaminants. However, some dogs may be sensitive to the chlorine in tap water, so you may want to give your dog bottled water or filtered water instead, the lucky pooch! Alternatively, you can try boiling the water and see if it kills any residual bacteria.
Some signs that your dog might be sensitive to the chemicals found in tap water include:
- Tummy discomfort
- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Excessive drooling or drinking
- Dry and flaky coat
- Food sensitivities that might be mistaken for water sensitivity
If you suspect that your bichon frise is sensitive to tap water, try eliminating tap water for a few weeks and see if the symptoms subside.
How Often Should You Clean Your Bichon Frise’s Water Bowl?
Most dogs need to have their water bowls cleaned, and the water switched out at least once a day. Some veterinarians and nutrition experts recommend doing it twice a day if you want to be on the safe side. If your dog is particularly active or likes to make a mess (some dogs love pawing into their bowls!), you might need to clean it more frequently.
However, dainty dogs like the bichon frise tend to be courteous and more low-key, and you might be able to get away with cleaning it once a day.
Note that some bichons have sensitive little tummies, so if your dog is prone to getting a tummyache due to contamination or impurities, change their water and clean their bowls twice a day.
How Much Water Should Your Bichon Frise Drink?
Bichon frises are small dogs, so they don’t need a lot of water. The general rule of thumb is to give them about 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight every day. Of course, this is just a general guideline. Some bichon frises may need more or less water depending on their activity level, size, age, and environmental factors.
For example, an overweight or more active dog might pant more in the summer and require loads more water, while a sedentary couch potato in the winter on the couch might barely even drink.
3 Potential Reasons Why Your Bichon Frise Drinks Too Much Water
Pooches sweat primarily through their paw pads and noses, expelling heat by panting. Keep in mind, if you are feeding your dog wet food or other diets such as the BARF, your dog might drink less water as their food already contains a good amount of liquids.
There are a few reasons why a bichon might drink excessively, including:
The condition that causes dogs to drink excessively is medically known as “polydipsia”. Polydipsia is an excessive thirst caused by several medical conditions, such as diabetes, kidney disease, or hyperthyroidism.
Dogs with polydipsia will drink more water than is necessary to quench their thirst and will often urinate more frequently as a result.
2. Certain Medications
Some medications, such as steroids, often have the side effect of increased thirst and excessive drinking.
3. Rare But Serious Conditions
Other more rare but severe conditions can also cause excessive thirst and drinking. If you don’t have a reason as to why your dog is constantly draining his water bowl, it might be just time to take your pooch to the vet to rule out any illnesses, like:
- Kidney disease
- Diabetes mellitus
- Pyometra, a uterine infection in unsterilized females
- Hypercalcemia, where the calcium level in the blood is abnormally high
3 Potential Reasons Why Your Bichon Frise Doesn’t Drink Enough Water
Hydration is vital for all living things, whether human or canine! When your furry bud doesn’t get enough water intake, it is understandable to feel concerned. While some reasons why your bichon frises is shunning his water bowl are harmless, you should always be vigilant about a potential, more serious condition.
Some reasons why your bichon isn’t drinking include:
1. Doesn’t Need It!
While it is understandable to be concerned, some environmental factors like your bichon’s sedentary lifestyle, cooler weather, and wet and soggy food might contribute to the decreased thirst. If your bichon is in good health and doesn’t show signs of dehydration, he might already be getting adequate amounts of water.
2. Bladder or Urinary Tract Infections
If you notice other symptoms like blood in the pee or lethargy, you’d probably want to see a vet!
3. Stress and Strange Surroundings
Some anxious dogs get stressed when confronted with a new situation. If the reduced thirst is temporary due to a change of scenery, it probably will pass when your bichon starts to feel more at home.
What Are the Risks of Dehydration and Excessive Water Drinking?
Dehydration can range from mild discomfort to a potentially dangerous situation. Symptoms of dehydration in dogs include lethargy, excessive panting, dry mouth, decreased urination, and sunken eyes.
To test for dehydration, gently pinch and lift the fold of skin and flesh between the shoulder blades, where your bichon might get his yearly vaccination. When you let go, if the fold quickly springs back into place, your bichon is good to go. However, if the flesh retains its upraised shape for a while, your bichon might be a tad dehydrated.
In addition, when you drink too much water, your kidneys can’t get rid of the excess water. The sodium content of your blood becomes diluted, causing a condition called hyponatremia that is potentially serious.
For small breeds like the bichon frise, excessive drinking can also cause liver problems. This is because small dogs have a higher ratio of body surface area to body weight, which means that they are more susceptible to water intoxication.
If your bichon is a reasonable drinker, feel free to leave water out at all times. However, if he shows signs of excessive thirst or drinking, you might want to consider a trip to the vet to rule out any serious problems.
Besides making sure it stays hydrated, you should also make sure that your bichon frise eats a proper diet.