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Discussion Starter #1
I would like to get Lilly to have a long drink before she goes out in the Florida sun. I know the old saying about "you can lead a horse to water but not make him drink". How can get Lilly to have a long drink prior to going out for walks. Any additives that I can put in her water? Ideas? Thanks.
 

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I know others may give more input, but here is mine.
I have a 3-5 yo GSD who does not drink a lot. I think it is best for them not to drink a lot before exercise i.e. walks, hiking, running, etc. I have noticed with my other dogs that when they do drink a lot and then exercise hard, they will throw up. Kind of like us.

The best approach I have found is a collapsible water bowl. I take it with me and after a while, I offer water from my bottle in the bowl. He always drinks it. Then, I dump it and put the bowl in my pocket. Problem solved.

I think it is a little bit like when your children are young and you don't think they are eating enough. You ask their doctor and they tell you they will eat when they are hungry. A dog will drink when it is thirsty. JMHO.
 

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I've found the best way to ensure proper hydration is to add water to their food. Mine never really touches his water bowl except when he's super thirsty; otherwise he gets his liquids via his raw diet and all the water I add to make his meal a "soup."
I know how it is down here in FL. Even when he was on kibble I always made sure to add water, otherwise he wouldn't drink enough (his pee was frequently pretty yellow).

I do like to make little "hydration mixes" if we do serious outings in the daytime. Keep in mind that I don't want to give him too much due to bloat concerns, but just enough to give him a little water plus some vitamins, protein, etc. I'll add water to his bowl, just enough to cover the bottom or a bit more, then I'll toss in a little canned fish and a bit of canned pumpkin, or some green beans, and mash it around. Or even banana. He laps it right up. If I want him to drink a lot and it's not close to exercise time, I just add more water and a little of one of the aforementioned ingredients. No problems then! Before and after heavy exercise, I withhold liquids. When we come back from a big outing, I immediately take up the water bowl, let him rest for about 15-20 minutes, then I give him a hydration mix (small amount), then I let him be for an hour or so and then it's business as usual, he can drink what he wants.
 

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I taught mine the "go get a drink" command. When they'd go to the water dish on their own, I'd point at it and say, "go get a drink." Then I started doing it as they walked to the water dish. After a few weeks of this, they'd go get a drink on command!

Now granted, sometimes it's just one slurp as a way to say, "I'm getting a drink because you told me to, but I'm not really thirsty."

But sometimes they'll be laying on the couch panting and I'll say, "go get a drink," and when they get there they realize they were thirsty and take a good long one.
 

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I bring a water bottle with me and when I notice he looks thirsty I stop and squeeze water into his mouth. I do this at least 3 times during our 1 1/2 hour walk
 

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A little salt added to their meal or the water can insure they consume more water. (Taught to me by a vet ions ago....works too. No "salt is horrible" posts please.)

Cherri
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the good advice. I have ordered a water bottle with a bowl attached to it that clips on my belt. I will see if this is maybe the best solution. Offer her a drink half way through her walk.
 
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