Other Nutrients

Water

Water

Free access to clear drinking water helps prevent dehydration, the signs of which are dry skin that lacks elasticity when pinched, blood capillaries that do not fill up easily, a higher heart rate and high fever. Dogs and cats that are 10% dehydrated are more likely to die. It is important to monitor these animals’ water intake, especially when they are getting on in years. Increased intake can be a sign of diabetes mellitus or the start of kidney disease.

A little background information

Water (H2O),the most well known of organic substances, is a major constituent of the animal’s body (75% at birth and 60% in adult age). It is the more important nutrient to life, in absolute and relative terms, participating in all major physiological functions. Body fat contains just 15% water, the skeleton 50%, muscles 75% and blood 83%. Cats have a reputation for drinking little, because they are able to concentrate their urine. But if that concentration is too high it heightens the risk of crystals and the formation of stones, so cats must be encouraged to drink.

Its role in the body campus

Water has many essential roles for life:

  • ideal dispersion environment for nutrients and waste ;
  • optimal environment for all biochemical reactions ;
  • regulation of body temperature ;
  • lubrication of the joints, the eyes and the inner ear (transmission of sounds)…

Natural sources

There are three sources of water:

  • drinking, which is the principal source;
  • food, which can comprise between 10% (kibbles) and 85% (tins) water;
  • oxidation reactions in nutrients (e.g. 1 g of oxidised lipids produces 1.07 g of water in the body)
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