(PETS/DOGS) We all know about the importance of drinking water. Doctors and scientists can’t emphasize the benefits of staying hydrated enough–explaining that proper hydration is the key to preventing a number of health issues.

However, what many people don’t realize is that drinking water is just as important for your dog as it is for you. Obviously dogs need water to cool down and stay hydrated, but drinking water can also provide countless health benefits for your pooch, as well.

Here’s why you should be focused on ensuring that your dog gets enough cool, clean water to drink.

Avoid Dehydration

This is the most straightforward reason to drink water, but dogs can get dehydrated easily if they don’t drink enough. Dehydration causes a slew of health problems, including kidney damage, liver damage, and more. If organs are deprived water for long enough, they could shut down altogether.

Joint Pain & Health

Water doesn’t only serve vital organ function–it also helps lubricate and cushion joints. This ultimately makes it easier and less painful for pets to move around. This can be particularly important for an elderly dog who may have joint or movement issues.

Aids The Digestive System

One body system that uses water as an important part of the process is the digestive system. Water helps your dog break down the food he/she ingests, and then aids in the absorption of those nutrients. Water also helps organs secrete the enzymes and acid necessary to complete the digestive process fully.

Eliminates Waste & Toxins

After your dog has digested his/her food, they need to get rid of the waste in their body. Water allows that process to happen, and waste is excreted via urination or a bowel movement.

Healthy Body Temperature

When it’s a particularly hot day, water can be incredibly important because it helps control your dog’s body temperature. Water can circulate through the body and cool it down, preventing pets from overheating in the summer or when spending time outside in a hot climate.

A Sign of Health & Vitality

A dog who drinks the right amount of water is typically healthy. However, if a dog’s drinking habits change, it may be an important sign that something is off with their health.

Notice if your dog starts drinking an excessive amount of water, or if, alternatively, he/she stops drinking water altogether. If your dog’s drinking habits change, take your pup to the vet to get them checked out. Your vet can determine what is causing the health problem and prescribe whatever medicine or treatment necessary.

If you have a pet dog, you should make sure he/she always has access to an adequate amount of water. Making sure your dog drinks water can help ensure proper hydration, which provides a slew of health benefits. While you drink your proper eight 8-ounce glasses a day, you can ensure your dog drinks enough as well–and both your doctor and vet will be very proud!