Is it important to give water at a separate time from feeding to avoid canine bloat?

by Debbie
(Getzville, NY)

I have read in a rottweiler magazine that a dog should get water 30 minutes after eating, not during to prevent bloat.

Do you agree with this?

I’m not a veterinarian so whatever I say on this is just my personal opinion, for a professional answer you may want to talk to your own vet and get his/her input.

I definitely see the reason for this recommendation, canine bloat is a very serious condition and fatal if unrecognized or left untreated, and eating/drinking too fast or immediately before/after strenuous exercise could trigger it.

In dogs who are especially susceptible to bloat – large, deep-chested dogs – it’s important to take all precautions possible. Although Rottweilers aren’t the most likely to experience bloat (Great Danes, Irish Wolfhounds, Greyhounds and other similar breeds are statistically more at risk), they are of the ‘right’ build and size and it’s wise to be aware of the possibility of this condition and what causes it.

In terms of whether a Rottweiler should be allowed to drink water while he eats, I personally think a lot depends on the dog itself. If you have a Rottie that guzzles food without stopping for breath, and attacks his water bowl in the same way, then I would definitely suggest that you follow the guidelines mentioned in the magazine.

You can also try to feed a dog like this twice a day rather than just once (even when adult) as this may slow down his eating habits. Also, if you are feeding more than one dog at a time, keep them separated so that they don’t feel the need to consume their food rapidly in order to ‘protect it’ from the other one/s.

There are a number of risk factors for bloat, and if you have a Rottweiler (or any other high-risk breed) who is older than 7, is male, has a family history of bloat, tends to be anxious or nervous by nature, or eats his food very quickly then you want to be extra careful. Any one, or combination of, these risk factors could be cause for concern.

However, if you have a picky or ‘dainty’ eater – and surprisingly enough, many Rottweilers fall into this category, then I wouldn’t be so concerned about allowing him to drink water with his meals, but limit the amount he gets at that time. You can refill his water bowl 30 minutes to an hour later and let him drink his fill then.

Also remember that it’s equally important not to feed your Rottie immediately before, or after, strenuous exercise.

Hope this helps, best of luck with your Rottweiler.

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