It’s no secret that your pets need fresh clean drinking water every day for optimum health. It’s also no secret that cats and some dogs are very finicky about, well, pretty much everything! With the warmer weather approaching I want to talk about your pet’s drinking habits.
Water is an essential ingredient to life. All animals need it to help flush out toxins and to keep organs hydrated. Cats especially need to take in an adequate amount of water to prevent kidney problems, most notably kidney stones and kidney failure.
How Much Water
Does My Pet Need?
The amount of water that your pet needs to drink daily depends on his or her weight, activity level, and diet. Dogs are generally pretty good about regulating their water intake. As long as fresh, clean water is provided they will usually drink the amount their body requires. Keep in mind that with the warmer temperatures around the corner, your dog should also be drinking more to stay fully hydrated.
Cats get most of their water intake from their food. In the wild this is not much of an issue since raw meat contains up to 70% water. Dry food, on the other hand, only contains about 10% moisture. Some cats will supplement their food with extra drinking water and others are a little pickier.
Dehydration in Pets:
- Sunken Eyes
- Loss of Appetite
- Dry Mouth
Any sudden change in behavior can be cause for concern. Contact your vet if your pets’ drinking habits change suddenly; if they starting drinking an excessive amount of water, or stop drinking it altogether it could be a sign of a serious illness.
What if I Suspect
- Perform the skin test: Gently grab a fold of skin on the back of the neck or between the shoulder blades & release. If the skin snaps back into place, your pet should be okay. If the skin slowly returns to place, your pet could be dehydrated.
- Have your pet checked by a vet.
- Provide fresh, clean water daily.
- Monitor your pet’s water intake, especially in the hot summer months.
Tips for Keeping
Your Pets Hydrated
If you are having trouble getting your pet interested in water there are a few things you can try.
- Change the type of pet bowl. Some prefer ceramic (lead-free glazed, of course) over metal bowls and vice versa.
- Try a pet fountain. Clean, fresh, running water might be more enticing for your pet, while others will appreciate the water being filtered (thus tastier) and kept cooler.
- Change the location of their water dish. Be sure it is far from the litter box and/or out of direct sunlight.
- Consider adding a wet food to your pet’s diet, or add water to their dry food. Wet cat foods usually contain around 80% water. Just be sure to adjust your portions of dry food to ensure you aren’t over feeding your pet.
Pet Hydration Infographic & Resources Referenced from PetSafe: http://www.petsafe.net/learn/pet-hydration-month