Hydration is a crucial part of keeping your pet healthy, especially during these hot summer months. Hydrating your pet is so essential the US has declared the month of July National Pet Hydration Month. Did you know that your dog should drink 1 ounce of water per day for every pound of body weight? For large breed dogs that means a lot more water than the recommended 64 oz for humans every day.
Why do pets need more water than humans? It may come as a surprise, but dogs and cats are made up of 80% water, as opposed to the human 55-60%. This means it is 20-25% more likely for a pet to become dehydrated. How do I know if my dog/cat is drinking enough water? We understand it is not always easy to know exactly how much water intake your pet has had each day. Here are some important symptoms of dehydration to look out for.
- Loss of appetite
- Reduced energy levels
- Heavy panting
- Sunken eyes
- Dry mouth/gums
- Loss of skin elasticity
If your pet experiences any of these symptoms try to entice them with a fresh bowl of water. Whenever possible monitor your pet’s water intake. In addition to watching for these symptoms, performing the skin elasticity test is a great way to detect if your pet is experiencing dehydration. If the symptoms persist/worsen you will want to give your veterinarian a call as medical attention may be needed.
Tips to keep your pet hydrated
Providing fresh water for your pet daily may sound like a no-brainer, but there are a few tricks that will ensure your pet stays hydrated even through the hot and dry season.
- Keep water bowls clean
Your pet may not seem to mind day old water but a freshly clean bowl with fresh water is ALWAYS more enticing than a slimy, lukewarm dish. Cleaning your pet’s dish daily will also keep the harmful, biofilm at bay!
- Use more than one water dish
Increase opportunities for your pet to drink water by placing a few water dishes throughout your home as well as in several outdoor areas. This will help to up their water intake exponentially.
- Frozen Treats
Offer your pet frozen treats, such as ice cubes, frozen broth, or pet-healthy smoothies. These refreshing, fun treats keep your pet coming back for hydration again and again.
- Get a drinking fountain
While some dogs or cats may not mind standing water, others are far more interested in drinking from a bubbling fountain. Can you blame them? Drinking fountains often also filter the water which removes tastes and odors that may prevent your pet from drinking up.
- Add water to your pet’s food
This is an especially good idea for older pets. Start with a small amount of water until they feel comfortable with the change. You can safely add water to any type of pet food from kibble to canned food. It is a great way to up their hydration without them feeling like they are being forced to drink, drink, drink.
As always, our goal as pet parents is to have the happiest and healthiest pets possible. Knowing the signs of dehydration and tips for how to keep your pet hydrated will keep your fur baby living their best life all summer long. Just remember, every time you reach for a drink of water for yourself, think of your pet. Or, maybe keeping your pet hydrated will help you to stay hydrated too!
Click here to get a downloadable infographic reminder for Pet Hydration.
How are you keeping your pet hydrated this summer? Share your tips and tricks in the comments!
Just Around the Corner offers daily Dog Walking and Pet Sitting in Plymouth, MA. To learn more about how Just Around the Corner can help, check out our Services Page. You can also Contact Us for more information. Be sure to Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Instagram!