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Ensuring Your Pets Stay Hydrated

How much water does your pet drink each day? Have you ever really paid attention? While it’s always important to take note of just how much (or little) water your pet is drinking, it becomes even more important as temperatures heat up during the summer months. In fact, keeping your pet properly hydrated as well as keeping track of how much water he drinks could potentially save his life.

Surprisingly enough, the amount of water that your pet is drinking (or not) could signal that something is seriously wrong. If you feel your pet is not drinking too much, or too little, you need to get to take a trip to the vet and fast. Diseases such as parvo, diabetes and leptospirosis may all be characterized by not drinking enough water. In and of itself, dehydration can lead a perfectly healthy pet to organ failure and even death. On the other end of the spectrum, drinking too much water could cause imbalances in your pet’s electrolytes, water toxicity and even bloat.

So, how much water does my pet really need each day? According to WebMD, your pets should drink ½ to 1 whole ounce of water per pound of their body weight. However, just like anything else, this not a hard and fast rule. There are other considerations you should keep in mind when trying to determine if your pet is drinking enough water to keep him hydrated.

  1. Exercise: Your pet’s activity level may require an increase in water intake levels to keep him properly hydrated.
  2. Daily diet: A raw food diet contains more moisture than a canned food diet and a canned food diet contains more moisture than a dry food diet.
  3. Age of your dog: Puppies require about a half a cup of water every few hours. (Of course, this is a general guideline.)
  4. Medications: If your dog is on any medications, speak to your vet about how your pet’s water intake may be impacted by his medicine.
  5. Weather: When temperatures soar, our pets will require more water to prevent dehydration, or even worse, heat stroke. This is especially true for pets that spend more time outdoors or for pets that stay in environments that are not air conditioned.

10 tips to encourage him to drink more water and stay hydrated

  1. Add wet food to your dog’s diet or even try implementing a raw diet.
  2. Try changing your pet’s bowl. Silly as it may seem, metal bowls sometimes give off a metal taste and this may make your pet less likely to drink.
  3. Try a pet fountain for your pet. Some pets are more likely to drink from water that is filtered.
  4. Provide your pet with fresh, cool water all day. Refresh his water throughout the day and try to avoid only filling his water bowl up once per day.
  5. Wash your pet’s bowl frequently. Would you drink out of a dirty glass?
  6. Add ice cubes to your pet’s water.
  7. Put a water bowl in more than one room of your home as well as outdoors that way it is always easily accessible.
  8. Many cats like to drink from the faucet so you want to let it drip!
  9. Add chicken broth to your pet’s water.
  10. If you feed your dog a dry diet, you may want to try pouring a little bit of water over his food.

Finally, be aware of the signs of dehydration in your pet. Lethargy, depression, sunken eyes and loss of appetite are all a clear signal that your pet may be dehydrated. As always, if something seems wrong head right to the vet. Keeping your dog properly hydrated will help keep him healthy and happy!

Our staff at Tailored Pet Services always fully refresh our four legged clients’ water supply during each visit, so you don’t have to worry about them not drinking enough water while you are at work. Check out our dog walking page if you’d like us to visit your fur baby for a potty break or take outside for some exercise.