Springbrook Veterinary Advice: Your Pet and Water
When it comes to caring for all of your pet’s needs, there’s a lot to juggle. They depend on you for complete, balanced nutrition, daily exercise, mental stimulation, monthly parasite prevention, training, and so much more. Pets need water, too. But the exact equation of water in/water out isn’t always straightforward. How do you know if your pet is drinking enough water every day? To prevent dehydration, our Springbrook veterinary advice involves closely monitoring their habits:
Gauging Your Pet’s Drinking Habits
It can feel like you’re constantly picking up empty water bowls to wash and refill them. Some pets are pretty sloppy with their daily drinking, others can’t seem to be bothered to venture even remotely close to the bowl. Daily intake is largely dependent on their breed, size, age, and overall physical activity. But how much is enough?
The Right Amount
Dogs need about one ounce of water, per pound of body weight every single day. This amount should increase on hot, humid days, or during/after vigorous workouts. Cats, on the other hand, only require about five-ten ounces of water every day.
If your pet eats a predominantly dry diet, they may find themselves to be thirstier than pets enjoying a wet or canned food diet. Since canned food can contain up to 80 percent moisture, they may not need to drink as much water.
When Behavior Comes Into It
A pet that either drinks too much or too little water may need immediate veterinary attention. For starters, if you notice that your pet is slurping down all their water and needing to go outside or to their litter box more frequently, there could be something going on with their health. Increased water intake and urination can be a symptoms of:
- Cushing’s disease
- Kidney or liver disease
- Bladder or urinary tract infection
A pet that is not drinking enough water may end up severely dehydrated. Take a look inside the mouth to feel for dry, tacky gums. They may also have sunken eyes, poor appetite, and lethargy. Dehydration in pets is a medical emergency.
Without a doubt, the heat contributes to the risk of dehydration. Be sure that your pet isn’t exercising during the hottest part of the day. They should always have unrestricted access to cool, clean water, shade, and cross ventilation (or better yet, air conditioning).
Springbrook Veterinary Advice
Knowing your pet’s target water needs every day is a great place to start. Measure how much water goes into the bowl every day, count how many times you refill it, and contrast it with whatever’s left in the bowl at the end of the day. Place water bowls in several different locations around the house and yard.
To entice your pet to visit their water station more often, place a few ice chips in it or a little bit of low-sodium chicken broth. Invest in an attractive water fountain that filters the water and keeps it moving for a great taste. Lastly, get creative with delicious frozen treats.
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