Water is the most important life-supporting resource on our planet. It allows our human bodies as well as the bodies of our pets to function properly. All plants and animals require water to survive. All of our most important bodily functions require water, and if we do not get enough water, we will die.
One of the reasons that water is so important to the survival of all human and animal life is that our bodies are made up of quite a bit of water. Dogs’ bodies are made up of 80% water, a larger percentage than human bodies, which are up to 60% water.
Drinking enough water is especially important during these hot summer weeks when it is really important to keep our pets cool and indoors with us. Dogs and cats should drink one ounce of water per pound of their body weight daily. Is your dog drinking enough? Check out this cool infographic from PetSafe.
While we may all know how important water is to our survival (for many reasons other than drinking, such as washing and cooking), we may not always adjust our behavior to make sure we are drinking enough water daily, and the same is true for our pets.
How to Help Pets Drink More Water
Always keep fresh, clean water out for pets to drink, both inside and outside. Clean water is especially important to cats, who may want their water bowl changed out more frequently than a dog.
Many animals may prefer to drink moving water, especially cats. There are several Drinkwell fountain options available to choose from here or at your local Hollywood Feed location.
Plain old ice cubes are a fun summertime treat for many dogs. Mine happen to love them, which is a healthy, inexpensive treat option! You can also freeze small treats in water in an ice cube tray so that there is something inside for the dogs to work toward.
My cat Fender really enjoys drinking from a dripping faucet. When he’s thirsty, he’ll end up under your arms while you wash your hands or do the dishes. I know that leaving a faucet dripping to indulge your cat’s whims can be wasteful, so maybe consider leaving one faucet dripping for an hour every night at 6pm so your cat knows when to expect access to this type of water.
Another fun idea is to put a small plastic (not inflatable) kiddie pool in your backyard and fill it with fresh water daily. Your dog can drink out of it and wade in it during the day. Make sure to dump the pool at night and refill it each morning to keep it clean and prevent stagnant water and mosquitos.
My dogs really enjoy drinking out of the water hose or sprinkler. Playing with the water hose is a fun way to spend time with your dogs, to cool off on a hot day, and to get your dog to drink some extra water.
My cats and dogs favorite way to get extra water during the summer is to be fed canned food! Wet food has a lot of added moisture, which will help boost your cat or dog’s hydration without them even knowing it. Another great option for moisture-rich food is to feed your pet a raw frozen diet.
There are lots of other ways to keep your pet hydrated this summer. What are some fun and creative ways that you get your dog or cat to drink more water?