Why Should I Be Concerned About Pet Dehydration?
Dehydration in pets is a common, potentially life-threatening condition. Several things could cause a pet to become dehydrated, such as heatstroke, illness, vomiting, fever, or insufficient fluids and electrolytes. Normal activities like panting, urinating, defecating, and evaporation through the paws can also contribute to water loss, which is typically compensated for when your pet consumes food or water. If your pet fails to make up for watch loss, the volume of fluid in the body decreases, possibly leading to decreased blood pressure. Lack of blood flow can cause serious damage to vital internal organs like the liver and kidneys.
How Can I Tell If My Pet Is Dehydrated?
Symptoms of dehydration can include lack of energy, decrease in appetite, dry mouth and nose, panting, and sunken eyes.
One of the easiest ways to determine if your pet is dehydrated is by inspecting their skin. Use your thumb and forefinger and pinch a small bit of skin on their back or top of head. If their our pet is well-hydrated, the skin will spring back when you release it. If the skin moves back slowly or does not spring back at all then your dog most likely is lacking essential fluids.
How much water should my pet consume daily?
How much water your pet must consume daily is ultimately determined by several factors. Climate, activity levels, and diet all play into how much water they should be drinking.
For dogs, the general rule is that they should be drinking 1 ounce of fluids per pound of body weight. A cat’s necessary water intake is a bit less, being around 3.5-4.5 ounces per 5 pounds of body weight.
What Can I Do To Keep My Pet Hydrated?
Keep Their Bowl Clean
Just like how you would not eat off a dirty dish, your pet doesn’t want to either! By not cleaning their bowl you are potentially inviting mold and bacteria into your pet’s system. A dirty bowl can dissuade pets from drinking. Even worse, it could expose them to infections and even pneumonia caused by the bacteria.
A pet fountain could be a great option for giving your pet safe, filtered water. Cats and dogs are attracted to flowing water which encourages them to drink more water and supports their overall health.
Take Water With You
Physical activity is important, but so is keeping them hydrated. Whenever you take your pup outside to play, whether it is the park or the backyard, keeping a bowl of water out is essential so that they can replenish fluids when necessary.
The Ruffwear Quencher is the original packable travel bowl. Designed to provide pets with food and water on the go, this collapsible fabric bowl easily fits in any pocket or backpack.
Incorporate More Water in Their Diet
Your pet does not have to drink only water to get their daily water intake. Incorporating a more water-based diet can encourage your pet to consume more water than they would otherwise.
For dogs, mixing their kibble with water is an easy way for them to increase their water intake. When water is added to dry food, the kibble expands and releases the smell within, which can increase your dog’s interest.
Feeding your dog fresh fruits and veggies can be hydrating too. Check out our article What Fruits are Safe for Dogs? for more information on what you can and cannot let your pup snack on.
Most cats struggle to stay hydrated, so incorporating wet food into their diet is a great way to increase their water content. Feeding cats wet food can also be beneficial to cats with urinary tract issues, diabetes, or obesity.
Hollywood Feed offers many different brands and flavors of wet food your cat will adore. Click here to check out our selection.