Updated: Mar 3
Aside from having a healthy balanced diet, pet owners should ensure that their fur babies are well hydrated to keep them happy and energetic. Much like with us humans, drinking water is an essential part of a pet's everyday needs and nutrition. It is a vital component for having healthy living cells of the body. Without this, a pet's body would not function normally, leading to dehydration over time.
What does water do in your pet’s body?
Water's primary purpose is to transfer essential nutrients in and out of the body's cells. Water helps digest food and absorb nutrients. It also helps maintain average body temperature for your pet. As such, your pet requires a sufficient amount of water. In case there is a shortage of water in their body, their organs such as their kidneys and liver become vulnerable, disrupting their functionality in the long run.
How much water should you give your pets?
A healthy dog should drink about 40 mL of water per kilogram of its body weight per day; a cat should drink about 60 mL of water per day. Lactating dogs and highly active ones may need more. Puppies generally drink more than adult dogs as they tend to be more active. Thus, the amount of water that they should consume depends on age, physical activity, and ambient temperature. Each then becomes an individual case. You have to check how much is too much and how much is too little for your pets. You should know what is typical for them so you can tell if they are feeling well or not. You can even measure how much they are drinking to have an accurate read of how much they usually drink.
What does a lack of water intake do to your pet?
Lack of water intake can cause dehydration in your pets, which can cause metabolic disorder, such as diabetes, kidney failure, and other diseases, especially for female pets who are pregnant or lactating.
Is your pet dehydrated?
To know if they are indeed dehydrated, for dogs, lift the free fold of skin on their shoulder blades and observe how it descends. Your pet's coat should quickly revert to its original state under normal circumstances. However, it will take longer to return if they are genuinely dehydrated. You can also check their mouth. Dry, sticky, or light gums are common signs of dehydration and dryness of nose and eyes. You can check if they also have the following signals: moving more slowly than usual, tiredness, loss of appetite, sunken eyes, and panting.
How can you prevent dehydration in your pets?
Wherever you plan to take your pets, make sure that you provide fresh, clean, and clear drinking water every day. At home, you can place multiple water bowls in different locations throughout the house and make sure that they are full of clean and accessible water. Do not forget to change it regularly as your pet may quickly contaminate it. Cats especially like running water, so let them drink from a dripping faucet if they wish to. It would be best if you thought of investing in drinking fountains for your pets. Likewise, when on-the-go, take some water bottles with you. These water bottles are ideal and comfortable enough to use in such cases. You can also take collapsible water bowls in your car and on adventures.
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