Keep Your Pet Hydrated During the Dog Days of Summer
The enduring summer heat can take its toll on all of our fur friends, particularly senior pets. With high temps and unrelenting UV rays, summer pet safety relies on keeping your pet hydrated and out of the midday heat.
Understanding how much water your pet needs each day is another important aspect to ensure hydration and health. Like us, many of our cat and dog family members do not consume enough fresh H2O. For most pet owners, in fact, the amount of water their pets should drink is somewhat elusive.
Optimal Hydration for Pets
Although there is no one formula to know how much your cat or dog should drink each day, water requirements depend on several factors, including:
- Pet size
- Activity level or exercise
- Health conditions or medications that cause dehydration
Depending on weight, most dogs should consume at least ½ ounce of water per pound daily. For cats, 5-10 ounces daily is usually enough. Both of these requirements depend on whether your pet eats wet food (which is mostly water).
If your pet is outside a lot or is very active, you should encourage him or her to drink more water to stay hydrated. Puppies and kittens will also need to be monitored closely since they have not yet developed the skills to gauge their own hydration needs.
Monitor Your Pet’s Water Intake
Since many owners simply keep the water bowl full, it can be difficult to notice changes in a pet’s water intake. Knowing whether your cat or dog is drinking too much or too little is important to understanding your pet’s health. To help you keep tabs, try the following:
- Measure out the amount of water poured into the bowl each morning, and measure again at the end of the day.
- Track your pet’s daily water consumption in a pet health journal or smartphone app.
- Clean out your pet’s bowl and refill it every day to help you maintain awareness of how much is being consumed.
- If your pet is under- or over-drinking, contact Schertz Animal Hospital as this might be an indicator of an illness, such as diabetes, parvo, or kidney disease.
Tips to Keep Your Pet Hydrated
We hear from many frustrated owners whose pets just don’t seem to want to drink a lot of water. To encourage your pet, try the following tips to make water seem more inviting:
- During hot months, try adding some ice cubes to your pet’s water bowl.
- Consider using a water fountain type bowl for kitties who love to drink from the faucet.
- Add a small amount of chicken broth (low or no sodium) to your fussy pet’s water.
- Mix kibble with a bit of water or broth or mix wet and dry food (cats benefit from a wet food diet).
Along with nutrition, proper hydration plays a lead role in disease prevention and wellbeing. We hope you and your pet stay healthy, cool, and hydrated this summer. Don’t hesitate to ask us about more tips for pet summer safety.