Everyone loves their pets and wants to take care of them. A critical factor in ensuring the proper health of your pets is to keep them hydrated. Sometimes, it becomes challenging to make your pets drink water according to their body needs because of certain factors.
In this article, we are going to discuss pets’ water drinking guide and how you can ensure that you can keep your cats and dogs hydrated. As cats and dogs are the most common pets across the US, we will cover them separately.
Pets Water Drinking Guide
Just like human beings, cats and dogs are made up of 70% water. They need water for proper growth, staying active, transporting nutrients to the cells for growth and reproduction, regulates body temperature, provides a cushioning and protection to the vital body organs, helps in excreting waste from the body and improves neuromuscular coordination.
Cats Drinking Water Guide
The first question that comes to your mind while pondering about your cat’s hydration is how much water it need daily.
How much Water a Cat needs
Let’s look at a simple rule to calculate your cat’s daily water needs. The general rule is that a cat needs around 3-4 ounces of water per 5 pounds body weight. Let’s say your cat weighs around 8 pounds; it will need to consume around 6 ounces of water in the daily diet. Another way to measure the required amount is to give 50ml of water per 1kg bodyweight. If your cat weighs 5 kg, it will need around 250 ml of water daily. They don’t need to drink just “water” in this quantity. They can consume it through other means as well. If you are giving your cat a balanced diet with proper water content, your cat will never be dehydrated until it has some other medical problem.
You can complete this water intake for your cat by providing them wet cat food, which is high in water content. Each food has different water content; therefore, you need to read in the ingredients and then judge whether it is enough for your cat or not. Cats love to drink milk; they can get some water form milk as well.
How to Make your Cats Drink More?
It is not difficult to make your cats drink water. By acting on the following simple and easy tips, you can make your cats drink more and fulfill their drinking needs.
Keep the Bowl Clean – Make sure you keep your cat’s drinking bowl neat and clean. Make a habit of cleaning it daily. Your cat may simply not drink water from its bowl because of a bad smell, debris, or dirty water. Make sure you add pure, clean, and freshwater in their pots.
Add Bowls at Multiple Locations – Many pet parents have expressed that adding water bowls at multiple locations like the favorites spots of their cats have helped them make their cat drink more. Adding multiple bowl tricks is more useful when you have more than one cat because cats don’t like to share water bowls.
Cat Water Fountain – A cat water fountain can make it interesting for your cat to drink water. It can also add a little game in their routine. Pets like to drink flowing water as compared to stagnant water in a bowl. Make sure you chose the location carefully as we don’t want you to end up with a watery mess. Your lawn is the best position for installing a pet water fountain.
Add Some Flavor – Different flavors for cat drinking water are available online and at pet stores. You can add a little amount of flavor to develop your cat’s interest and taste. This is helpful for cats who don’t like to drink plain water.
Keep it Cool – This trick comes in handy during the summer season. Just like humans, cats also love a cool refreshing drink in summers. You can also make ice cubes form the flavors and then add them to your cat’s bowl.
Benefits of Hydration
Hydration is as vital for pets like cats and dogs as it is for humans. By staying hydrated, they can enjoy following health benefits
- Keeps them active
- Gives them a pleasant mood
- Helps in flushing out the toxins from the body
- Helps in regulating the body temperature
- Assists in maintaining pH inside the body
- Water plays a key role in digestion and food absorption
Signs of Dehydration in Cats
The most common way to check whether your cat is drinking enough water is to look at the level of water in the drinking bowl. The problem with this method is that you cannot confirm that whether the water has been spilled, or your cat actually drank it. The best and most effective way to avoid dehydration in your cat is to look for signs of dehydration. The most common symptoms of dehydration among different species of cats are as follows
Depression and Lethargy – Your cat’s behavior may change suddenly due to a lack of water. If you notice depression, lethargy in your cat, it is time to increase their water intake.
Sticky Gums – Keep a lookout for your cat’s gums. If they are not sticky and dry, your cat is well hydrated. Moist gums are a symptom of dehydration.
Vomiting and Diarrhea – Lack of water can result in your cat either vomiting frequently or suffering from diarrhea. These problems can also be a result of some problem in your cat’s diet.
High Temperature and Panting – As water is used to regulate your cat’s body temperature, dehydration can result in high temperatures. Overheating can also lead to panting, so if you see your cat panting, it may be the result of dehydration.
Loss of Appetite – Your cat may lose its appetite. If your cat is not drinking water according to its need, it may simply refuse to eat any other thing as well. If you show this behavior for more than 24 hours, it is time to take them to a vet.
Loose Skin – A dehydrated cat starts to develop loose skin. You can check this by pinching your cat’s skin gently; a loose skin will take more time than to get normal as compared to healthy skin.
Less Urination – Another way to check for signs of dehydration is to look at the amount of urination. It is only possible if your cat excretes in a litter box. A reduced amount of urination means your cat is dehydrated.
Treatment of Dehydration for your Cat
The best way to deal with the dehydration signs in your cat is to make it consume the daily recommended amount of water through diet, other fluids, or simply water. You can use the tricks mentioned above to help your cat drink water more. If the signs persist, it is time to take your cat to a vet.
Too Much Water Consumption
If your cat starts to drink more water than needed by its body, it is also a sign of worry. It can impact your cat’s kidneys and cause digestion problems. It can also lead to diabetes, urinary tract infections, and hyperthyroidism. The best and only way to look at this is to notice the amount of your cat’s pee. If it is more than normal, your cat is consuming more liquids than the prescribed amount. As a first resort, withdrew the water in the diet. If the problem persists, contact your vet on an urgent basis.
Drinking-Water Guide for Dogs
Dogs are human’s most loyal and bet friends. Dog owners must take proper care of their dogs in return. They should give their pets a comfortable living, ensure that they get a healthy diet, and are loved equally in return. A critical aspect of a dog’s health is the amount and quality of drinking water. It is difficult actually to check how much water your dog is drinking. You have to check from symptoms of dehydration and employee different tricks to ensure that your dog is consuming enough liquids.
How much Water does Dog need?
The general rule for healthy dogs, regardless of their breed, is to drink around 40-55ml of water per kilo of body weight. If your dog weighs around 6 kg, you will have to ensure that your dog consumes around 300ml (10 ounces) of water daily. It is just over a standard glass used for drinking water at your homes.
For puppies, you need a different water intake plan; they would require half a cup of water every two hours. Since puppies are under a diet control maintained by owners, you must make sure that they are not consuming extra. Water taken from other sources is also included in this schedule.
Dogs that do a lot of exercises may need more water as compared to dogs that stay at home. As a responsible owner, you should take your dog out for a walk daily. It is best to take along a water bottle for your dog. Increasing your dog’s water intake during extreme summer season helps them in staying cool and hydrated.
If your dog is suffering from a health problem and is on medication, it is best to set your dog’s daily water intake after consultation with the vet.
How to ensure that your dog is properly hydrated?
The best way to ensure that your dog is adequately hydrated is to look for signs of dehydration. Dogs are very intelligent animals as compared to cats, and by making a behavioral adjustment in them, you can help them develop a drinking schedule. This can be done by associating small treats whenever your dog goes for a drink. You also have to make sure that you give them treats in a small number so that they don’t associate and condition their mind with gifts after drinking water. It can result in over-hydration, which is not good for your dog’s health. Other tips to ensure your dog gets enough water are the same as mentioned above in the cats’ section. You can deal with the over-hydration problem by rationing the water you put in the water bowl or getting a high-tech water bowl, which allows only one gulp with each lick.
Benefits of Hydration and Dehydration Symptoms in Dogs
The benefits of hydration are pretty much the same for dogs as they for the cats. As dogs are more active than cats, they need more water to maintain their physical activity. Water also helps dogs in maintaining sniffing power. The major symptoms of dehydration are also the same. Additional symptoms related to dogs are the dry nose, thick saliva, and sunken dry eyes.
Conclusion: Does the water quality Matter for your cats and dogs?