Keeping water available to indoor and outdoor pets may seem like common sense. However, the July heat reminds us that there are several dangers to not keeping pets properly hydrated.
What are common symptoms of dehydration in pets?
In a recent interview with Karen Reilly-Brickett, safety manager for It Takes a Village Pet Care and a certified PetTech instructor, we discussed proper pet hydration and what signs a dehydrated pet exhibits.
A pet’s body consists of 80% water vs. our bodies, which are made up of 55-60% water. When a pet’s water intake is down even 10 to 15%, they can experience problems with organs. One ounce of water per pound of body weight daily is the recommended consumption for dogs and cats.
Pets should have:
- pink gums that when pressed, turn pink again within 1-2 seconds, and
- good skin turgor, which is how quickly the elasticity of the skin is helping it to bounce back.
Signs of dehydration include:
- dry mucous membranes
- excess panting
- elevated heart rate
- loss of appetite
- reduced energy
- sunken eyes
- lack of skin elasticity
- sticky saliva
What is over-hydration?
Over-hydration occurs when cats and dogs drink constantly. This is usually due to an underlying medical condition such as diabetes, or Cushing’s disease, which causes the pet to be extra thirsty.
Cats and dogs are also extra hungry when they have these two conditions.
What is water toxicity?
Water toxicity is rare and is usually only found in dogs, not cats. When dogs are playing in water in a pool or lake, or playing catch with water toys there is a risk they can ingest excess water. Water toxicity can also be caused when a dog drinks out of a hose, especially a pressurized hose or sprinkler, which delivers lots of water.
7 tips to get your pet to drink more water:
- Supply fresh water. You like clean water with no bugs or other floaters and so does your pet.
- Change the temperature. Some pets prefer room temperature water like cats, while dogs may prefer their water cold or with ice.
- Offer water in different sized bowls. Cats often suffer whisker fatigue or stress which can be solved by offering water in a larger, flatter bowl like a plate.
- Scatter water bowls around the house and outside. Pets will be more apt to drink if there is a water bowl in the family room where they may sit with you at night vs. going upstairs to the main water bowl. Bowls outside or on your porch also encourage pets to drink more.
- Keep the water moving. Fountains that move water constantly may encourage your pet to drink more. Remember to clean regularly and change any filters. It is recommended that you do not leave sink faucets dripping for pets to drink from. This is a waste of a natural resource and can stain your sink.
- Add moisture to food. Adding wet food or water to dry food helps to make a gravy like liquid that may encourage your pet to drink more. You can also supplement their diet with fresh raw fruits or vegetables for added water intake.
- Clean the water bowl. A clean bowl is equally as important as fresh water. Wash water bowls daily to prevent bacteria growth.
Worried about your pets water intake? Try the Kleanbowl.
The Kleanbowl, invented by Alex McKinnon, founder of Kinn, Inc., is a revolutionary and eco-friendly new way to increase your pets water intake. According to their website, the average pet bowl has over 1,000,000 dangerous germs. Dishwashers do not get hot enough to kill all germs, and paper food trays spread germs. Pets can smell that Kleanbowl is germ-free. Germs can make pets sick and take up to four years off their life.
In fact, a 2012 study from Ohio State University Center for Clinical and Transitional Science showed that dishwashers are less effective at removing and killing viruses. Your pet can smell germs in its water and food bowls, which can reduce their intake.
The Kleanbowl consists of a germ-resistant stainless steel frame which makes the biodegradable Nourish-Pet refills spill-proof with its anti-skid base.
To participate in the Kleanbowl Challenge simply purchase a Kleanbowl, take a video of your pet taking the challenge, and submit to the company via email. For the month of July, get free shipping with coupon code SHIP4FREE.
To learn more about pet hydration, watch It Takes a Village Pet Care and My Petcare Community founder Traci Bisson’s interview with Karen & Alex.