July is one of the hottest months of the year and we have recently touched on how to avoid heat stroke, but what about the day-to-day hydration of your pet? July is Pet Hydration Awareness Month, so here is everything you need to know about your pet’s water needs!
An animal’s body is made up of around 70% water! On average a dog needs about 1 fluid ounce of water per pound of body weight to keep them hydrated. Cats usually need around 5-10 fluid ounces per day. If your pet is eating wet food instead of dry kibble, you may see them drink slightly less because they are getting moisture in their diet. Pets need adequate hydration for almost every one of their body systems, including their circulation, skin health, joint mobility, and digestion.
To help your pet reach their daily needs for water, here are some tips:
- Make sure your pet has access to a clean bowl of water at all times of the day and put multiple bowls around in their favorite places to hang out.
- If you are taking your pet on an outing to a park or long walk, make sure to bring some water and a bowl with you so they can stay hydrated.
- Cats sometimes enjoy their water from a fountain. Having one of these available may increase their healthy water habits.
- Add ice cubes to the bowls to entice your pet to drink more.
- If you have concerns that your pet is not drinking enough water, or if you notice they start drinking more than usual, follow up with your veterinarian right away.
Signs you pet is not getting enough water:
- Dry nose or gums
- Decreased appetite
- Increased panting
- Exercise intolerance
Your pet’s hydration is always crucial to their overall health, but during the summer months it needs extra attention. If you have questions or concerns about your specific animal, your veterinarian will be able to assist you and your pet.
A. Dayton, DVM