Living in a hot desert climate like Arizona, we all know the importance of drinking enough water and staying hydrated. Sometimes we may forget that our pets need just as much hydration as we do to stay happy and healthy. Keep reading to find out all you need to know about how much water your pets need and if they may be drinking too much water.
Monitoring your pets water intake is the first step to knowing if they need more water. Filling up the water bowl at the beginning of the day and then keeping an eye on it to see if it is empty or full will help you make a better decision about water intake.
It is important to let your dogs and cats have free reign of the water bowl. Restricting water intake because you are worried about accidents or messes is not good for your pet’s health. It is also important to be aware of other sources of water such as the toilet, pools or fish ponds as these sources may make your pet sick due to chemicals or bacteria in the water.
A good estimate for the amount of water your pets should drink is about 1 ounce per every pound. So if you have a 10 pound dog or cat, they should be drinking roughly 10 ounces of water every day. (This is only around a cup.) Puppies and kittens may need more water than this, so it is important to consult a vet when you first bring home a new pet.
Two good ways to make sure your pets are properly hydrated are to first pull a little bit of their skin around their neck up. If it “snaps” back into place this indicates adequate amounts of water. Another way is to look at their gums. Wet and saliva filled gums are a good sign of your pet being hydrated.
There are, however, a few risks associated with the consumption of water. First, dehydration just like any human would get if they were not drinking enough water. Dogs with pancreatitis, parvovirus, or leptospirosis also tend to drink less or no water at all.
Other risk factors include drinking too much water. If you find that your pet is drinking excessive amounts of water, this could be a sign of a more serious problem, such as diabetes or bladder infections, and should be addressed by a vet as soon as possible.
Another risk that comes with over drinking water also known as psychogenic polydipsia or water intoxication. Signs of this include: loss of coordination, nausea, bloating and light colored gums.
We want to make sure to keep our pets hydrated especially after extreme exercise or days where it is extremely hot in Arizona! If you have any questions on the information provided or want to know more about your specific pets’ water intake, please make an appointment online or call us at (480) 968-9275