Pet Owners have their work cut out for them all year round, but summer presents some unique risks to cats and dogs. In addition to fireworks, parasites, and the unpredictable weather of summer, we also must wonder if their hydration needs are met. When it comes to their health and well-being, it’s essential to question if your pet drinks enough water each day. 

A Life-Sustaining Element

Water is vital to a pet’s ability to function well. It is instrumental in nearly every bodily function, and aids in digestion, cognition, nutrient absorption, waste removal, joint lubrication, and internal temperature regulation. In other words, it sustains your pet’s life.

Getting to the Bottom Of It

A typical approach to this issue is to fill the water bowl, wash it, and repeat. It may not occur to every pet owner to measure the difference between a full bowl at the beginning of a day and how much is left in the evening. However, this is an effective strategy to assess if a pet drinks enough water every day.

It Depends on the Pet

When figuring out whether or not your pet drinks enough water every day, the following guidelines may help:

  • A dog should consume no less than one fluid ounce per pound of bodyweight every day. 
  • A cat may drink anywhere between five and ten ounces of water daily. 

These are great measurements to begin with, however, they are contingent upon the following aspects:

  • Age
  • Size
  • Activity level/lifestyle
  • Overall health
  • Ambient temperature
  • Lactating

Obviously, a physically active pet will naturally have a higher thirst drive than a sedentary pet. Also, a wet or canned food diet influences how often they feel compelled to take a drink of liquid water. Younger animals and nursing mothers require more water.

Prevent Pet Dehydration

The risk of dehydration is very real. Pet owners should take extra precautions in the summer months to ensure the principles of summer pet safety are carefully followed. 

  • Only exercise your pet during the hours near dawn and dusk.
  • Avoid extended periods of full sun.
  • Take frequent breaks in the shade, and always have cool water on hand.
  • Don’t allow your pet to overexert themselves.
  • Be sure that they have numerous bowls of clean water on hand and replenish as needed. 
  • Train them to drink out of water bottles. 
  • Provide a kiddie pool, sprinklers, and frozen pet treats to cool them down. 
  • Many cats enjoy water fountains that provide tasty, oxygenated water.
  • Take mental notes of how often your pet urinates each day. 

Your Pet Drinks Enough Water…Right?

Because dehydration can occur suddenly, the following signals can alert you to this pet emergency:

  • Sunken eyes
  • Dry, tacky gums
  • Excessive panting
  • Lethargy
  • Wobbliness
  • Loss of skin elasticity
  • Appetite loss
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Dry nose

Please call us at (916) 345-2629 to get more information about next steps. If you have doubts about whether or not your pet drinks enough water every day, our team at Sunrise Boulevard Animal Hospital is always here for you.