July is pet hydration month. Here in Minnesota, land of 10,000+ lakes, water is everywhere but why is water so important? How much water does a pet need? How can you tell if your pet is dehydrated? How can you keep your pet hydrated?
Why is pet hydration important?
The job of water is to move important nutrients into and out of cells in the body. Water helps with digestion, and helps the body absorb nutrients. If a pet becomes dehydrated and the condition persists, the body will start to shut down and eventually lead to death. Dehydration is a serious condition, not to be taken lightly.
How much water does a pet need?
The body of a dog or cat is made up of about 80% water, whereas a human body is about 60% water. The basic rule of thumb is 1:1 – one ounce of water per pound of pet. Using this formula, a forty pound dog would need about forty ounces of water a day. Most healthy pets will drink enough water on their own if it is available to them.
What are the signs of dehydration?
The easiest way to see if your pet is dehydrated is to pick up a loose fold of skin around the shoulder area. Pull it up gently, and let it go. If the skin falls right back into shape, similar to an elastic reaction, your pet is in good shape as far as being hydrated. If your pet is dehydrated, the skin will return to its place very, very slowly, not elastic like at all. If you suspect your pet is suffering from dehydration, please contact your veterinarian immediately. Pets can become dehydrated any time of the year, not just outside on a hot day, so please monitor your pets.
How can you keep your pet hydrated?
At our house, pet hydration is a priority. We have five water bowls. We used to have one inside and one outside, but when Katie started having mobility issues we placed bowls around the house. Mom found we all were drinking more water, so we have kept our bowls scattered about. We tend to drink more from the bowls with filtered and/or running water too. We have a PetSafe fountain in the upstairs bathroom we all love to drink from. We have two filtered water Torus bowls in our two main rooms, oddly, we prefer to drink from the smaller one! We have our old stainless steel bowl in the laundry room, and we have a bowl outside on the deck. If your pet has wet food in their diet, it is an excellent way to help keep hydrated as it is made of 70-80% water.
What are some water dangers?
- Make sure your dog doesn’t drink a large amount of water at once as it can cause bloat.
- Be careful of dogs drinking from ponds and lakes as there can be dangerous plants and algae in the water which can even result in death.
- Don’t let your dog drink out of puddles. Who knows what chemicals and other things are in a puddle.
- Always keep water bowls washed and clean to prevent the build up of bacteria.
- Change filters in filtered bowls on a regular basis.
- Don’t use metal bowls outdoors. In the summer they can become extremely hot, in the winter, tongues can freeze to the metal.
Always make sure your pets have plenty of fresh clean water. It is so important for their health, and in the summer, it helps keep them cool! If you are out and about with your pet, make sure and bring along water. If you are thirsty, chances are so is your pet! Water is refreshing for pets and people!
**I’m not a veterinarian. The information I have provided on pet hydration is from my own life experiences. If you have questions about hydrating your pet, or dehydration, please consult with your veterinarian.**
we always make sure that I will not drink from puddles or ponds…our vet said that he has more patients this year with leptospirosis, so the mama is my camel and carries the water in my camel bag :o)
Bailie and I always try to sneak water on the street, but Mom has eyes all around her head and we are rarely successful.
Sparkle the PBGV says
Thanks for the great tips, Emma. It has been so very hot and unusually dry here in Florida, and we are drinking lots of water. You are so cute in your swimming pool! XOXO Sparkle
I enjoy drinking out of my pool while I sit in it. Mom tells me that is just silly, but I like it.
Mary Hone says
Important info for sure. I had to laugh at Torrey the day we went to the river. She drank so much water while playing in the river, she needed several potty breaks to let out the river.
I sometimes try to drink places dry, but if I’m going to be walking or playing around, Mom won’t let me have too much water in one drink.
Two French Bulldogs says
Very good and important post friends
Lily & Edward
Thank you. Now drink up!
Knotty Toys for Good Dogs says
Another wooftastic post Emma! 3 bum swings! 3 more!
I love to drink from all water sources so my huMom has to be watchful on wet days or when we are day tripping & are unfamiliar with the local bodies of water.
My huMom is always concerned with our water & our bowls. She often is heard saying that clean water & bowls are essential to good dog health.
Her only concern about using a fountain is the electrical cord. Do you find it is easily hidden so clumsy dogs would not trip over it? How do you avoid cord issues Emma?
The cord is the tough part of the fountain, but we have it in a corner and the cord runs down the wall. None of us ever even touch that part of the area. Clean bowls and water is so important. We like to try to drink water anywhere on the road, ponds, etc, but are not allowed to.
Knotty Toys for Good Dogs says
Thank you Emma.
Frankie and Ernie says
WE don’t have any METAL water bowls… butt would NEVER have thought about them being too HOT or too Cold… So we are glad that ours are NOT metal.
Our mom makes Flavor Ice fur US when it is hot… so we are SURE to get some extra water.
Bailie had flavored ice last weekend and drank like a sailor! I just drink because I like water, but flavored water is good too.
M. K. Clinton says
Bentley and Pierre are good about staying hydrating but it is super hot here in the bayou!
Drink up boys! It is super important.
We don’t go outside but we try to stay plenty hydrated anyways. We make sure our feral kitties have plenty of fresh water daily.
Sophie started drinking a lot more when we got the fountain as she loves running water.
Jan K says
I need to find our fountain – it’s still in a box somewhere! Luke loved to drink out of it. Samantha has two water bowls, one upstairs and one downstairs in her area. The dogs also have two, one in the master bath and one in the kitchen/dining area. They have two outside, one on each side of the house, and they also like to drink out of the pool (so we keep the water fresh in there too). That’s a good tip about metal bowls outside. I do have stainless steel ones out there but I always keep them in the shade (and we don’t have them out there in the winter).
Lots of bowls around seems to make a big difference since it makes drinking convenient.
SlimDoggy (@MySlimDoggy) says
Love those Torus bowls!
We love them too. They are so easy to use and don’t need to be plugged in.
Staying hydrated for pets (and humans!) is super important! Thanks for the reminder! DakotasDen
I think humans need the reminder more than pets most of the time, but it is important for everyone.
I don’t drink a whole lot of water, but Mom puts it into my food to make sure I get at least SOME water a couple of times a day. I keep my mouth close most of the time, so I don’t get thirsty. On the rare occasion when I pant either from playing or walking a lot outside, I take a drink when I come in.
Love and licks,
My sister Katie was never a big drinker which always bothered my mom. Bailie and I both drink plenty of water so we keep her happy. We also get some wet food with our kibble that adds to the water intake.
Spencer the Goldendoodle says
Wonderful post! And that formula is easy to remember!
It’s a lot of water really, but we love to drink water, especially if it is fresh.
Sand Spring Chesapeakes says
Great information for this time of year! Great photos!
Thank you. It is so very important.
What great info, Emma! All of us are big drinkers…but lately we really have to keep an eye on Bilbo to make sure he stays hydrated!
It’s so important. Adding wet food helps too and we did that with Katie a lot. She never liked to drink much but with wet food in her dry kibble, and water bowls around the house making it convenient, she did drink a bit more.
Ann Staub says
You have wonderful advice Emma! Everyone loves drinking their water over here. I think I had a bad bout with that dehydration stuff after BlogPaws… I felt so sick at the airport I thought I was going to faint. Lasted a few days. Bleh! It is not a good feeling.
Mom gets really tired if she doesn’t drink enough, but she is pretty good about hydrating. Hope you are feeling better.
Great information. I didn’t know about that pinching the skin around the shoulder area technique but will be sure to use it in the future! We have been seeing more and more of those Torus bowls as of late and they look really cool. We have a PetSafe fountain on the way that we are very excited to try.
The skin pinching works on humans too 😉 The Torus bowls are great as you don’t need to plug them in, my ears don’t fall in very often, and you can take them on the road. The PetSafe one is nice, but it has to be plugged in which limits the places we can put it.
Very good – and VERY important especially as we approach the Dog Days of summer here in the Northern Hemisphere!
That is right! The kitties love the running water.
Groovy Goldendoodles says
We keep plenty of fresh water around. Jaxson loves ice too – so when we’re outside we place ice in the bowls too! Great formula to share with us.
Lots of water is a good thing.
Tails Around the Ranch says
Good advice, Emma! We change out our indoor bowl during these hot days we’re having. Cool water tastes so much better and encourages more drinking. 😉
We like fresh water in a clean bowl too.