Not only is hydration important for your family, but it is also extremely important for your furry family members. 80% of your pets’ body is made up of water. Keeping your pets hydrated helps their bodies filter waste, regulate body temperature, digest food and circulate blood.
Overheating, vomiting or diarrhea can cause dehydration in pets. Elderly, pregnant or nursing pets are more prone to dehydration. Also be aware of pets with kidney disorder and cancer, as these diseases can cause your pet to need more water.
Your pet may be dehydrated if they have the following symptoms:
- Sunken eyes
- Loss of appetite
- Dry mouth
If you think your dog or cat is dehydrated you can preform a skin elasticity test at home. Very gently lift skin between shoulder blades. In a normal health animal the skin will immediately return to its normal position. A dehydrated animal will have less fluids and therefore less elasticity in the skin. If your pet is dehydrated their skin will not immediately fall back into its normal position. A veterinarian will be able to provide the proper diagnosis for your pet.
Here are several tips on how you can increase your pet’s daily intake of water.
- Provide clean water at all times. Be sure to change the water frequently to ensure freshness. Washing your pet’s water dish regularly will prevent bacteria from forming.
- Monitor your pet’s water intake. Your pet should drink 1 ounce, per pound of body weight, per day.
- Take extra water along for your pet when traveling or exercising.