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Keeping Your Pet Hydrated

June 15, 2023

Summer can be a great time for our furry friends. Fido gets to run and play outdoors, and Fluffy gets extra sunbeams to lounge around in. However, that warm weather does come with a downside. Pets often have a really hard time staying cool in sweltering weather! A Sandstone, MN vet offers some advice on keeping Fido and Fluffy properly hydrated in this article.

Water Stations

You may need to set out additional water stations. If Fido has a yard to hang out in, he’ll need water available out there at all times. If you have a large and/or multi-level house, it’s a good idea to set out a few extra bowls. (Tip: you can make outside bowls look nice by putting them in plant pots or urns.)

Pet Fountains

Many pets prefer to drink running water. This is very likely an instinctive habit: in the wild, standing water is much more likely to be fouled or contaminated than running water. Consider getting your four-legged friend a pet fountain. You can also get Fido a splash pad that shoots water up when he steps on it. (We probably don’t have to tell you how adorable this is to watch.)

Ice It Up

Drop an ice cube into your pet’s bowl on sweltering days. Fido may also enjoy gnawing on ice or frozen sodium-free broth cubes. As for Fluffy, see if she wants to play ice pawkey.

Out And About

One great thing about dogs is the fact that they’re always willing to go, well, anywhere with us. Always bring water along if you are taking Fido with you when you leave the house.

Snack Choices

It won’t hurt to opt for snacks that have a high moisture content. You can buy or make your four-legged pal ice cream, but you can also offer homemade goodies. For instance, make Fluffy a kitty slushy by mixing canned tuna and tuna juice in a blender. Just stick with safe, vet-approved ingredients.

Warning Signs

Keep an eye out for signs of dehydration. These include panting, drooling, restlessness, lethargy, reduced or dark urine, disorientation, vomiting, and diarrhea. If you notice any of these things, immediately offer water and contact your vet. 

Our Advice on Keeping Your Pet Hydrated in 2024

How much water should pets drink daily based on their weight, age, and activity level?

The daily water intake for pets varies based on their weight, age, and activity level. Generally, pets need about one ounce of water per pound of body weight per day. Active pets and those exposed to hot conditions may require more to stay hydrated. Puppies and kittens, who are more active and growing, often need more water proportionally compared to adult pets. Always ensure fresh water is accessible, and increase availability during hot weather or when your pet has increased exercise or activity levels.

What are some signs that a pet may be dehydrated?

Signs of dehydration in pets include increased panting and drooling, lethargy, and less elasticity in the skin. Owners may also notice that their pet’s gums become dry and sticky and that the eyes appear sunken. Another indicator is reduced or darker urine output. Pets might also display signs of disorientation or restlessness when severely dehydrated. If any of these symptoms are observed, it is crucial to provide water immediately and consult a veterinarian, as dehydration can quickly become a serious health issue.

What are some common medications or health conditions that may increase a pet’s risk of dehydration?

Certain medications and health conditions can increase a pet’s risk of dehydration. Diuretics, used for treating heart failure and high blood pressure, increase urine production, potentially leading to dehydration. Medications for kidney disease or diabetes can also elevate dehydration risks. Health conditions like diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and heatstroke also significantly dehydrate pets by causing fluid loss. Owners of pets with these conditions or on such medications should monitor hydration levels closely and ensure their pets have constant access to fresh water.

What are some safe and effective alternatives to plain water that can help keep pets hydrated?

To enhance hydration beyond plain water, pet owners can consider safe and appealing alternatives. Offering a pet broth, especially low-sodium or sodium-free options, can encourage fluid intake. Pet-specific, non-dairy ice creams or frozen treats made from blending water with pet-safe fruits or vegetables also provide hydration and cooling relief. Additionally, wet pet foods have high moisture content and can significantly increase overall water intake. Always ensure any alternative hydration source is free of toxic ingredients, such as xylitol, onions, or chocolate, to keep pets safe and healthy.

How can pet owners prevent their animals from drinking contaminated water sources?

Pet owners can prevent their animals from drinking contaminated water by always providing clean, fresh water and monitoring their pets closely in unfamiliar environments. When outdoors or traveling, carry a portable water bottle or bowl and fill it with water from a safe source. Avoid allowing pets to drink from standing water, puddles, or streams, which can contain harmful bacteria, chemicals, or parasites. Regularly clean pet water bowls at home to prevent the buildup of bacteria and ensure the water remains appealing and safe for consumption.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with questions or concerns about your beloved pet’s health or care. As your local Sandstone, MN animal clinic, we’re here for you!