A Naperville pet needing help with their water.

Water helps pets absorb consumed nutrients from your pet’s cells, and releases unwanted toxins and waste from the body. Proper hydration also adds to immune system response and mobility. All internal organs and body tissues (from the eyes to the spinal cord) depend on water to operate successfully. A valuable piece of Naperville veterinary advice: keep a close eye on your pet’s water consumption, and act quickly when there are changes.

Just Right

It can be a delicate balance to strike, but ensuring that your pet gets just the right amount of water every day is imperative to their health and well-being. Drinking either too much or too little  water can negatively affect the balance of their internal ecosystem and cause serious health problems in pets. 

A healthy dog should drink an average of one ounce per pound of body weight every day. When it is particularly hot or humid, or when they physically exert themselves, their water consumption should increase accordingly. 

Cats need between 3.5–4.5 ounces of water per pound of body weight, and like dogs, can drink more depending on the weather and their lifestyle.

Where Else Do They Get Water?

Pets that eat canned or wet food may not need to drink as much water as pets that eat strictly dry, crunchy kibble. Canned food can have up to 80 percent moisture, which makes it a viable choice for pets that aren’t naturally drawn to their water bowls.

A Word About Heat

Dogs pant to regulate their body temperature. To help cool them down and mitigate the risks associated with heat stroke, pets should always have unrestricted access to clean, cool, fresh water throughout the day. Offer frozen pet treats to cool them down and stay hydrated on particularly hot days.

Risks of Dehydration

Dehydration in pets is very serious and can lead to major, sometimes irreversible, damage. Senior pets, brachycephalic breeds, and those with pre-existing conditions may be at higher risk. Check their gums and tongue for signs of dryness or tackiness. Other signs may include loss of appetite, sunken eyes, and lethargy. 

If you notice that your pet isn’t drinking enough water, schedule an appointment for them with our veterinary team. Dehydration can develop quickly and must be addressed without delay.

Naperville Veterinary Advice

For various reasons, some pets simply don’t like to drink water. You can add interest by investing in a flowing water fountain that filters clean water. Also, make their water stations easy to access and enjoyable to hang around. Cat grass by the fountain can be enticing, for example. 

Pet owners can also add a little low-sodium chicken broth to the bowl, or ice chips for a crunchy bonus.

Too Much Water?

Certainly, pets that drink little-to-no water are at risk of dehydration. If your pet is suddenly drinking a lot more water, however, that can also signal an issue. Increased thirst and urination may be showing symptoms of the following illnesses:

  • Diabetes
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Cancer
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Cushing’s disease

If their activity level remains the same and their diet hasn’t changed, but they have a sudden urge to drink water, please schedule an appointment.
Because every single function in your pet’s body requires water, watching their daily consumption is essential. Let us know if you have any questions at (630) 355-5300. The team at Naperville Animal Hospital is always here to help.