The heat of the summer may not have taken full effect just yet, but we know it is on the horizon. Spending time in the great outdoors is something many pet owners look forward to – whether that’s a stroll to a favorite park or an epic road trip to some far off destination. From vacations to weekends on the beach, there’s plenty to be excited about.

But along with heatstroke and other summertime perils comes an increased risk of pet dehydration. Because many pets dehydrate easily or can experience chronic dehydration, it’s essential to learn more about how much water your pet needs and ways to encourage hydration for overall health and safety.

How Much Water Does My Pet Need?

If you’ve ever experienced dehydration, you probably know just how horrible it can make you feel. Our bodies are, in fact, comprised of roughly 60-70% water.

Water is not only integral to regulating body temperature, it’s also essential in ridding the body of toxins and carrying nutrients to the brain and central nervous system. While we can live without food for a few weeks, our chances of surviving without water beyond 3 days is bleak.

Like us, our pets’ bodies depend on water for healthy functioning. Unfortunately, the amount of water our pets consume each day can be a great mystery, as it isn’t something we measure. It’s believed that most felines suffer from chronic dehydration because they’re much more particular about their drinking water source and often do not get enough moisture in their diet to make up for this.

The amount of water your pet needs each day will depend on many factors, including species, size, and health. However, it’s generally recommended that dogs need 1 ounce of water per pound of bodyweight each day while cats range from 5-10 ounces, depending on diet.

Signs of dehydration in pets include:

  • Lack of skin elasticity – when gently pulled, the skin does not “snap back” into place
  • Dry, tacky gums
  • Sunken eyes
  • Panting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Energy loss/lethargy

If a pet becomes too dehydrated, he or she may need IV fluid support and close monitoring. Please phone us if you suspect your pet has become dehydrated.

Avoid Pet Dehydration: Drink More Water

Keeping your pet hydrated only takes a few simple steps. Some ideas include:

  • Adding a bit of tuna juice or low sodium broth to your finicky feline’s water bowl
  • Carrying extra water and a collapsible bowl on your dog’s daily walk
  • Investing in a pet water fountain (most pets love running water)
  • Adding ice cubes to the water on warm summer days

The Pet Experts at Naperville Animal Hospital are here to answer any questions about warm weather safety and how to keep your pet hydrated. We welcome your call!