By Rita O'Sullivan, pet expert and guest blogger for Pawlieshop
We've all heard the advice, “Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.” It's a reasonable goal and a good thing. We need to stay hydrated, especially in the searing heat of the summer, and the same goes for our "fur kids."
Pets can suffer from heat and dehydration just as much as we do. In hot weather, dogs require three to four times their normal amount of water, depending on activity level. Like humans, a dog’s body weight is about 60 percent water. The general rule is that dogs require at least one ounce of water for each pound of body weight per day, according to their activity level and average body type. The same is true for adult cats and most other grown animals -- about 60 percent of their weight is from water.
A lack of water may lead to dehydration, which can be a very serious condition. Even mild dehydration can drain your pet's energy levels and make you both lethargic and tired.
Here are some tips to get your pet to drink more water:
- Always, always have fresh clean water available.
- Be meticulous about washing bowls at least daily as there can be some significant germs in water bowls.
- A best practice is to provide your pooches and kitties with a continuous flow of fresh water, for example with an automatic, portable and electric water fountain. The fresher the water, the better for your pet! Also, continually refreshed water stays cooler than static water a water bowl.
- Much like people, dogs and cats dislike drinking water that has been sitting around for hours. A water fountain provides refreshing, clean water source all day long and is a convenient way for pet owners to ensure their pets get constant access to fresh, cool water.
- Add hydrating foods, such as watermelon and cucumber chunks, to their dishes when feeding. These are two options that dogs especially like.
- Offer your dogs some refreshing icy treats, or try any one of these delicious homemade Pupsicles, all super easy to make, from ingredients most dogs love.
Don't forget to take water with you when you and your best friends are out and about this summer at the dog park or going out for a long dog walk. You wouldn’t leave home without your trusty travel water bottle! Heat exhaustion may come on with excessive exercising in the humid heat. Always bring water for both of you; if you're thirsty, your pet is thirsty too.
Pack a portable travel bottle for your pup. One of the most convenient is this “dog friendly” version made with a bowl-shaped top for easy pouring, packing and drinking. It closes up securely to prevent spills and leaks. The other perk is that they can be used single-handedly, freeing up your other hand -- helpful when handling animals.
If you have trouble getting your pet to adjust to drinking from the portable bottle, you can get a little creative to get them motivated. Try adding a one of these flavor-enhancers to the bottle, shaking well:
- A small amount of their favorite canned dog food
- A tablespoon of powdered peanut butter
- ½ bone broth + ½ water
- 2 -3 chunks of frozen watermelon
Once your dog gets used to the water bottle, you will love its convenience and the assurance that your dog is getting enough to drink.
For cats and small pets, even birds, rabbits, teacup breeds, etc. a water fountain for continuously refreshed water is a great idea, as mentioned. Cats may also enjoy a special type of catnip candy treat, which encourages more drinking. Birds enjoy taking birdbaths and drinking water at the same time, and hummingbirds need sugary water for constant energy as they pollinate flowers. Pawlieshop has several good options for chicks and other critters that our customers love.
Stay hydrated, my friends!