Do you know how much water your pet should have per day? Keeping your pets hydrated during the summer is a concern of many pet owners. A general rule of thumb is your pet should have about 1oz of water per pound of body weight. Dogs tend to need a little bit more, and cats need a little bit less, but that’s a good place to start for both. In hot weather, they might need three to four times that amount, depending on where you live and what activities they are doing. Follow our tips to keep your pets hydrated this summer.
Lots Of Accessible Water
Typical households offer a water dish and food dish. During the summer, consider adding more bowls of water around your house (inside and outside) to ensure access to water for your pet at all times. If you have multiple animals, make sure that each is getting an opportunity to visit the water dish regularly. It’s possible if your animals share a dish, that one is dominating the water intake.
Using a shallow, wide water bowl can encourage more drinking. It’s an easier shape for cats and smaller dogs to access. Whiskers and face shape can make small, deep bowls intimidating or hard to use.
Consider buying a water fountain or running the tap often to let your pets drink from flowing water. Some animals prefer flowing water to drink. Observe your pet to see how they react to this option. If they prefer running water to a water bowl, consider offering it year-round.
Ice Cubes Make Water Fun
Adding ice cubes to the water dish accomplishes a couple of things. First, the melting ice will keep the water colder than usual, which can help bring down your pet’s temperature during hot days. They might enjoy the colder water better than room temperature, especially during the summer. Having ice cubes floating in the water dish can also bring a level of entertainment and activity for your pet. If you have outdoor pets, freeze an entire dishful of water and let it melt during the day. Whether they lick them or just paw at them, it keeps pets interested in the water bowl.
Mix In Wet Food
If your pet is on a kibble diet, mixing in wet food can increase their moisture intake. This is helpful for cats particularly, as they tend to be more dehydrated regularly. Try replacing or mixing wet food in with their kibble. You could also mix water in with their kibble to make a DIY wet food option. Other options are buying raw freeze-dried food and rehydrating with water for a pâté like meal. All of these may aid in keeping your pet hydrated.
Who doesn’t love a frozen treat on a hot day? Pets are no exception. Make sure you are fixing your pet a treat that won’t upset their digestive system. Try mixing food with broth then freeze for a popsicle they will love. Check your local pet store or grocery store for pre-made frozen treats as well. Many stores now carry frozen pet treats, a great option when you’re low on time or on the go.
Watch for Signs of Dehydration
Paying attention to your pet might be the most important tip to keep them hydrated this summer. Watch for signs of dehydration. These may include:
- Dry, sticky gums
- Panting or increased heart rate
- Refusing to eat
If your pet is showing these signs, contact your veterinarian immediately. Mild dehydration can be treated at home, observing your pet and helping rehydrate them slowly. Consult with your vet on the best option for your pet.
Summer can be a great time to get outdoors and make memories with your pets. Make this summer a great one by following these guidelines. Utilizing these tips and tricks will ensure that your pets will stay hydrated this summer.