Are you doing enough to keep your pet hydrated?

^ Recommended daily water intake by pet size

We all happily embrace the summer months (and the sunny days that come with it!, but unfortunately not all pet owners are in the know when it comes to keeping their cats and dogs hydrated in the warm weather.

We recently carried out a survey* to help to raise awareness about the importance of pet hydration for good health, and found that nearly half (45%) of UK pet owners were unclear about how much water to give their pets to drink.

A particular source of worry was the high number of pet owners (70%) who wouldn’t know how to tell if their pet was dehydrated. In fact, over half of dog owners believe that panting is a sign of dehydration – a common misconception as this is actually a sign for a dog being too hot or anxious.

Dog Stats
Our survey highlighted some of the common liquid hazards, with puddle water topping the list of things dogs like to drink (other than fresh water from their bowl).

42% of dog owners admitted their dogs regularly sip stagnant water, which most owners don’t realise can be potentially dangerous and cause a stomach upset for their furry friend. In true British style, tea was also popular, with 25% of dogs enjoying a cuppa (or some of their owner’s!), while only 15% of cats are guilty of this.

We all know dogs like to eat and drink most things they come across, but it’s important to prevent this to avoid any associated health risks.

Cat Stats
A main concern for feline owners is cow’s milk, which a quarter of cats are regularly given to drink by their owners (most often due to the commonly believed myth that it’s good for them). The dairy content can in fact be quite indigestible for cats, causing problems such as severe cramps and diarrhoea, and even leading to obesity.

Average recommended water intake for a cat and dog per day:

Weight Breed/Species Water (ml) 200ml Glasses (Approx.)
4.5kg Cat/Yorkie 315 1 ½
8kg Westie 560 3
24kg Springer 1680 8
35kg Labrador 2450 12

Vet Advice
Our veterinary consultant, David Chamberlain, acknowledged these worrying results and the importance of educating pet owners with the facts:

“The results clearly show that pet owners need to become more savvy when it comes to hydrating their pets and the types of liquids they allow them to drink.”

“Even losing just 10% of the body’s water can have serious consequences for a dog or cat, and hotter weather, exercise and periods of illness can all contribute to water loss. It’s vital to ensure that pets have access to clean, fresh water at all times, and make sure that they are drinking enough to keep them happy and healthy.”

What can you do?
There are lots of easy measures you can take that can make a big difference in encouraging good hydration. Such as always taking water on long car journeys and making sure your pets have access to water during and after any walks or activities.

For those times when you’re out with your dog, be sure to keep an eye on them if they have a tendency to drink from unknown sources or puddle water. You’ll find that if your pet is getting enough fresh water then they won’t need to go looking for any other alternative sources!

The interesting facts below are ideal for any cat or dog owners to be aware of to help ensure a healthy summer for your furry friend:

  • 80% of a pet’s body is made of water, while humans are only 60% water
  • As a general rule,
    • Dogs require 80ml of water per kilogram per day
    • Cats require 60ml of water per kilogram per day
    • However, the amounts should be doubled in warmer climates!
  • Symptoms of dehydration include lethargy, sunken eyes, and loss of appetite and depression. Another common symptom is when pets’ gums lose moistness and become dry and sticky.

* Survey carried out by Cencuswide in May 2015 of 500 UK cat and dog owners.

Does your perfect pooch or mischievous moggy also like to take a sip of something they shouldn’t? Let us know in the comments below!

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