A survey recently carried out by pet product expert, PetSafe® reveals that UK pet owners show a surprising lack of awareness when it comes to their pet’s hydration and are happy to let them drink puddle water, milk and even the nation’s favourite brew – tea.
The survey, which was conducted to kick-start PetSafe® Pet Hydration Awareness month in July, has found that nearly half (45%) of UK pet owners are unclear about how much water to give their pets to drink.
Most worryingly, the survey revealed that three quarters of pet owners (70%) wouldn’t know how to tell if their pet was dehydrated and over half (51%) of dog owners believe that panting is a sign of dehydration - a common misconception – which most pet owners don’t realise is a sign that a dog is too hot or anxious.
In fact, puddle water topped the list of common things dogs like to drink other than water. 42% of dog owners said their dogs regularly sip stagnant water, which most owners don’t realise can be potentially dangerous and can cause a stomach upset for their furry friend.
Tea was also popular with some pets – 25% of dogs regularly enjoyed a cuppa the survey found, with cats steering clear (only 15%). A quarter of cats were also regularly given cow’s milk to drink by owners (25%), with the mistaken belief that it’s ‘good for them’ when it can actually lead to obesity, or can cause problems such as severe cramps and diarrhoea.
Interestingly, over 40% of pet owners don’t take water for their pets on long walks or car journeys; poo bags were the number one essential the survey found.
David Chamberlain, veterinary consultant for PetSafe®, comments: “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 their pets to drink.
“Even loosing 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 is 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.”
To help owners understand the health risks of dehydration, PetSafe® has developed an infographic outlining important facts about pets and proper hydration. The infographic illustrates the recommended daily water intake for pets – 70ml per kilogram of body weight – as well as the steps to take if a pet becomes dehydrated. The infographic is available on the PetSafe® website www.petsafe.net.