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Does Your Pet Have A Drinking Problem?

01 July 2015

As the weather hots up, Brits 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.

A survey  carried out by pet product expert, PetSafe®, to raise awareness about the importance of pet hydration, 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. Further research indicated that over half (50%) of dog owners believe that panting is a sign of dehydration - a common misconception – panting 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 puddle 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 – 23% of dogs regularly enjoyed a cuppa the survey found, with cats steering clear (only 15%). A quarter of cats were also drank milk (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.”

He adds: “Simple measures such as taking water on long car journeys and ensuring the pets have access to water after activity can make a big difference. Lots of public places have fresh water available for pets in bowls – often it’s a case of just steering the pet in the right direction. It isn’t advisable to let pets drink puddle water, or even tea, and if they get enough water they shouldn’t need to go looking for drinks such as these.”