To help raise awareness of the importance of pet moisturizing, July has been declared the National Pet Moisturizing Awareness Month. There is a lot of information in the media encouraging us to drink enough water every day, but we rarely see similar information for pets.
What many pet parents fail to consider is that proper hydration is as important to their pets as themselves—in fact, pets’ bodies are made up of 80% of water, while humans are only 60%. July is one of the hottest months of the year, and now is the best time to assess your pet's daily moisture.
What are the signs of dehydration in cats and dogs?
Dogs and cats need one ounce of water per pound of body weight per day, but unfortunately, this is not always sufficient, especially in hot months. This puts many pets at risk of dehydration, which can be life-threatening.
Cats and dogs have similar signs of dehydration, including:
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of energy
- Sunken eyes
- Dry, tacky gums
Serious cases of dehydration can result in death, so it’s important that you’re aware of the warning signs. Depending on the severity, you may need to take them to the vet for treatment.
How can I make sure that my cat and dog drink enough water every day?
Tip 1: Eat fresh food instead
The easiest way to increase your pet's daily water intake is to switch to fresh foods with higher moisture content. This is especially true of cat food, which is important because many cats do not drink enough water and need to add water to their food. According to the analysis we completed, the moisture content of dry coarse ground food is usually around 10%, while the moisture content of Freshpet is 72%. With this conversion, your pet’s daily water intake will increase significantly.
Tip 2: Make sure there is always water available
No matter where your pets are, they should have easy access to fresh, clean water. This is especially important for pets who have time both indoors and outdoors-you need to make sure you have a working water station in both places.
Tip 3: Consider the location of the water
Another thing to consider is the location of the water. Cats, in particular, may be very picky about where to put water because they instinctively don't drink water near food or litter box areas. Try to find a place away from direct sunlight—especially if it is outside—but still conveniently located in an area where your pet spends most of the time.
Tip 4: Find the right bowl type
To the surprise of many pet parents, the water bowl is not a panacea. When choosing a bowl, consider the location of the water and the temperature of the area. If your pet spends a lot of time outdoors in warm weather, you may need to choose a "bowl" like this outdoor sprinkler, which can be connected to an outdoor faucet to provide your pet on demand freshwater.
The second thing to consider is the design of the bowl. As we all know, cats are very picky about water bowls and usually prefer fountains that provide free-flowing water to traditional bowls. These fountains come in a variety of designs—including larger-sized dogs—so it’s easy to find a fountain that suits your pet and its environmental needs.
Tip 5: Provide water-based food on hot days
In hot weather, you can also replace their regular snacks with homemade water-based snacks. All you need is a silicone tray, a selection of pet-safe fruits and vegetables, or their favorite Freshpet snacks. First cut fruits, vegetables or snacks into bite-sized pieces, then put them in molds, then fill them with water and put them in the refrigerator. After a few hours, you will get some delicacies, which will help improve your pet's hydration level!
If you have other questions about how to ensure that your pet maintains proper hydration, please consult your veterinarian team. They will be happy to help you find further changes to increase your pet's water intake.