As with any living animal, cats and dogs need water, and it’s more important that they have ready access to water than it even is food. Thanks to their coats, cats, and dogs can dehydrate and overheat quickly, and particularly in warmer weather, their need for water to stay cool and healthy spikes rapidly.
Whether you’re traveling with your cat or dog, letting it outside, keeping it indoors, or any combination of the above, make sure that they always have a ready source of clean, fresh water, especially when you’re not able to directly monitor them.
How much water cats need per day?
Cats can dehydrate quickly, and severely, and you wouldn’t even notice it. By nature cats hide ailments and aren’t animals that seek out water – in the wild cats derive moisture from their hunting more than anything else. So if you’re feeding your cat dry food, they’re not actually getting their water in a way that’s natural for them, and they might just be getting very, very thirsty, even if they’re not letting you know it.
The basic calculation for the amount of water a cat needs is around 100 – 175 ml of water for every 2.2kg of a cat. Wet food actually contains between 70-80 percent water, so it goes a long way to getting your cat enough hydration, but there will be other times that you’ll need to make sure that the cat is getting enough water. Turn a tap on sometimes. Cats like drinking flowing water.
Since you won’t be able to monitor the amount of water your cat is drinking (they’ll always look to drink stealthily if they can), a good idea is to simply make sure they’re getting enough moisture through their food. Don’t let a cat get itself on a dry food-only diet.
How much water dogs need per day?
Dogs are much easier animals to monitor than cats and have no qualms (typically) with drinking in front of humans. A dog needs between 20-70ml/kg of weight, per day. Dogs, too, can suffer from dehydration and it’s a problem if they do, but since they’re not resistant to getting water from a water source, dehydration is less of a typical problem for a dog (assuming its owner is monitoring its water bowl).
The problem dogs can face is the opposite – drinking too much water. It’s called “polydipsia” when they do it, and it can be a symptom of a range of serious conditions – kidney failure, diabetes mellitus and Cushing’s disease all manifest as the dog developing a serious thirst for water. Additionally, some dog breeds have a natural affinity for water that can later manifest as a psychological need to drink a lot of water. Correcting that behavior is important, but tends to be very difficult. If they don’t get sufficient They also might go out to drink water. Then he’s at risk of getting lost or injured. If you have a missing dog contact PawMaw, which connects lost pooches with their rightful owners.
How can I tell if my pet is suffering from dehydration?
If you start to suspect that your pet is suffering from dehydration, it is important that you immediately seek your vet’s help. For dogs, it can manifest with any of the following symptoms:
1) Sunken eyes
2) Dry gums
6) Loss of skin elasticity
If you observe any of those symptoms, pinch a little skin on the dog’s back or top of their head. A well-hydrated dog will result in the skin springing back immediately on release. The closer the dog gets to dehydration, the longer it will take for the skin to return to position.
For cats, it can be trickier, as cats hide medical issues well. However, there are some clear signs of dehydration, that include:
2) Refusal to eat
4) Sunken eyes
5) Dry gums
The test for cats and dehydration is actually the same as for dogs: pinch some skin up and see if it springs back into position.
If your pet is only mildly dehydrated, then you can treat them yourself; give them some water (force feed if necessary), and move them to a cool place where they won’t lose water so quickly. If the pet isn’t recovering, or dehydration has already progressed to the point where the pinched skin test is leaving the skin in the “tent position” rather than springing back to normal, then you’ll need to hurry the pet to the vet.
Preventing dehydration is critical. Make sure that there’s always sources of water around for the animals, and that they are comfortable using them – cats often prefer a fountain to a bowl of still water, for example. Never leave your pet in a situation where it might be heated without adequate levels of water – for example, make sure that pets have a way back into the house through the hot summer weather.
Dawn Greer is a passionate blogger and animal rights activist. She is a pet lover, certified dog trainer, behavior consultant, pet nutritionist, and former veterinary technician. She continues her work while writing blogs for pet lovers around the globe.