Why is water so important?
The weather is certainly warming up and it looks like we could be in for a long hot summer! With Australia reaching temperatures of up to 40 degrees Celcius, we need to be prepared! While many of us are dreading the thought of the warmer weather, it's not just us that will feel it.
Water is essential for dogs and cats, just like it is for humans. Water helps with digestion, flush waste, move nutrients around the body, lubricate joints, and keep them hydrated! The list goes on and on, but the effects can be detrimental without water. It's important to know how much water your pet needs each day, how to identify the signs of dehydration, and what you can do to keep your pet as comfortable as possible during these summer months!
How much water does your pet need?
As a general rule of thumb, dogs and cats need 70mL of water per 1kg of body weight.
|Pet Weight||Recommended Daily Intake||Size Similar To|
|2kg - 5kg||140mL - 350mL||Coke Can|
|5kg - 12kg||350mL - 840mL||Pump Water Bottle|
|12kg - 25kg||840mL - 1.75L||1L Milk Bottle|
|25kg - 35kg||1.75L - 2.45L||2L Milk Bottle|
|35kg +||2.45L +||3L Milk Bottle|
How to identify dehydration
Dehydration is caused by a lack of water. Signs include:
- Sunken eyes
- Dry mouth
- Appetite loss
- Thick saliva
- Loss of skin elasticity
- Pinch the skin at your pet's shoulder blades. A hydrated pet's skin will spring back to normal
- Dark Urine
- Raspy Bark
If your pet is dehydrated, go to the Vet. Additionally, if your pet refuses to drink, there could be an underlying medical issue. If you're in doubt, take your dog or cat to your Veterinarian.
How to keep your dog and/or cat adequately hydrated (and cool!)
The most obvious and simple way to keep your pet hydrated is to ensure they have 24/7 access to fresh water. Place their water bowl in shade and away from any possible debris such as falling leaves or dirt. Placing ice cubes in your pet's water is ideal for those hot summer days. Keeping them cool is another challenge! If your backyard is predominantly cement/pavement, hose down the ground to prevent overheating!
5 Tips for Summer
1. Get creative
Standard ways to keep your dog and cat cool include keeping them inside in the cool aircon or having a dip in the pool (mainly for dogs, but hey, if your cat loves to swim - great!). Other ways to keep your dog cool include laying a wet towel down on the ground, filling up a kiddie pool with water, placing it in the shade, and hosing them down with a garden hose!
2. Start from the bottom up!
Remember, dogs can't sweat through their coat. When cooling off your dog with a hose, drench their paws and stomach! This will do a lot more than just spraying their coat alone.
3. Exercise your pet early in the morning or late in the arvo
One of the perks of summer is that the sun rises earlier and sets later in the day - this means more time for activities! Not only is exercising during cooler hours of the day easier for your pet, it's more pleasant for you!
4. Test the cement - or stay on the grass
On those searing hot summer days, it's no myth that you can fry an egg on the cement. Pet paw burns are far too common. If you can't keep your hand (or foot) flat on the cement for more than 2 seconds, neither can your pet.
5. Invest in a water fountain!
Water fountains entice your dog and cat to drink more water. Animals have a natural instinct to drink from running water rather than still water in the fear that it may be contaminated. Water fountains clean and purify your pet's water ensuring they are drinking nothing but the best! Place some ice cubes in the water to keep it cool!