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Pet hydration levels

7 July 2021

When it comes to water, we all know its importance for staying hydrated and keeping us functioning. Well, it’s the same for our pets too.

How much our pets drink will depend on many different factors. Their size, diet and environment are just some that may affect this. For example, a dog that is fed solely a dry food diet will seem to drink more than one who is fed wet food because of the water present in the food.

If your pet doesn’t seem to be drinking as much as they should, it may be ‘over-fussiness’ towards their water. Ensure to check:

  • There is adequate water available at all times
  • It is changed daily
  • It is not getting too hot during the day, and
  • That it is easily accessible for them. There should be at least one water access point for each pet in the family, plus a spare.

Cats are notorious for only drinking from a running water source as they dislike their whiskers contacting the edge of narrow bowls. This can often be overcome by providing them with a water fountain. These are relatively inexpensive and are often successful in stimulating an increase in water consumption.

 

How to check your pet’s hydration status

Checking your pet’s hydration status is quick and easy. Their gums should be pink and moist to touch, and the skin on the back of their neck should spring back to normal quickly when released. If their gums are tacky or the skin is slow to return to normal or stays ‘tented’, it’s time to see your vet ASAP.

The next time you are at your local vet they will be more than happy to show you how to perform these quick checks.

If you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s hydration status, it’s important you see your vet as soon as possible. Left untreated, prolonged dehydration can have long-lasting consequences.

 

Written by Greencross Vets

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