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While the importance of hydration for people has been repeated to us again and again—such-and-such number of glasses of water a day, etc.—we don’t hear nearly enough about how important hydration is for our pets. After all, they are largely made up of water, too.
In other words, they need to have a regular intake of water just like us. However, many pets don’t have the luxury of accessing water on their own. They rely on human companions to help them meet this need, so it’s important we live up to our end of the deal as animal lovers.
With that in mind, there are lots of tricks for helping our canine and feline friends stay adequately hydrated. It only takes a moment or two every day to make sure our animal pals get enough water, and here are some of the best tips for doing it.
1. Keep Water Available
Water should be available wherever pets go. There should be a water bowl inside, outside, and when on the go. While animals can communicate their needs in certain ways, they aren’t exactly able to express being a little thirsty. We have to preempt their need and provide them the opportunity to drink when the mood strikes.
2. Change Water Daily
While animals aren’t opposed to lapping up water from a puddle outside, they do have their standards. If water sits in a bowl for days, it might not be appealing to an animal anymore. Freshness is important for not having bacterial issues. Water bowls should be changed daily to make sure it’s fresh enough to appeal to a thirsty animal.
3. Install a Water Fountain
Some animals simply don’t like drinking out of bowls. Perhaps the water gets a particular flavor that doesn’t work them. We have our preferences, too! Pet water fountains keep water moving so that it doesn’t grow stagnant. If you notice a pet isn’t drinking much water, it might be worth trying a fountain to see if that improves the situation.
4. Know the Right Amount of Water
As with people, bigger animals need more water to keep their bodies hydrated. The general rule is that for every pound of body water, the animals should drink about an ounce of water. While it can be hard to monitor this perfectly, it does give some sense of understanding of how much they should be drinking. For example, an eighty-pound dog should be having about 10 cups (5 pints/2.5 quarts) of water a day.
Source: Jackson Galaxy/Youtube
5. Find a Shady Spot
Getting overheated can be a real problem for animals, especially if dehydration is a concern. One of the best ways to help with this is to make sure they have access to a shady spot to cool down whenever necessary. This can be paramount for animals that stay outside or go to the parks or fields to play. They need a cool spot to chill.
6. Limit Exercise in the Heat
Kids (and big adult kids) are prone to losing themselves in fun and becoming way too hot and dehydrated. Pets, dogs especially, can do the same thing. If we keep tossing that ball, it’ll keep running after it. So, we have to act like responsible “parents” sometimes and know that it’s too hot to be running this much.
7. Add Hydration to Dry Food
Lots of our, and our pets’, hydration comes from food. Many pets, however, eat dry food which lacks moisture. We can remedy this issue by adding a bit of water or broth to the dry food so that it is providing the added benefit of hydrating as well.
8. Include Hydrating Foods in Diet
In addition to adding water or broth to dry food, we can feed our animals hydrating food, too. This includes canned “wet” food, of course, but we can also make flavored ice cubes and other homemade dog treats. This way our animals can water from multiple sources in case one doesn’t appeal to them for some reason.
With pets comes a huge responsibility and it doesn’t end with walks and feeding. The health of our animals becomes our responsibility, too. That includes adequate hydration. Hopefully, some of these tips help with that.
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