How Much Water Do Dogs & Cats Need?

Summer is here! So it's more important than ever to be conscious of your dog and cats water intake. But how much water, exactly, do dogs and cats need to take in every day?

Caring for Your Pets - POV
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How much water cats and dogs need each day

For dogs, it has been calculated that they need one ounce of water per pound of body weight daily. A cat needs 3.5-4.5 ounces per fives pounds of body weight. However, similar to humans, if you pet is very active, in hot weather, taking medication or feeling sick, they might need more water than usual.

Signs of dehydration in cats and dogs

Cats and dogs can easily become dehydrated, especially as the weather gets warmer, in many ways. Cats and dogs not only lose water through peeing and pooping, but also through the act of trying to cool down by panting. Dehydration can be dangerous or even deadly, so be sure to make water readily accessible and monitor your pet's water intake.

Signs that your cat or dog is dehydrated are if they develop dry mouth, sunken eyes, lack of energy, panting or loss of appetite. If you pinch their skin and pull gently on release healthy hydrated skin should snap back into place, but if they are dehydrated it will move slowly back into place and this is a sign of severe dehydration. If you press your dogs gums and they go from white back to pink quickly than your dog is well hydrated but if it takes more than a few seconds this is also an indicator of dehydration. If you notice your cat is not using the bathroom regularly, this can also be a sign that your cats body is dehydrated and trying to combat that my stop excretion. If you cat is not urinating two or three times a day, you should check in with the vet.

border collie dog
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Making sure your pet stays hydrated

Besides making clean water available to your dog or cat in bowls (and we do recommend placing multiple water bowls around the house), there are a few different ways to make sure your pets are well hydrated. Canned food can provide more liquid, but if you use kibble, simply soaking the dry kibble in water, sodium-free chicken broth, sodium-free beef broth or sodium-free tuna juice gives your pet a tasty option to get more water into their diet. Just don't leave the soaking food out for too long or it can make the food spoil.

Some cats and dogs even like having ice cubes or ice chips in their water or food. And when on a walk with your dog, make sure to bring water and a collapsible bowl so that they can keep drinking water after playing outside.

Cats can be fickle about what they prefer to drink from. Some cats do not like drinking out of plastic drinking bowls, so try using stainless steel or ceramic bowels that are shallow enough so your cat doesn't have to dip their head in too deep to drink. Some cats prefer to drink water from moving water sources, like a fountain or your sink faucet. If you notice this to be the case, there are water bowls that have a fountain for your cat to drink from. Just make sure that you thoroughly clean the bowl, no matter what style bowl you use for your pet or bacteria can grow.

A ragdoll kitten drinking running water
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It is easier than you think for your pet to become dehydrated. The best way to stop it is to prevent it from happening, but if you notice the warning signs, make sure to get them to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Be aware and take these preventative actions to surround your pet with enough water, and your dog or cat will be happy and hydrated!