Ask yourself this simple question: would you want to drink water out of a bowl that has been standing at room temperature (or sitting in the sun) for a few hours? …Probably not.
It’s summer time and it’s really hot outside! Are you thirsty? Odds are if you feel the need to drink more water, so does your entire family, including your pets! Just like the majority of your body is made up of water, your pet’s body is also mostly water and it’s just as important to keep them properly hydrated.
How much water should your pet drink? The actual amount of water that your pet needs to drink will vary based on the size of your pet and how much exercise it’s getting. Also, when the weather is hotter, your pet will probably need more water.
It’s pretty easy to check if a dog or cat is dehydrated because their skin will lose its elasticity and their fur won’t have the same luster. When a dog or cat is hydrated, their skin will snap quickly back into place after you stretch it out. If your pet lacks its usual energy that can also be a sign they need to drink more water.
The majority of pet owners share the common thought that as long as there is water available somewhere in the home, their pet will drink as much as they need. This is true, because when your pet gets thirsty it will find water to drink, but there are some things to keep in mind that you may not have considered.
When the weather is hot, your pet will need more frequent refills of the water bowl. You shouldn’t just refill the bowl when the water is low or completely empty because your pet enjoys fresh water just as much as you do. Ask yourself this simple question: would you want to drink water out of a bowl that has been standing at room temperature (or sitting in the sun) for a few hours? …Probably not. But you would drink it if you were thirsty enough. Change the water in the dish at least 3 times per day and be sure to keep the bowl clean. If you keep their dish fresh and clean, your pets are more likely to want to drink out of it.
Another tip to encourage your pets to drink more water is to keep multiple bowls at different places around the house. Easy access to clean water is a great way to facilitate proper pet hydration.
Animals are also a lot like their owners when it comes to taste. You don’t enjoy drinking water which tastes bad and neither do they! Plastic drinking bowls can add a poor aftertaste to water and are harder to keep clean. Try using stainless steel water bowls since they are both easier to clean and won’t add a bad taste to your pet’s water.
Municipal tap water often has chemicals added to it, like chlorine, and may contain minerals that your pet doesn’t like. Instead of tap water, you can give your pet cleaner, safer, and better tasting drinking water by using a filter, or offering them distilled water. Filtered water is inexpensive and you can easily install a basic faucet mount or undersink filter system to use for your (and your pets) drinking water. If you have a filtered water dispenser on your fridge, you can use that as well, just remember that most water filters need to be changed about once every 6 months to maintain optimal performance.
Keeping the water bowl clean and refilling it with fresh, filtered water multiple times throughout the day will help encourage your pet to drink plenty of water. Just like the rest of the family, your pet is happiest and healthiest when it drinks lots of pure water and stays hydrated.