Is Your Dog or Cat Dehydrated? Here's What to Look for

pet dehydration dangers, safety tips

Do you ever wonder if your dog or cat is getting enough water? Well, you’re not alone! Hydration is an important topic for all pet owners, especially in hot weather.

Did you know?

  • 10% of dogs and cats will experience dehydration at some point in their lives.
  • Puppies, kittens, and older pets are more susceptible to dehydration.
  • Pets that are active, live in hot climates, or have medical conditions that affect their ability to regulate their body temperature are at increased risk of dehydration.

There are many reasons why pet hydration is so important. For one, water helps to regulate body temperature. When pets are dehydrated, they can’t sweat as effectively, which can lead to overheating. Water also helps to flush toxins out of the body and keep the digestive system running smoothly. In addition, water is essential for brain function. Dehydrated pets may become lethargic, confused, or even have seizures. And if dehydration is severe enough, it can even be fatal.

How much water do pets need?

  • Dogs need 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight per day
  • Cats 3.5 to 4.5 ounces of water per 5 pounds of body weight per day

Your pet’s activity levels, the climate they are living in all can impact the level of fluid that’s needed to keep them healthy. If your pet is overweight, they are more likely to become dehydrated. Certain medications may also impact your pet’s hydration needs.

Signs of Dehydration

  • Skin: The skin should be elastic and spring back quickly when pinched. If the skin stays pinched up, your pet is likely dehydrated.
  • Gums: The gums should be moist and pink. If the gums are dry or pale, your pet is likely dehydrated.
  • Eyes: The eyes should be bright and clear. If the eyes are sunken, your pet is likely dehydrated.
  • Lethargy: Your pet may be less active than usual.
  • Increased thirst: Your pet may be drinking more water than usual.
  • Vomiting or diarrhea: If your pet is vomiting or having diarrhea, talk to your vet immediately.

Tips to keep your pet hydrated

  • Keep fresh water available at all times. Place multiple bowls throughout the house, and consider using a pet water fountain to keep the water fresh and moving.
  • Offer wet or canned food. These foods contain more water than dry food, which can help your pet stay hydrated.
  • Add water to your dog or cat’s dry food. This is a simple way to increase the water content of your dog’s diet.
  • Give your dog ice cubes to chew on. This is a refreshing way for your dog to stay hydrated, especially on hot days.
  • Offer pet-safe fruits with high water content. Melons, strawberries, and other fruits are a great way to add moisture to your pet’s diet.
  • Check with your vet if your dog’s medication can cause dehydration. Some medications can lead to dehydration, so it’s important to talk to your vet if you’re concerned.
  • Limit outdoor activity on hot days. Make sure your pet has plenty of shade and water when they’re outside, and avoid long walks or playtime on hot days.
  • Provide your pet with a cool place to rest. A shady spot in the yard, a cool room in your house, or a kiddie pool filled with cool water can all help your pet stay cool and hydrated.

Pet hydration is an important topic that all pet owners should be aware of. By following these tips, you can help your pet stay hydrated.

Back to blog
1 of 2