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How Do I Make Sure My Pet Drinks Enough Water?

Alexander Animal Hospital How to Ensure Your Pet Drinks Enough Water

Ensuring that your pet drinks enough water is crucial for maintaining their health.

As warm spring and summer weather arrives, your pets will rely on water to keep them cool after walks or playing in the backyard. But how can you ensure your pets drink enough water to stay hydrated and healthy? Dogs, in particular, are especially active and, if they are a large size, can quickly overheat and dehydrate after exercise. At Alexander Animal Hospital, we are here to provide you with the knowledge you need to keep your pets safe and happy during the year. If you want to keep your pets hydrated, remember these guidelines.

How to Spot Dehydration in Dogs

Water is essential as it allows your dog’s body to function properly and is vital in several internal processes. Dehydration won’t occur very fast unless your pet has a condition that causes excess vomiting and diarrhea. The main signs of dehydration are: 

  • Panting
  • Dry mucous membranes (a dry nose and dry gums)
  • A thicker consistency of saliva 
  • Decrease skin elasticity 

Dogs usually drink enough water so their bodies can function normally. The general rule is that your dog should get one ounce of water per one pound of their body weight.

Signs That Indicate Your Pet Needs More Water

Look for these tell-tale signs to determine if your pet drinks enough water. 

Scruff Test 

Hold some of your dog’s scruff and see how long it takes to return to its normal position. The skin springs back in less than 1 or 2 seconds in hydrated dogs. It takes some time to return to normal in dehydrated dogs, typically more than 3 seconds.

Capillary Refill Time

If your dog has light or pink gums, you may press your finger on them and see what happens. In hydrated pets, the pinkish color will return to the area you press after 1 or 2 seconds. If dogs are dehydrated, it takes longer for that area to become pink again.

Loss of Appetite

A dehydrated dog will not be as enthusiastic about food or even treats. If a dog suffers from constipation, it may be from a lack of appetite for water. A constipated, dehydrated dog will not want to put more pressure on their digestive system by eating more food.

How Can You Get Your Pet to Drink Enough Water? 

Dogs may not be as picky as cats, but they like fresh and clean water like we do! Remember these simple techniques for making sure your pet drinks enough water:

  • Replace your pet’s water every day, at least once
  • Install a pet fountain to provide a continuous stream of water when needed (this can be helpful if your pet is alone for a while)
  • Bring portable water bottles and bowls with you on a long hike.
  • Warm water is not appealing, so keep the water cool.

You can also ensure your pet drinks enough water by feeding them small veggies or fruits with a high water content, like watermelon or cucumber.

Avoid Giving Too Much Water at Once

If your pooch is panting, you may be tempted to immediately give them a lot of water. However, dogs can develop bloat, where their stomach rotates around its axis due to a large amount of liquid or food being ingested.

Bloat is more common in larger breeds and can be life-threatening. To avoid it, give your dog small and frequent sips and take a 5-10 minute-break. Keep your dog in the shade or someplace cool to decrease panting, and give them sips until they’ve had enough.

Support Your Pet’s Wellness at Alexander Animal Hospital

Alexander Animal Hospital is a full-service animal hospital located in Severna Park, Maryland, serving the Severna Park, Pasadena, and Arnold Areas. Our goal is educating clients on the needs of their pets and understanding the importance of individualized veterinary care in order to strengthen the human-animal bond between owners and their pets.

We understand you have a choice when deciding on the care for your pets, and we strive to provide you with unparalleled services including wellness exams, vaccines, lost pet microchip ID, dental care, surgical services, digital radiography, and in-hospital laboratory services and diagnostics. Other highlights of Alexander Animal Hospital are the separate cat and dog waiting and exam rooms, as well as after-hours on-call emergency services.

Please take a look around our website and then give us a call at 410-777-8678 to set up an appointment. We’re social! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for all the latest updates!

This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 8th, 2024 at 2:29 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.