In the summer months it is really important that you are aware of dehydration in your pets. This is especially important to be careful of in very young or very old animals as well as pets with ongoing kidney or liver problems.

Puppies and kittens often do not drink enough because they are too busy playing and elderly pets are more likely to have diseases that mean they can be prone to dehydration. However, it is important to make sure that your pet is drinking enough year-round as keeping hydrated helps to:

  • promote urinary health and reduce the risk of urinary tract infections and stones.
  • keep energy levels up and make sure your pet has enough beans to exercise.
  • regulate body temperature.
  • promote healing and recovery in ill health.

Keeping an eye on your pet’s daily water intake can be useful if you think they aren’t drinking enough. Cats can be very secretive drinkers so it may be difficult to assess how much your cat is actually drinking! Dogs tend to be a little easier to assess as they tend to drink after eating. If you need to measure your pet’s water intake, you can do this by initially measuring the water in your pets bowls around the house. At the end of the day, measure how much water is left and subtract this from the initial amount you filled the bowls up with. The average water intake per day is around 50ml per kilogram of bodyweight, however, this is a roundabout figure so some animals may drink a little more and some a little less.

Your pet may have a condition that requires them to drink plenty such as urinary issues or kidney disease. Here are some tips for getting your pets drinking more and upping that daily water intake!

  • Ice cubes can be useful to cool water bowls. You can freeze fruit pieces in ice cubes or lolly moulds so that your pet has a cool, tasty snack!
  • Make sure that in hot weather you actually take them to a water bowl regularly. Even if they do not want to drink, giving them the option to drink can be helpful in encouraging water intake.
  • Fill a paddling pool or bowl of water outdoors so that your dog can play in the water which can encourage drinking. This is particularly good for puppies in hot weather!
  • Cooling mats or jackets are useful for dogs that struggle with the heat. Make sure that you are refreshing the jackets regularly so that they do not trap warm air and actually have an opposite heating effect!
  • Cold towels that have been in the freezer can be nice for dogs and cats to lie on to cool down.
  • Frozen interactive puzzle toys filled with fruit and water can be a great way to keep your dog occupied in warm weather as well as helping them to increase water intake.
  • In some cases, especially with urinary and kidney problems, feeding your pet a wet food diet can help to increase water intake. Equally, adding water to food can be another useful way of making sure that your pets are getting hydrated.