Question of the Week: Does my dog or cat drink enough water?

Dog at his bowlSummer is well and truly here, along with rising temperatures and longer sunny days. We humans are often seen carting around bottles and flasks of water but what about our four-legged companions?

Veterinarians often look to water consumption as a symptom of underlying conditions or as a measure of your pet’s health. Knowing when your pet is dehydrated is key to keeping them happy and healthy. Dehydration can happen all year round and may indicate serious underlying issues. Beyond heat exhaustion, dehydration can point to such conditions as thyroid disorders and kidney disease.

Here are some of the signs to look for:

  • Dry, pale gums (they should be a bubble gum pink color).
  • Sunken eyes
  • Lethargy
  • Decreased skin elasticity
  • Panting

Some dogs and cats need a little encouragement to drink healthy quantities of water. Canines will take ice cubes in their bowl in lieu of liquids. Cats are inclined to drink fresh or running water. Make sure you refresh their water at least once a day. Pet stores also now provide small drinking fountains for cats and dogs, which may be more inviting for your pet than standing water.

If you see any of the any of these symptoms, give us a call to see if it’s something we need to address medically.