Water – it’s a nutrient that our pets literally can’t live without, and it’s vital to the working of their every living cell, from the tips of their noses to the toes on their fuzzy feet. The well-being of our dogs and cats rests on how well they’re hydrated, so it’s our job to keep our pets well-watered so that their body functions at its very best, keeping them happy and healthy.
First, it’s important to know that dehydration has many different causes in pets, including lack of access to food or water, illness, overheating or injury. Dehydration also causes a depletion of important electrolytes like sodium, chloride and potassium, too, abnormally affecting your pet’s heart rate, breathing rate, and muscle function. Yikes! The signs of dehydration to watch for, according to the veterinary website Petplace.com, are:
Loss of skin elasticity
Increased heart rate
Slow capillary refill time
Getting your pet to drink more may sound like hard work, but it’s simpler than you think – and the benefits for pets are far reaching. In fact, helping our canine companions and feline friends to increase their water intake can help to prevent conditions like urinary infections, constipation or painful bladder stones, according to Vetstreet.com, especially in cats, since they tend to be prone to chronic dehydration.
So what are the best ways to get your four-legged family member to drink up? Well, feeding a high quality canned diet is a good place to start, for one; some owners also find success by adding a low sodium chicken broth to kibble. Frozen broth cubes can be just plain fun for our pets to munch too, especially on those hot days! Finally, many of our furry friends prefer drinking water that’s constantly kept fresh, so an easy to access pet fountain (or two) will make also them eager to quench their thirst frequently. All it truly takes is a little creative thinking to keep your pet hydrated and happy!
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