The Importance of Water to Pets
Most pet owners are guilty overlooking the importance of water; they are keen on providing the key nutrients (fats, proteins, and vitamins and minerals) that they tend to forget that water is essential to their pets. Water provides several health benefits to pets: it helps transport important nutrients to different parts of the body, supports digestion and absorption, and helps pets maintain ideal body temperature. Water is also a good lubricant for the joints in the pet’s body and makes movement easier. Water helps the dog or cat’s body system function properly; dehydration, on the other hand, can lead to serious health issues.
Dehydration is the lack of water in the pet’s body. There are two possible reasons for this. First, insufficient consumption of water – the dog or cat might not be taking in the right amount of water its body needs. Second, increased fluid loss – the pet loses a lot of water when it is experiencing some vomiting or diarrhea.
Dehydrated dogs show certain symptoms: depression, dry mouth, lethargy, loss of appetite, and sunken eyes. Dehydrated cats show the same symptoms with the addition of a decrease in skin elasticity, elevated heart rate, and panting. If these symptoms are noticed, pet owners shall immediately seek medical attention from a veterinarian.
It is easier to prevent dehydration than treating it. Responsible pet owners ensure that their cat or dog has clean water at all times; they may change the water every few hours to ensure its freshness. A pet’s water bowl should be washed every day to avoid bacteria from forming.
Responsible pet owners also monitor their pet’s water intake. Dog owners should take note that a dog needs at least an ounce of water per pound of body weight each day. Meanwhile, cats tend to prefer certain types of bowls, so a cat owner should be prepared with a lot of options for his or her feline friend. Specialists advice pet owners to have a bowl with a weight at the bottom to prevent their pets from knocking it over.
Veterinarians say that leaving toilet lid up is a big no-no, as doing so will tempt dogs to drink from the toilet bowl and be exposed to bacteria, which can cause several health issues. Dogs shall be provided with a bowl clean water and never allowed to drink from the toilet.
It is very important for pet owners to make sure that their pet get sufficient amount of water every day; and monitor their pets for manifest any signs of dehydration.