The Im­por­tance of Wa­ter to Pets

The Freeman - - LIFESTYLE - By Pet Food In­sti­tute

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.


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