The Importance of Keeping Your Pets Hydrated

An image depicting a cat drinking water from a fountain. The cat is positioned close to the water fountain, leaning over to get a drink.

Just like humans, dogs and cats require proper hydration for healthy bodily functions, including digestion. With a pet’s body consisting of about 70% water, maintaining adequate water intake is essential for their overall well-being and long-term health. In this post you will learn how much water your pet should be drinking, how to check for hydration, and discover practical tips to ensure your furry friends stay hydrated and healthy.

1. Recommended Water Intake:

The average amount of water for a dog or cat to drink each day is approximately 1 cup (8oz) per 10lbs of body weight. Young puppies and kittens require more due to their higher metabolism and growth weight. Pets with certain illnesses may also require more water each day.

2. Checking Hydration

Checking their gums is the easiest way to tell! Press your finger gently against your pet’s gums and then remove your finger. In a well hydrated dog, the area you pressed will appear white for a second, and then return to its normal pink color almost immediately. If your pet is dehydrated, the color will take longer to return.
If your pet has black gums, it will be easier to check their skin elasticity. Gently pinch a small amount of skin between the shoulders on your dog or cat’s back and release it. You will want to lift the skin about an inch or two from the body. When you release the skin, it should normally return to its place right away. If your pet is dehydrated, the skin will slowly return to its place or remain lifted.
You can also observe your pets behavior. The symptoms of dehydration are in the next section.

3. Signs of Dehydration:

– Loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea

– Reduced energy levels and lethargy

– Panting

– Sunken, dry-looking eyes

– Dry nose

– Thick saliva


4. Veterinary Evaluation:

If your pet is exhibiting the above symptoms, it is best to have them evaluated by a veterinarian to rule out any diseases that may be causing the dehydration. It is also likely that they will need subQ or IV fluids to be rehydrated.

5. Ensuring Sufficient Water Intake:

Measure out the appropriate amount of water for your pet into their dish each morning. At the end of the day, check to see how much is left. This will give you an idea of how much your pet drinks each day. With cats, it may be difficult to tell because they may prefer moving water from a fountain or faucet. Or they may only get water from the wet food you give them. The following tips will help out in that situation.
Add some moisture to your pet’s food. Mix in water, bone broth, or goats milk. Bone broth and goat’s milk are tasty toppers that will add flavor and added moisture!
Introduce raw or canned food to your pet’s diet. These foods are high in protein and moisture and your pet will love it! For cats especially, you can mix extra water into the food. Of course, be sure to select a food that has healthy, pet appropriate ingredients. Read those labels!
Add some fresh food to their dishes! Blueberries are a great addition to every meal if your dog or cat will eat them. Be sure to research if a fruit or vegetable is safe to give your pet before including it in their meals or as a snack.
Make fun frozen treats! Just pour goat’s milk or bone broth into an ice cub tray and freeze. Dogs that love ice cubs are sure to love the added flavor!


By implementing these tips, you can ensure your pets receive the necessary fluids to stay hydrated and healthy. Cheers to good health and happy fur friends!

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Brandy Emmert

Hi! I'm the proud owner of Four Seasons For Paws, a renowned pet care company that provides dog training, dog walking, pet sitting, and home security checks. I am passionate about leading a team of certified, knowledgeable, compassionate pet care specialists and trainers who love pouring their hearts into caring for our animal companions. I love having the opportunity to provide complete peace of mind for so many pet parents in our community! And I love sharing advice and educating pet parents on any and all things that can enhance their lives, and the lives of their pets. ❤️

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