How Much Water Should Your Pet Drink?

WIt doesn't take much common sense to know that all pets should always have fresh, clean water available.  Giving your pet water each day is probably one of the easiest things you do for your pet.  After all, unlike selecting what foods to feed them, what vet to take them too, what supplements are right for them, and other important health/lifestyle related decisions, you really don't have to put much thought into the water you give them each day.

But you should be monitoring how much water your pet drinks.   It's not hard to do, and sudden changes in the amounts of water your pet consumes can be an indication that something is wrong.  In addition, there are health issues that can be caused from not drinking enough (dehydration, kidney issues, organ failure), and even from over drinking (electrolyte imbalances, hyponatremia, bloat).

So how do you know what's normal for your pet?  Personally I feel that this is one of those "know thy pet" situations.  I've heard that a 'normal' amount of water for a dog to consume a day is around 1/2 to 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight.  However factors such as diet, activity level, temperatures, individual differences, etc can impact how much water your dog consumes.  Plus, it may be pretty easy to find information on how much your average dog or cat drinks, but what if you have a more exotic pet?

 

qIf you know what's normal for your pet, it'll be easier to determine when he/she is deviating from the norm.  When in doubt, talk to your pet's vet.  If your pet stops drinking, or drastically increases his/her water intake, your vet will be able to help you figure out why.

This topic is one I find particularly important.  I've written about my leopard gecko, Haku, who sadly passed away last September.  Haku ultimately died of  kidney failure.  Increased thrust is one of the signs of kidney failure, and often times pets with kidney issues benefit from the administration of fluids.

Literally the day after we lost Haku, Poppet entered our life.  Poppet had lived in pretty horrible conditions before we got her, and had just been spayed, so it didn't surprise me that she didn't really know what to do with a litter box.  However, it didn't take me long to notice that Poppet, as well as having frequent accidents, was  drinking very large amounts of water.  A trip to the vet confirmed that she was suffering from a urinary tract infection, which luckily was treated successfully.

If I wasn't monitoring Poppet's water intake it may have taken me longer to realized that something was off, giving her uti time to potentially progress to something more series.  And although we did end up losing Haku, catching his kidney issues as early as we did meant that we were able to keep him comfortable and here with us for much longer than we probably would have been able to had his condition gone unnoticed.

So, although filling your pet's water bowl each day may be mostly a mindless task, monitoring your pet's fluid intake can definitely be beneficial.  Sound off below!  Do you monitor how much water your pet drinks each day?  Has doing so ever helped you discover, or prevent, a health issue?