July is National Pet Hydration Awareness Month. Learn more about how to identify the signs of dehydration.
It is July, and for the majority of the United States it is HOT outside. It also happens to be National Pet Hydration Awareness Month. Dogs and cats, even more so than humans, are prone to dehydration in the summertime heat as their sweat glands are primarily limited to the paw pads and the nose. Heat dissipation is virtually all via panting.
Generally speaking, dogs should drink approximately 1 ounce of water (⅛ of a cup) per pound of body weight each day according to PetMD.1 So, for example, a 50 lbs. dog should drink 50 ounces or 6.25 cups of water a day.
Similarly, cats need 3.5 to 4.5 ounces of water per 5 pounds of body weight every day according to WebMD.2 Therefore, a 15 lbs. cat needs 13.5 ounces or about 1.7 cups of water.
Under most circumstances, healthy dogs and cats will keep themselves adequately hydrated if provided plenty of fresh water and kept in an appropriate (e.g. not too hot) environment. Given these factors are met, dehydration is commonly secondary to an underlying illness that needs to be addressed. Some signs of dehydration may include the following:
If you suspect that your pet has severe dehydration, you should immediately seek veterinary care for your pet.
In order to increase your dog or cat’s water intake this summer, you can do one of the following:
Celebrate National Pet Hydration Awareness Month by ensuring your pet is always kept indoors or in a cool space on hot days.