Why is hydration so important for our pets?
Did you know humans can go up to a week with no water, in mild conditions? But dogs and cats can only last 3 days without water.
Everybody knows water is critical for the survival of all living creatures. Did you know humans can go up to a week with no water, in mild conditions? But dogs and cats can only last 3 days without water.
The purpose of water in our body is to carry important nutrients into and out of the cells of the body, aiding digestion and absorption of nutrients. It also regulates body temperature, lubricates joints, improves cognitive function and cushions the brain and spinal cord.
HYDRATION IN DOGS
Apart from aiding digestion, moving nutrients and waste into and out of the system, maintains normal body temperature, water helps lubricates and cushion joints, making movement easier. It is generally an indication of health. A healthy dog drinks just the right amount of water – not too little and not too much.
Tell-tale signs of a dehydrated dog:
- Excessive panting
- Pale looking gums
- Loss of appetite
- Critical dehydration: tears forming in the corner of your dog’s eyes, and eyes appear sunken
Surprisingly, Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is more common in dogs. Not simply because of the lack of water intake, but mainly contributed by the individual’s health. Usually seen in overweight pets with extra skin folds, female pets that may have inverted vulvas, pets with weaker immune system or poor dental health.
HYDRATION IN CATS
Hydration has the same purpose in cats: digestion, movement of nutrients and waste into and out of the system, maintains normal body temperature and water helps lubricates and cushion joints. However, it is more commonly observed that cats need to be encouraged to drink enough water to meet their daily requirement.
Cats may have a higher chance of dehydration due to diet. The common illness is called Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (LUTD). The high cause is due to the cat being overweight with little exercise, it has restricted outdoor environments, doesn’t drink enough water, a stressful environment, or even sudden changes in routine. Such as moving to a new home.
How to check your cat for dehydration:
o Check the gums for colour
o Skin elasticity
o Check the paws
o Check the eyes