Just as we need water to live, be healthy, feel good, and function at our best—dogs and cats need water for the same reasons. If you have a dog or cat, not only do you want to care for them, but you know how important it is that they stay well hydrated. Water keeps pets cool underneath their fur coats (especially during the summer), keeps them active and energized, helps their joints, and helps them digest food. It’s crucial that owners monitor the drinking habits of their pets, so they don’t become dehydrated or sick. If you want to help your dog or cat drink water more regularly, there’s lots of tips and tricks you can learn—and yes, these tricks are just as cool as “sit down” and “speak”. Here’s 7 ways you can keep your dogs and cats well-hydrated.
1) Exercise them.
Exercising your pets will make them thirsty, and they’ll drink more water. Give your dog a good walk or go for a jog around the park. If you have a cat, pull out a shoe string or a laser pointer, and play! An extra benefit to exercising your pets is that you’ll also get moving. Both you and your pet can be healthier together.
2) Bring water on walks.
This tip applies more to dogs than cats. When you take your dog for a walk, make sure you bring a water bottle with you. This is especially important during the warmer months. Take frequent pauses during your walk and let your dog drink. They can either lap up the water from your hand, or from a travel bowl.
3) Give them ice cubes
Dogs and cats love ice cubes. They are especially refreshing in the summer, and they taste great (or at least your dog thinks so). Cats love to lick ice, and like to have cubes dropped in their water bowls so they can play. Dogs love ice water because its cold, and also go crazy for ice popsicles. This is an easy, inexpensive way to make your pet happy, while also hydrating them.
4) Put away their food bowl
Putting away your pet’s food bowl between meals can prevent them from overeating, and encourage them to drink more. When food isn’t constantly available to your cat or dog, they won’t mistake hunger for thirst. If water is their only option, your pet will be more likely to drink. Doing this trick also has the added bonus of helping keep your pet’s weight under control.
5) Give them wet food
Another way to make sure your pets are getting enough water is to give them wet food. Whether or not you exclusively serve wet food should be determined by the diet that works best for your pet. If your pet prefers kibbles, or specific dry foods have been recommended for them, you can add a little water to your pet’s bowl to moisten the food instead.
6) Put out several water bowls
Placing several bowls of water around your home is a great trick for encouraging your pet to drink more. Multiple drinking spots makes water easily accessible. Your pet won’t avoid drinking water out of laziness, because they’ll be close to a bowl no matter where they are in the house.
7) Give them Pure Water
If your pets are to stay healthy and hydrated, they need to be drinking fresh, clean water. It’s recommended that you re-fill your pet’s water bowl frequently, so the water doesn’t turn stale or get too warm. It’s also vitally important that your pets aren’t drinking water with high levels of chlorine, fluoride, or other toxins. To ensure this, make sure you’re giving your dog or cat the purest water possible.