We all know that we should drink more water, this is the same for our pets as well. There are also some disease process that cause cats and dogs to urinate more, hence they need to drink more. If they don’t replace this water loss, they can become dehydrated.
For dogs and cats with bladder stones and crystals we want them to drink more, in order to dilute out the urine more and cause dissolution.
Not all water tastes the same, ever been on holiday and the water tastes different. This really depends on the mineral content on the water. Our pets also have preferences. Some do prefer rainwater to tap water. It is thought that this is due to tap water being chlorinated. As their sense of smell is so much better than ours, it must be like drinking swimming pool water. If you fill a jug of tap water and leave it to stand for 12-24hours, all of the chorine will evaporate off.
Availability is a big thing, you know you won’t drink much is there isn’t a drink around to have. Try having several bowls around the house, inside and out.
Do you have a favourite mug for your coffee? Don’t like drinking tea out of a paper cup? Our pets are the same. Like us, they can have preferences to the types of bowls that we use. Cats tend to prefer very wide rimmed bowls, or even saucers to drink from. Try different drinking vessels for your pets to get them to drink more: ceramic bowl, saucers, plastic bowls, metal bowls.
Where you position these vessels is also very important, especially for cats. Cats don’t like to drink, where they eat or where their litter tray is. They also like seclusion, so try putting the bowl somewhere quiet.
Some pets love running water, there are a vast amount of water fountains available.
Wet food, as the name suggests, contains more water than dry. On average dry foods are around 10% water, whereas wet foods can be around 75-85% water. It is possible to add water to both wet and dry foods, but this can effect the palatability of the diets and the pet might end up consuming less.
Some urinary diets contain salts that encourage your pet to drink more water. There is also a product called Purina Hydracare that looks and tastes like a pouch of food, without being a food. It has proven to increase a cat’s water intake and hence make their urine more diluted, helping to improve their hydration. This supplement can be used for cats with FLUTD and when hydration is an issue.
Oral hydration supports are available and contain electrolytes to help with rehydration. These are available for cats and dogs, and even for cats with renal disease.
Products we Recommend
Cats: Oralade, Oralade renal, Purina Hydracare