MANILA, Philippines – Most pet owners are guilty overlooking the importance of water; they are keen on providing the key nutrients (fats, proteins, and vitamins and minerals) that they tend to forget that water is essential to their pets. Water provides several health benefits to your furry friends: it helps transport important nutrients to different parts of the body, supports their digestion and absorption and helps pets maintain their body temperature. Water is a good lubricant for the joints in the body and makes movement for your pets easier. Water helps your dog or cat’s body systems function properly and dehydration can lead to serious health issues.
Dehydration is the lack of water in your pet’s body and this is usually caused by the drop in fluid level in the body. There are two possible reasons for this: first, insufficient consumption of water – your dog or cat might not be taking in the right amount of water needed. Second, increased fluid loss – your pet lose a lot of water when they are experiencing some vomiting or diarrhea.
Dehydrated dogs will show the following symptoms: depression, dry mouth, lethargy, loss of appetite, and sunken eyes. Meanwhile, dehydrated cats will likely show the same symptoms with the addition of a decrease in skin elasticity, elevated heart rate, and panting. If you notice these symptoms, immediately seek medical attention from your veterinarian.
PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE
It is easier to prevent dehydration than treating it. To qualify as a responsible pet owner, ensure that your cat or dog has clean water at all times; you can also change this every few hours to ensure its freshness. A pet’s water bowl should be washed every day to avoid bacteria from forming.
A responsible pet owner should also monitor their pet’s water intake. Dog owners should take note that a dog needs at least an ounce of water per pound of body weight each day. Meanwhile, cats tend to prefer certain types of bowls, so an owner should be prepared with a lot of options for their feline friend. Specialists advice pet owners to have a bowl with a weight at the bottom to prevent their pets from knocking it over.
Veterinarians claim that leaving your toilet lid up is a big no-no; doing so will expose your dogs to bacteria which can cause several health issues. Provide your dog with a bowl full of water and don’t allow them to turn your toilet into a water fountain.
It is very important that a pet owner ensures that their pet receives the appropriate amount of water every day; they must also keep a close eye on their furry companions to ensure that they do not manifest any of the symptoms of dehydration and if they do, contact a veterinarian and seek help.
Pet Food Institute (PFI) is committed in educating pet owners about proper pet nutrition to keep pets healthy and happy. Through its local initiative, Well-Fed, Well-Nurtured campaign in partnership with the Veterinary Practitioners Association of the Philippines (VPAP), PFI seeks to advocate responsible pet ownership to the ever-growing Filipino pet community.
About the Pet Food Institute
Since 1958, the Pet Food Institute has been the voice of the U.S. pet food industry. PFI is the industry’s representative before Congress and state legislatures, as well as state and federal agencies; public education and media relations resource; organizer of seminars and educational programs; and liaison with other organizations. PFI represents the companies that make 98 percent of U.S. dog and cat food, an industry with more than $20 billion in U.S. retail sales and $1.3 billion in exports in 2015.