Adequate hydration is as vital to your pet’s health as it is to your own. Animal or human, we all need water to ensure we are keeping our bodies functioning at their best. Deprive your pet of a sufficient source of water and they will be at risk of dehydration. Therefore you need to provide enough water for your pet every day, but is there anything else you need to consider?
How much water?
Under normal conditions, mammals and birds drink between 40ml and 100ml of water per kg of body weight, depending on the species. Birds also tend to need less water than mammals. Other factors contribute to how much water your pet needs, such as the temperature and whether they eat more dry or wet food. Here are a few guidelines for the most common pets in the UK.
It is generally recommended that cats require approximately 50 ml of water per kg of bodyweight each day. Roughly, this translates to about 200-250 ml of water daily for a 4-5 kg cat. Cats are also more likely to contract urinary infections, so keeping them adequately hydrated is a good way to combat this.
Providing enough water for your dog is even more important as it helps to regulate their body temperature. Dogs release heat differently to humans, panting to cool down as they sweat very little. As a rough guide your dog should drink 40-60ml per kg of body weight daily in order to avoid overheating.
Rabbits and Guinea Pigs
On average, rabbits and guinea pigs will drink 50-150 ml per kg of bodyweight each day. So, it’s completely normal for a 5 kg rabbit to drink up to 750 ml each day. Small pets such as rabbits prefer to drink out of water bowls and not bottles as lapping water from a bowl is a more natural action.
Small pet birds such as budgies can drink as little as a spoonful of water every day. Budgies are used to surviving on tiny amounts of water as birds retain their own moisture. However, they should be provided with a bowl of fresh water daily. Budgies also need water for bathing and cleaning their feathers. Therefore, ensure that your budgies have enough water for both drinking and bathing.
What type of water?
Have you ever wondered why your cat chooses to drink from a muddy rain puddle rather than from the special bowl you bought for them? This has nothing to do with the bowl itself but more to do with its contents. Cats and dogs, like many animals, have keen senses of smell and taste. So if you think you can pick up on the unpleasant taste of chlorine in your tap water, imagine what your pet can detect?
It’s not just the taste that is the problem; hard tap water can lead to urinary issues and the formation of urinary crystals. High levels of copper in tap water can build up and cause hepatopathy in dogs, which can lead to liver damage.
How can I provide the best water for my pets?
One way to regulate the water hardness and reduce the levels of chemical contaminants in your pet’s drinking water is to filter it. By installing a single water filter in your kitchen sink or a filter solution across your entire home, you can ensure that your whole family benefits from pure, clean and filtered water…even your furry or feathered family members!