Keeping Those Furry Friends Hydrated During The Winter Months
Just like humans, it is so important for pets to stay hydrated. This is as true in the cooler months as it is in the summertime. In the summertime when you obviously sweat more (at least in Texas) it is easy to remember to drink water. However, don’t let those colder days pass without making sure you and your pet are both drinking water.
If you suspect your pet is not drinking enough water, we have a few ideas for you to encourage hydration.
Wet the Food
One workaround is to incorporate water food in their dry food. Dry food is only about 10% moisture. Canned food is better than dry. So, push the can if you can. Still, they will likely need more hydration than canned food provides.
To get even more water incorporated into their food, the water can be added directly to pet food, whether it’s kibble, canned, cooked, or raw.
A good way to do this is to cover the kibble in water and then leave it in the fridge. This will allow the water to be absorbed. Some people believe that crunchy kibble cleans their teeth. While that is partially true (and partial myth), it is way more important to get your furry friend hydrated.
Pets, like people, can be picky with their water. While it is a stretch for most of us to think that Fluffy might prefer bottled over tap water, the reality is that sometimes water just doesn’t taste right. Distilled, filtered, bottled, and tap water all have a slightly different taste. Let your pet test these options to see if there’s something they’d prefer.
You can also try flavoring the water.
Some people make ice cubes out of tuna juice or broth to put in the water bowl. As those cubes melt, they will flavor the water over time, so the pet isn’t immediately overwhelmed. Others simply choose to add a teaspoon of chicken or beef broth directly to the water bowl.
Regardless, if you do choose to flavor your dog’s water bowl, we’d also recommend keeping a separate bowl of ordinary water available as well.
Test Various Bowls
In the same way that humans like certain dishes, pets have their preferences, too. Aside from bowls, offer water in a plate or saucer. Bowls come in different kinds: stainless steel, ceramic, glass, or plastic. Having a variety keeps things new, so the pet doesn’t feel like anything is such a routine. If the pet has a favorite, gradually shift to using that one most of the time.
You can also try altering the size of the water bowl to see which ones your pets prefer. Perhaps they like the material, but the size is either too small or too big. Have the patience to let your pet try different bowls. Consider the fact that they need time to test the bowl, so don’t switch things up too quickly.
Water Water Everywhere
To encourage your pet to drink more water, consider placing bowls in various locations throughout your home. Having water bowls in different rooms will create many opportunities for drinking. It goes without saying that the water in those bowls should stay fresh. Remember to keep checking the water bowls to ensure they’re clean, especially any bowls left outside. There may be leaves, dust, or debris that got mixed in the water. Seeing dirty water would discourage your buddy from drinking, so keep them all clean. Also, keep them full. Many animals do not like to get their whiskers wet when they drink. A full bowl will allow them to lap up the goods without having to get wet.
Water bowls everywhere encourage your pet to get used to the idea that water is easily accessible.
Contact a Pro
If your pet still refuses to drink enough water and it affects their health, it may be time to reach out to your veterinarian. There may be an additional health issue or something else that needs to be addressed.
Keep your furry friend healthy and hydrated this winter and enjoy all that this wonderful season has to offer.