8 Signs of dehydration in dogs and cats

Having plenty of water stations available to your pets is vital all year round. During the warmer months, you may need to increase the number of drinking stations around your property & refill them if they become too hot or run low on water. Water is essential for maintaining everyday bodily functions such as regulating temperature, circulation, flushing waste away, digestion, joint & brain support. 

keeping Cats Hydrated.

Dehydration in pets can be life threatening. This condition can lead to heatstroke, diarrhea, vomiting & organ failure. Preventing dehydration is best, followed by looking for signs & symptoms of dehydration in your pet.

How much water should my dog or cat drink?

A good rule of thumb to follow is 60ml of water per kilogram of weight for dogs. So a 30kg dog would require 600ml (milk bottle size). Always consider what activities your dog has been involved in, for example, this size dog will require more water if they have been on a long walk.

For cats, it is slightly less. Cats require 50ml per kilogram of bodyweight to maintain hydration. Roughly a standard cup for an average size cat of 4-5kg. Cats can be finicky when it comes to drinking. We recommend using a drinking fountain with a carbon filter to remove impurities.


What are the signs of dehydration in dogs & cats?

  1. Loss of energy
  2. Weakness
  3. Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
  4. Dry, sticky gums
  5. Panting
  6. Loss of skin elasticity 
  7. Sunken eyes
  8. listlessness/depression

If your pet shows any of these symptoms, seek veterinary treatment. Your vet

keeping Dogs Hydrated.

maybe able to treat your pet with intravenous fluids immediately  & can assess other conditions that may result from dehydration.

How to prevent dehydration in dogs & cats

Always have a constant supply of fresh water for your pets. Replenish this throughout the day to ensure your pet never runs out. Pet drinking fountains are useful to encourage pets to drink. The sound of running water acts as a reminder, dogs & cats are drawn to this sound! You can add ice cubes &  electrolytes to water & food bowls, feeding a portion of wet food can also assist in keeping your pets hydrated. 

If the weather forecast is going to be hot, ensure that your pet has appropriate shade, access to water & if possible, bring them inside where there is a cool area such as the laundry or a room with air- conditioning.

Use a gel cooling mat for your pet to lay on. These will remain cooler than the ambient temperature.

Always avoid walking & exercising during the hottest part of the day, set out early in the morning or in the cool of the night. Avoid taking your pet in the car during extreme heat. Follow our extensive list of tips to managing heat stress symptoms in your pets in our Blog, Heat Stress in Pets: Signs & Symptoms

For further information, call in & see us in the store, or email us:

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