Q&A: Pet Hydration Tips

Keeping your pet hydrated isn’t as simple as filling up their water bowl and leaving it at that. Here are some guidelines to be sure your pet is getting the adequate amount of water, and tips for keeping it clean and healthy too.

How much should my pet be drinking? 

Dogs should generally drink about .5 to one ounce of water per pound of body weight, daily. For instance, a healthy 50-pound pit-bull should drink 25 to 50 ounces of water per day, or about three to six cups.

Cats typically need between 3.5 – 4.5 ounces of water per 5 pounds of body weight. So a 10-pound cat should consume 7-9 ounces of water daily, or about half of a 16 oz. water bottle.

How much is too much?

If your dog is highly active or lactating, they may need more water. Puppies also drink more than adult dogs. If you notice your dog drinking an excessive amount of water, it could signify a serious health problem such as kidney failure, diabetes mellitus, or Cushing’s disease.

How often should I clean the water bowl?

The bowl should be cleaned daily and sanitized often. Keep your pet’s bowl accessible at all times, and refill with fresh, clean water twice a day. Keeping the water level full prevents a dangerous concentration of germs from forming in the bowl. A pet water fountain with a filter can help keep germs at bay, so water stays fresher longer.

What are the benefits of a pet water fountain?

Many dogs and cats prefer to drink from flowing water. You may have noticed your cat is especially interested in the kitchen faucet, or your dog comes running when the toilet flushes. Not only does a pet water fountain contain filters that keep water fresh and clean, the continually running water encourages pets to consume more water and stay hydrated. The elevated fountain also reduces neck strain, making drinking easier.


Why does my pet cough after drinking water?

In serious cases, this could be due to health issues such as heart disease, a respiratory infection, or lungworm. However, it could be that your pet is simply drinking too quickly. Drinking from a bowl on the ground often causes neck strain, which results in discomfort and coughing when they drink.

What are the symptoms of dehydration in dogs or cats?

These include 

  • A loss of appetite

  • Reduced energy or lethargy 

  • Excessive panting 

  • Sunken eyes

  • Appearance of dryness around eyes, nose and gums 

  • Loss of skin elasticity 

  • Dry mouth

  • Elevated heart rate

How can I avoid dehydration in my pets?

  • Refill their bowl regularly, and check it often

  • Avoid exercising in hot weather

  • Have more than one water source throughout the house

  • A wet-food diet is helpful for cats, or place ice cubes in your cat’s food

  • Be aware of the water bowl’s location. Cat’s prefer their food and water separate to avoid food contaminating the water, and so their water doesn’t smell like their food, which can happen if the bowls are too close together

  • Take bottles of water with you on a walk or when travelling.

  • Never ever leave your pet in a car

Shop the IRIS pet water fountain here, or on Amazon.