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How Much Water Should My Pet Be Drinking?

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Q. How much water should my dog/cat drink a day?

Well that depends on how thirsty your pet is. I don’t mean to be sarcastic – but it’s true, if your dog just came in from a jog, its different than if your dog just came in from another room.

Also, just like us – if it’s drier outside (think Minnesota winter) or, of course, if it’s hot – pets will drink more.

Also, what are you feeding your pet? If you’re feeding moist food – then there’s inherently a high water content in the food, so a cat, for example, on a moist food only diet, may require less water than cats on a diet of only kibble.

In general, our cats probably don’t drink enough. Here’s what motivates cats to drink: Choices.

Offer more than one water dish – even if you only have one pet. For sure, if you have several pets offer options, including one that is elevated. Cats sometimes aren’t the best at sharing a slobbery water bowl used by dogs. Can you blame them?

For lots of cats who might not be drinking enough, running water seems a great motivator – really fascinating. Water fountains for cats are found online, and at most pet stores.

Anytime you note a change in the amount of water for whatever seems the norm for your pet, contact your veterinarian. Either drinking more or less water can be a sign of illness.

Steve Dale is a pet expert and certified dog and cat behavior consultant. His new books,Good Dog! and Good Cat! are available for purchase here.

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