5 Easy Tips to Make your Pets Drink More Water
Do you know if your dog, cat or rabbit is drinking enough water? Staying hydrated is something you think about for yourself, but your pets also need plenty of water. And if you have a puppy, kitten, guinea pig or parrot that’s reluctant to drink, keeping your pet hydrated can be challenging. Here are five tips for getting your pets to drink more water.
Change Water Regularly
Thirsty? How about a nice glass of lukewarm water? Most people can’t stomach tepid water that has been sitting out, so it’s remarkable how many of us expect our animals to drink water in this state. Water that has been sitting out for hours tastes stale because the carbon dioxide in the air reacts with the water molecules. This causes a lowering of pH levels, which leads to a dramatic change in flavor.
Would you drink water that contained a dead fly? How about pieces of soggy food? Stagnant water is ripe for contamination, being a magnet for everything from dust particles to microorganisms. Bacterial organisms, from the tap water, the air, your pet’s mouth and paws, and the floor, can easily take up an ecosystem in a water bowl that is not regularly refreshed.
Add Some Ice
Do you like ice cold water on a hot day? So might your pet! While many owners leave room temperature water out for pets, it might surprise you to learn that many domestic animals prefer their daily drinking water cold. Try adding a couple of ice cubes, or use refrigerated water, to see if the icy water entices your cat or dog to drink more.
Some animals that are naturally playful, like cats, also enjoy batting at ice cubes in a bowl of water. Some birds, like parakeets, like shiny objects and may also find ice cubes entertaining. Turning healthy hydration into a game is a great way to encourage your pets to drink more water.
Filter Your Water
You don’t drink water that you don’t like the taste of, so why should your gerbil or gecko? While minerals can be beneficial, the specific balance of minerals in your water can alter the flavor. Chemicals can also make water taste bad to your pet. Consider using a quality berkey filter to filter out harmful and bad-tasting chemicals, bacteria and viral components from your tap water.
The difference in taste between straight tap water and filtered water can be dramatic, and you might be surprised by how much of a difference this makes in your pet’s interest in daily hydration.
Make It Fancy
Do you like lemon in beverages? Or fancy the occasional glass of cucumber water? Pets can enjoy fancy drinks too! Find out what fruits and vegetables are safe for your pet, and add thin slices of juicy, flavorful produce to their water bowls. The novelty may go a long way towards getting some animals to drink more.
This tip is especially useful for curious animals, and for those that can see colors. Many birds, like parrots, have very keen eyesight, and can see all the colors that humans see. Cats can see green and various shades of blue and purple, while dogs may be able to see some yellows and blues.
Before you try this, be mindful that some human foods are dangerous for animals, and can cause toxicity if consumed. If you aren’t sure what fruits and veggies are ok to give to your pet, consult a veterinarian.
Try Different Foods
Do you drink Coke with your potato chips? Most people need a beverage when consuming dry and salty foods. For some animals, eating a dry food diet may naturally increase their thirst. If you usually feed your pets wet food, consider a dry kibble to see if this makes a difference.
Wet food blends, however, especially for cats and dogs, can add a minimal amount of hydration to your pet’s diet, and many owners choose to feed canned pet foods for this reason. If you usually feed your pet dry food, you can try switching to wet to increase their hydration levels.
Another way to use food to get your pet to drink more water is by adding water to dry food. Some animals will happily consume dry food that is soaked in water, but not all will, so try this with a small amount of kibble first to see how it goes over.
As you can see, there are many ways to encourage a pet to drink more water. Whether you’re trying to up the amount of water your reluctant kitten consumes or you’re concerned that your fancy mouse may be dehydrated, we hope you found something useful here.