Every morning as I enter my shower, my cat races me to the bathroom to sit on the edge of the bathtub. As soon as I get out and the water is shut off, he jumps down and starts drinking from the shower head. He behaves as if it was the best-tasting water in the house.
Although I clean his actual water bowl multiple times a day, he still prefers the shower water. I have to clean his water bowl often, because he usually pushes his food into it, making the pellets soggy.
Those of us who have parrots easily recognize this behavior. Parrots are notorious for being messy especially when it comes to their eating habits. My cockatoo shovels as many pellets she can in her beak and walks them over to the water bowl to give them a soak, before she eats them.
Dehydration is an imbalance of water and electrolytes. If you have ever been dehydrated you can recount the fatigue, loss of appetite, dry mouth and possible headache. The same can hold true for our critter companions.
General symptoms for cats and dogs include sunken eyes, lethargy, loss of appetite, dry mouth, depression, panting, elevated heart rate and decreased skin elasticity. For parrots regurgitating dry pellets and repeatingly opening their mouth and sticking out their tongue is a sign of dehydration.
In addition to the hot summer we are having in Western New York, diarrhea and vomiting can also contribute to dehydrated pets. To prevent dehydration clean water bowls daily. Cleaning the bowl will prevent bacteria growth and changing it regularly can make it more appealing for our pets. Observing your pet’s preference and intake can also help. Some may drink more from certain sized bowls or certain types of materials.
Purchasing a water bowl with a weighted bottom will make tipping the water much harder. When traveling or exercising with your pets bring extra water and water bowls. Crushed ice or ice cubes can elicit interaction from your pet and can often turn play into hydration.