Importance of Water in Your Pet’s Diet

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Water is an essential nutrient for your pet, accounting for 60-75% of an adult pet’s body weight. Water helps your pet’s body regulate body temperature, digest food, eliminate waste, and allows salt and other electrolytes to pass through the body.

Your pet’s body has limited capacity to store water and can only sustain your pet for a few days with available water. When your pet’s water ratio falls 5-10% below normal your pet will start to show signs of dehydration. Failure to take action when your pet becomes dehydrated can result in your pet’s organs shutting down.

The following are some signs of dehydration to watch out for:

-Sunken eyes
-Dry mouth
-Poor skin elasticity
-Constipation
-Increased heart rate
-Lethargy

The amount of water your pet needs varies depending on animal and breed, and is affected by level of activity and environmental factors. In higher temperatures with more active pets, heat exhaustion can occur when water and electrolytes become depleted

Pets need to have fresh, clean water available at all times to prevent dehydration. Make sure that the water bowl is heavy enough that it cannot be tipped over or have several bowls of water available.

Because even the presence of a perpetually full water bowl may not prompt some pets – particularly cats – to take in as much water as they need, canned food formulas are another way to add water to their diet.

If you suspect that your pet is dehydrated do not give him too much water. A severely dehydrated pet will start vomiting after a large amount of water intake, dehydrating him further. The best course of action is to contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Wellness Library- http://www.wellnesspetfood.com/resources_and_education/article28.html

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