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Keeping Pets Hydrated During the Hot Kiwi Summer

Keeping Pets Hydrated During the Hot Kiwi Summer

Just like pot plants, our pets don’t do so well when they’re not properly hydrated.

With the hottest summer months still to come, and veterinary partner Dr Patrick Foley are reminding Kiwis to ensure their pets are kept well hydrated.

Foley says dehydrated cats and dogs are at risk of developing potentially lethal hyperthermia (a body temperature over 41° Celsius) if exposed to high environmental temperatures.

“While it might be a stretch comparing pot plants to faithful pets, water is the single most important nutrient to all living things,” says Foley. “If you shut a dog in a hot car without water, it can develop hyperthermia in less than 20 minutes. The same can be said for a dog running with it’s owner for 45 minutes on a hot day.

"While the habits of cats tend to see them exposed to high temperatures less often than dogs, they are more prone to dehydration. This can result in increased stress on kidney function and cardiovascular health.”

Dogs and cats need to consume 60-70mls of water per kilogram of body weight each day. An average cat (4.5kg) will need 300ml per day and an average dog (25kg) will need 1,600ml per day. Well hydrated animals are able to maintain normal body temperatures and organ functions even when air temperatures increase.

“Dogs are naturally more inclined to drink than cats and will generally drink enough water to replenish themselves every 24 hours. However, cats can take up to six days to completely rehydrate themselves and will generally remain better hydrated as they’re often able to source their water requirements through their diets,” adds Foley.

“Cats and dogs rely on panting to regulate their body temperature when they’re exercising or air temperatures are high, but this is only effective if they’re sufficiently hydrated with access to water to maintain that hydration.”

Symptoms of pet dehydration include thirst, loss of skin elasticity (most often noted in cats as their fur appears to stick up and not lie flat), sunken eyes, loss of appetite and lethargy.

Dr Patrick recommends pet owners talk to their vet or after hours provider immediately if they suspect their pet is suffering from hyperthermia or any dehydration related conditions.

Tips from Dr Patrick on keeping pets hydrated
• Never leave your pet alone and without water in a hot car
• Always have a supply of water (ideally fresh) available to your pet
• When travelling or during outdoors activity, ensure easy access to bowls and always take water with you
• Ensure your dog can cool off in the sea, lake or under a hose if it has been exercising
• Pets need more water in summer, and even more when they’re exercising in summer
• Check your attic or rooms before closing doors. Cats locked up anywhere warm without water could suffer from dehydration or heat stress.
• If your dog is tied up outside, ensure he will still have access to water should he get tangled
• Consider feeding canned or moist food to your cat during the warmer months of the year

Hydration Solutions from
1. Torus Water Bowl: with a concealed reservoir which automatically dispenses water while your dog drinks, the Torus is a fresh new way to ensure your dog drinks clean water at any time. From $59.95 on
2. EzyDog Foldable Bowl: a leakproof solution for providing pups and dogs water on the go. This travel bowl folds flat for easy transport. From $21.40 on
3. PetWare Water Dispenser: clips onto your dog’s lead while going for walks, this doubles as a water bottle and bowl. From $6.56 on
4. Dogit and Catit Fresh Water Fountain: provides a continuous source of fresh and clean drinking water. The flowing water eliminates stagnation and the elevated fountain provides a great drinking position ideal for large breeds, older pets or those with arthritis, muscle or joint problems. From $83.27 on
5. Wet Cat Food: contains less carbohydrates (important for overweight cats!), wet food provides a good source of water. From $3.99 (4 pack) on
Visit for more information

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