ARE MY PET’S DRINKING HABITS NORMAL?
Of course, we mean drinking water. So far, we have never seen an alcoholic pet…
When temperatures get warmer, we all drink more water, and this is normal and valid for both people and pets. How can we know if our pet is drinking more than normal? Most owners measure, approximately, the daily amount of food for their pets. Sometimes, they use a measuring glass: half a glass a day, for example. In some other cases, they know they have to purchase a bag of dry food a month, or every 2 months, so, normally the owner knows if the pet is eating more or less than normal.
Most owners measure, approximately, the daily amount of food for their pets. Sometimes, they use a measuring glass: half a glass a day, for example. In some other cases, they know they have to purchase a bag of dry food a month, or every 2 months, so, normally the owner knows if the pet is eating more or less than normal.
In case of the daily quantity of water, owner’s control is not so strict, so, very commonly, the owner doesn’t know if the pet is drinking more or less than normal when asked. The required daily quantity of water depends on many factors, such as temperature, pet’s level of activity, and the kind of food it’s having (wet or dry food). As a general rule, if a pet (dog or cat) drinks more than 100 ml/kg a day (which would be 1 liter for a 10 kg animal), we can consider it’s drinking too much. Some owners think their pet drinks too much because it uses the water bowl lots of times a day, but the important thing is the final quantity after a 24 hours period. As a matter of fact, it’s recommended to measure the daily quantity for a few days and then obtain the average in order to have a more significant result. When environmental temperature is very high, or after an intense exercise session, the animal will increase water ingestion, but this is not significant.
A good way for measuring the quantity of water the pet drinks would be filling the bowl with a ½ liter bottle, and counting how many bottles have we used per day.
Of course, the water an alive being drinks must “come out”, so, sometimes what the owner reports is the pet is urinating too much (not to be confused with “going to the toilet more times”. The important thing in this case is the quantity of urine). In case of a dog, the owner will report it spends longer urinating; in case of a cat, the litter tray will be wetter than normal, and it will require renovating the grit more often.
Why is it so important to know if our pet is drinking too much?
Because there are several chronic diseases whose main symptom is polydipsia (excessive water consumption). These diseases (diabetes mellitus, Cushing disease, renal failure, for example), are usually mild or even silent at their first stages, so in more cases, the diagnosis is performed later, when the owner feels there is something wrong with the animal.
When our pet starts drinking or eating more than normal, normally we don’t get worried and don’t go to see the Vet, while when the problem is the opposite (the animal stops suddenly eating or drinking), we ask the Vet immediately for advice.
So, these 3 signs (polydipsia, polyuria and polyphagia: drinking, urinating or eating more than normal), are very easy to detect by the owner and they may give the Vet a very valuable information, even at the first stages of a disease.
Liliana Aldeguer Cerdán col 793
English translation by Sergio Reina Esteban col 747
Clinica Veterinaria, MASA SQUARE, GRAN ALACANT
T: 966 698 569