Dogs are usually good drinkers, but not always. Cats do not have a thirst drive like dogs and humans because they are descended from a desert-dwelling ancestor who got all her moisture from her prey.
With temperatures breaking records all over the world, it's important to find creative ways to keep your beloveds hydrated. Water may not be the only answer.
The MOST important thing to provide is moist food. Dogs, and especially cats, are NOT designed to eat dry food. They are carnivores who require fresh and "aged" meat (dogs only, as "carrion feeders.") Dry food alone is never a good choice, no matter how "premium," "natural," "grain-free," "human-grade" it says it is.
Adding water or broth to a dry food that has no chemicals or preservatives is okay, but not ideal. Feeding a balanced frozen or homemade raw diet, followed by a balanced lightly cooked diet is best. Next comes organic and human-grade canned. These options can be combined with kibble in the right proportions. Please contact me here if you need help creating the ideal combination for your companions and your budget.
The Beauty of Broth
Bone broth or regular broth without any added seasonings, (absolutely NO onions) can be a great addition to your companion's meals or offered in a bowl by itself. Offering bone broths (with a few ice cubes) when it's hot out will encourage your companions to drink. Dedicate an ice tray to make frozen bone broth treats that can be given any time!
Bone broths are especially valuable for young, elderly and animals in recovery as they are chockfull of easily absorbed nutrients. You can get bone broths made for humans, some good ones made for animals or make your own!
"Milks" and Fermented Goodies
Goat milk is another "treat" filled with important nutrients. "Answers" makes a fermented goat's milk that comes frozen at good natural pet food shops. Once defrosted, you can make ice cube treats with it too.
Kefir and yogurt are also excellent choices if your animal likes them. Always give them plain, low fat organic versions. Most fruit and flavored kefir drinks and yogurts have tons of sugar.
I don't recommend cow's milk because it is not easy for cats and dogs to digest as the molecule is quite large. A little cream can be a treat to get them interested or to get certain liquid supplements or meds down.
In conclusion, always have bowls of fresh, clean water in different areas of the house and outside (not right next to the litter box). Provide a little wading pool outdoors in the yard so dogs can drink and cool off. Try adding bowls of broth or goat's milk, ice cubes of water and broth and cool yogurt or kefir.
The more your companions drink when it's hot, the better their bodies will handle the heat and other stressors as well as avoid things like kidney issues and urinary tract infections.
With Love, Your Voice of Animals,