A new survey has revealed that 45% of UK pet owners are unclear about how much water to give their pets to drink, and 70% wouldn’t know how to tell if an animal was dehydrated.

Owners don’t know how much water to give pets

The survey, conducted for pet product company PetSafe also found 50% of dog owners incorrectly believe that panting is a sign of dehydration.

Puddle water topped the list of common things dogs like to drink other than water according to 42% of owners. Tea was also popular – 23% of dogs and 15% of cats regularly enjoyed a cuppa. A quarter of cats also drank milk, with owners wrongly believing it was good for them. 

Other results showed:

  • 40% of pet owners don’t take water for their pets on long walks or car journeys
  • poo bags were the number one essential

David Chamberlain, veterinary consultant for PetSafe, said: “The results clearly show that pet owners need to become more savvy when it comes to hydrating their pets and the types of liquids they allow their pets to drink.  

“Even losing just 10% of the body’s water can have serious consequences for a dog or cat and hotter weather, exercise and periods of illness can all contribute to water loss. It is vital to ensure that pets have access to clean, fresh water at all times, and make sure that they are drinking enough to keep them happy and healthy.”

He added: “Simple measures such as taking water on long car journeys and ensuring the pets have access to water after activity can make a big difference. Lots of public places have fresh water available for pets in bowls – often it’s a case of just steering the pet in the right direction. It isn’t advisable to let pets drink puddle water, or even tea, and if they get enough water they shouldn’t need to go looking for drinks such as these.”

The survey was carried out by Censuswide in May 2015, when 500 UK cat and dog owners were questioned.

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