Keeping your pet hydrated in warmer weather: Could wet food be a good fit?

Keeping your pet hydrated in warmer weather: Could wet food be a good fit?

As temperatures rise during the warmer months, keeping your pet hydrated becomes more crucial than ever. Dehydration in pets can lead to serious health issues, including kidney stones, urinary tract infections, and even organ failure. While fresh water is the most direct way to maintain hydration, incorporating wet food into your pet’s diet can significantly contribute to their overall fluid intake.

Why hydration is critical
Water makes up about 70% of an animal's body weight, and maintaining this balance is essential for overall health. Hydration is vital for your pet’s health as it play a crucial role in various bodily functions, including circulation, digestion, and waste elimination. Proper hydration also helps regulate body temperature and maintain healthy skin and coat. 

In warmer weather, pets are more susceptible to dehydration due to increased body temperature and more frequent panting, which both lead to higher fluid loss. It's important to understand that water loss is the basis of body temperature regulation. Ensuring your pet stays hydrated helps them manage heat effectively and supports their overall well-being.

The benefits of wet food
  • Increased moisture content: Wet food contains significantly more moisture than dry kibble — commonly up to 70-80% water compared to about 10% in dry food. This high moisture content can be especially beneficial in increasing your pet’s overall water intake, helping to keep them hydrated.
  • Enhanced palatability: Some pets, particularly cats, are finicky drinkers but may find wet food more appealing because of its texture and aroma. This can encourage them to ingest more fluids indirectly as they consume their meals.
  • Easier digestion: Due to its higher moisture content, wet food can be easier on your pet’s digestive system, reducing the risk of constipation and helping to flush out toxins more effectively.
How to incorporate wet food for hydration
  • Mix wet and dry food: For pets accustomed to dry food, gradually introduce wet food by mixing it into their regular meals. This not only enhances their fluid intake but also helps them adjust to the new texture and taste.
  • Offer small, frequent meals: Instead of one or two large meals, offer smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day to ensure steady hydration and nutrient intake.
  • Maintain fresh water availability: Even with wet food, fresh drinking water should always be available and easily accessible. Change the water frequently—at least once a day in winter and at least twice a day in summer to ensure it stays fresh. Encourage drinking by placing multiple bowls of water around your home and if frequent water changes are inconvenient, consider using a pet water fountain, which can attract pets with the movement and freshness of the water.
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Need a mixed feeding plan?
Contact a Farmina Nutrition Consultant for a free personalized wet mixed feeding plan.

Monitoring Hydration Levels
Keep an eye on your pet’s hydration by watching for signs of dehydration, which can include lethargy, dry mouth, excessive panting, and sunken eyes. A simple way to check for dehydration is the skin tuck test: Gently pinch the skin on the back of your pet’s neck; if it doesn’t quickly return to normal, your pet may be dehydrated.

To access your pet's hydration needs at the tip of your fingers, download the Farmina Genius app. This easy-to-use app provides personalized recommendations for the amount of water your pet should drink daily, considering factors such as activity, environmental temperature, and more. 

Download the FarminaGenius App

Additional tips for keeping pets cool
  • Avoid midday heat: Walk dogs in the early morning or late evening when temperatures are cooler.
  • Create cool retreats: Ensure your pet has a shaded, cool area to rest, away from direct sunlight.
  • Use cooling mats or vests: These products can help keep your pet comfortable during the heat.
By incorporating wet food into your pet’s diet and following these hydration tips, you can help ensure that your furry friend remains healthy, happy, and well-hydrated throughout the warmer months! 

Learn more about mixing wet and dry food in this genius tips article!