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Survey Finds Owners Lack Basic Knowledge About Pet Hydration

01 July 2016

UK - With this summer’s sporting bonanza well underway - from the Euros to Wimbledon and the Olympics - UK pet owners could have plenty of distractions to take their attention away from their four legged friends.

Reassuringly, a recent survey of over 1,000 pet owners conducted by pet product expert, PetSafe® brand, has found that our passion for pets comes before our love of sport.

Nine out of 10 owners said they’ll put the needs of their pets first this summer, making sure pets’ meals, hydration and exercise aren’t disrupted by the big games, BBQs, tennis or the Rio Olympics.

Wanting to do the ‘right thing’ for pets over the summer months came across clearly in the study. However, once the elusive summer sun comes out, there was confusion amongst pet owners about what the ‘right thing’ actually is – particularly when it comes to keeping pets cool and hydrated.

While 97 per cent of pet owners give their cats and dogs fresh water every day, over half (59 per cent) are unsure how much water their pets actually need to keep cool and hydrated.

Uncertainty crept in over whether pets should be put outside in warm weather – or kept indoors as 15 per cent said pets would be left outside as temperatures creep up to keep them cool.

Worryingly, almost a third (31 per cent) admitted they couldn’t tell if their pet was dehydrated and common signs of dehydration were confused.

A staggering 81 per cent thought panting or sweating was a sign of dehydration, which is a common misconception and 39 per cent also incorrectly thought whining was a sign.

Symptoms of dehydration include lethargy, sunken eyes, and loss of appetite and depression. Another tell tale symptom is when pets’ gums lose moistness and become dry and sticky.

A spokesperson for the PetSafe® brand, Angela Critchley said: “It’s really encouraging to see that despite all the distractions taking place in people’s lives our pets still take top priority.

“What’s concerning is the lack of knowledge when it comes to pet hydration. Even loosing just 10% of the body’s water can have serious consequences for a dog or cat, so it is vital to ensure owners can pick up the signals quickly to avoid putting their pets at risk.

“If pets are not adequately hydrated they can not pant or sweat efficiently which means they can’t keep themselves cool and can over heat. The average Labrador weighing around 35kgs will need 2.45 litres of water a day to keep hydrated going down to 0.3 litres for your average cat. That’s several bowls for dogs and around 1.5 for cats depending on their weight – and regular water top ups are needed throughout the day”

She continues: “Simple measures such as leaving a number of water bowls in different areas in the house can help replenish hydration even if you’re not able to be in the home. If pets are outside it’s critical that they have access to shade and their water is kept in a cool place – remember some doghouses are not good shelter in the summer, as they can trap heat.”

ThePetSite News Desk

Top image via Shutterstock

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