There is no chance of life surviving without water. It is the universal lubricant of life. Whether looking for life on the planet Mars or here on planet Earth, this precious liquid is a necessary component for any type of life to exist. As astrophysicists love to say; that everything in this world came from the stars! The main source of water in our world came from millions of icy asteroids bombarding our planet billions of year ago! Jump to the 21st century and nothing has changed; we need fluids for survival. Where there are liquids, there also is life or the potential for life.
Water comes in three different forms: liquids that we drink, liquids that are found in our foods and liquid that is produced in our bodies by biochemical processes. The latter is known as metabolic water. Fluids are needed for every metabolic process in our pets body from maintaining blood pressure to digestive processes to secreting wastes from the kidneys in the form of water and nitrogen wastes known as urea. In the latter case, water is a solvent for urea which is produced in the liver. Without the solubility of water, every mammal would be dead of renal failure!
WATER NEEDS OF THE SENIOR PET
Fluids are even more important for the senior pet. As the animal ages, body processes slow down. Digestive processes slow down and too much water is absorbed back into the body from the large intestine. The dog or cat becomes constipated. Kidney function is one of the earliest organs to cause trouble in the aging pet. It is crucial that older pets have access to fresh water daily. Observe how much liquid the older pet is drinking.
One of the easiest ways to figure how much water your pet is drinking is to measure it out each day. At the end of the day do the same thing than you can figure out how much your pet has taken in during the day. As a ball park figure pets need about 50cc of water per kilogram (kg) of body weight. An average cat weighs about 10 pounds which is about 5 kg. To change an animals weight in pounds to kilograms divide the weight in pounds by 2.2. To be more accurate, a 10 pound cat would be (10/2.2) 4.5kg. Multiple that by 50 and you get a good idea of what that animal should consume daily in cc’s. To make it easier for you, there are 240cc in 1 cup. There will be variations such as hot weather that can make an animal drink more but the above figures are pretty reliable.
ACCESS TO WATER
Many times an older pet wants to drink water but can’t find it or even get to it. An older pet will often have cataracts or has difficulty getting up and down. Make sure you have numerous water bowls around the home so that the senior dog or cat doesn’t have to walk miles to get to one bowl of water down several flights of stairs. Keep the water bowls in the same place so that a senior dog can find it due to visual difficulties brought on by cataracts.