Without water we wouldn’t be here. It is our lifeblood and without it, there wouldn’t be life as we know it. Plants wouldn’t grow, and animals, like humans, wouldn’t exist. Water plays a vital role in the lives of humans and animals, as it helps to regulate the body temperature, keep us hydrated, protects our joints and tissues, and allows us to maximize our physical performances and maintain high levels of energy.
For most of us, water is readily available in our homes so we can simply fill up a glass whenever we are thirsty. If you have a pet, then it is vital for their health, and ultimately, their survival, that you make sure they also have a good water supply each day.
Unfortunately for them, animals aren’t able to simply grab a glass and turn on a tap to fill it up. They require their owners to make sure that their bowls or water bottles are always full of fresh clean water.
There are different ways that animals will drink water. You may have wondered how do rabbits drink water compared to a cat or dog. Have you seen the way hamsters and guinea pigs drink from their water bottles, while other animals lap from bowls.
Cats and dogs
Unlike humans, cats and dogs are unable to suck up fluids in the same way that we can. For dogs, the reason is the shape of their mouth and their cheeks, so the way in which they drink is to dip their tongues into the water while curling it backwards. The tongue is then quickly pulled back out and into the mouth. This lapping technique is why when you watch a dog drink water, you’ll notice that it can make quite a mess and splash a lot of water around.
If your dog appears to have increased their usual intake of water, it might be that they have a health issue such as diabetes mellitus or kidney issues. Make sure you get them checked out at your vet if this is the case.
Many people think that cats drink water the same way as dogs, by lapping at it, but they actually have a different method of drinking. The surface of a cat's tongue is a lot rougher than that of a dog. This is due to the very fine hairs that coat the surface. When the tongue of a cat touches the water, they start a process where the water is being pulled up into their mouths by a capillary movement. This is why you’ll notice that cats don’t make the same kind of mess as dogs when they drink water.
Some cats will drink more water than others. Sometimes it is simply a behavioral thing that they do due to stress, or sometimes it could be because of a health issue such as kidney disease. If you do notice your cat seems to be drinking more water than usual, it might be a good idea to take them for a checkup at the local vets, just to make sure that everything is OK, and that they don’t have any underlying problems.
Hamsters and Guinea Pigs
Unlike cats and dogs, our small furry friends such as guinea pigs and hamsters usually do not drink from a water bowl. Instead, they have a water bottle or dispenser attached to the side of their cage. They lift themselves up and can hold onto the bottle and start to drink water via the small tube that delivers the water.
With the water bottles for such pets it is very important that you frequently check that the water inside is at the right levels. If there is not enough, they won’t be able to drink anything, whereas if there is too much water inside, then they start to drink, they might bring a lot of water out and soak their bedding in the cage.
It’s important to note that hamsters can drink from water bowls, but most choose not to. If you notice that your hamster isn’t drinking water properly from their bottle, you might want to consider putting down a small bowl for them in their cage.
Budgies and other small birds
As with all pets, if you keep birds then you must make sure that they have a clean and fresh water supply every day. They actually only drink a very small amount of water each day, and it may be that you see your budgie spend more time bathing in their water bowl than actually drinking from it.
You should make sure that their drinking bowl is cleaned everyday, as budgies and other similar pet birds can be messy with their food and also droppings. It’s important that the source of their drinking water is clean.