Why does my cat drink from the faucet?
Many cats prefer running water to that in a bowl or dish because the running water is fresh and clean. Water left in a bowl can become stale, and the dish may become dirty. Some cats with longer whiskers also prefer water from a faucet because their whiskers touch the sides of the bowl.
Admittedly, you may not want to keep the faucet on all day long for your cat's drinking pleasure. Be sure to change the water in her drinking bowl every day so she has a fresh--not stale--water source. And if she seems bothered by the sides of the bowl, consider putting the water in a different vessel.
Is it bad for my dog to drink from the toilet?
Once you get past the notion of the toilet's intended use and focus on how the toilet actually works, it becomes more evident that the water in the toilet bowl may be fresher than the water that has been sitting in your pet's bowl all week. A toilet is flushed regularly, with fresh water deposited after each flush, and most people keep their toilets relatively clean through regular housework. Some studies have shown that toilet water contains less bacteria than other bathroom surfaces.
That said, you should provide fresh water for your dog to drink in a location other than your toilet. And if the notion of him using the toilet as a water source doesn't sit right with you, make sure all the family members keep the lid down when the toilet is not in use.
Is it normal for my dog to pant a lot?
Panting is a normal activity in dogs that helps them cool off when they're hot or engaged in strenuous exercise. You probably already know your dog's normal breathing rate, which usually is somewhere between 10 and 30 breaths per minute. This rate may become elevated because of hot weather or a really good session of chasing the ball at the park.
If your dog has been panting heavily for a prolonged amount of time, schedule a visit to your vet. Heavy panting is a sign of several medical conditions:
- Chronic illness, such as heart disease
- Respiratory problems
What should I do if my cat has a urinary problem?
While cats are masters at hiding signs of illness, you should keep an eye on him for the symptoms of feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD). These include:
- Frequent and unproductive trips to the litter box
- Urinating outside the litter box, especially if the cat normally doesn't have accidents
- Blood in the urine
- Increased agitation
Urinary tract infections most commonly affect male cats but can occur in female cats, too. If your cat shows signs of a UTI, take him to the vet right away. In some cases, the cat's urethra may become blocked, which can be fatal.
How can I tell if my pet is dehydrated?
A cat or dog can become dehydrated because of reduced water intake or increased fluid loss, such as when a pet becomes overheated or goes through a bout of vomiting or diarrhea. Common signs of dehydration in dogs include:
- Loss of appetite
- Lethargy or lack of energy
- Dry mouth
- Sunken eyes
- Depressed attitude
Signs of dehydration in cats are similar to those in dogs and may also include:
- Elevated heart rate
- Decreased skin elasticity, meaning the skin doesn't immediately return to a normal position after gently pulling it up
If your pet shows these signs, take him to the vet right away. Your pet may be suffering from heatstroke or may have another serious underlying medical problem