If you have outside water buckets or troughs, clean them thoroughly. You want to remove any traces of algae, old leaves that collect in the water, and any remaining mosquito larvae. Look into water heaters for outside animals or plan to deliver warm water at least once daily.
Remember to follow any precautions for public drinking water for your pets as well as yourself. If there is a “boil water” order from your local municipal water supplier, boil your pet’s drinking water too. If you rely on a private well for drinking water, consider having it tested every couple of years for contamination.
During hot weather, many animals appreciate a cool drink. The reverse is true during cold weather. Outdoor animals in particular will drink more if provided with warm water during cold weather spells. Remember to make it lukewarm or tepid – not hot!
If an elderly or sick pet is not drinking very much, you can encourage drinking by adding some flavor. Apple juice provides a sweet flavor and encourages some horses to drink more. A dog or cat that is not drinking adequately can often be enticed by diluting and adding the water from a can of tuna to the drinking bowl. The smell attracts pets. Low sodium bouillon, in both chicken and beef flavors, can also be used to flavor water for a finicky pet.
Remember to wash out drinking bowls daily and change water frequently. Just like people, most animals prefer to drink fresh water.