Beat the Heat: Keeping Your Pet Hydrated

Summer temperatures have soared and that can bring about a lot of health concerns for humans and animals alike. One of these issues is dehydration. Did you know that while humans’ bodies are about 60% water, dogs’ bodies are 80% water? Dogs should be drinking about 1 ounce of water for every pound of body weight. However, not all dogs are drinking enough, especially with the summer heat.

There are plenty of simple ways you can ensure your dog has access to fresh, clean water and encourage them to drink:

Add extra water bowls. Aside from keeping their bowl clean and full, consider adding extra bowls to places where they frequently hang out. If your dog loves spending time with the family in the living room, basement, or backyard, but their only bowl is across the house in the kitchen, they may be less likely to drink as often. Keep water available where they spend time.

Grab a bottle to go. Going out for a walk or run with your dog? When you pack a water bottle for yourself, bring one for them as well. Just as you become thirsty while being out and about, they do too. Consider investing in a collapsible bowl or drinking spout to attach to a water bottle.

Treat them to ice cubes. Change things up and give your dog ice cubes to snack on. It can be a fun treat and help keep them hydrated at the same time. Frozen peas or blueberries are good too.

Add a little flavor. Worried that your dog just isn’t that interested in their water? Try adding a splash of chicken broth or beef broth to the bowl – just don’t forget to clean their bowl out later!

Wet their food. Another option for increasing their water intake is to moisten dry dog food with some water, or give them wet food from time to time.

Invest in a fountain. Dogs enjoy drinking from moving water like hoses, faucets, and streams. Encourage your dog to drink more with a water station that continuously cycles water.

Avoid the heat. Just as humans should avoid being outside during peak hours, pets should too. Bring your dog inside and ensure they have a cool place to relax and rehydrate. Limit outdoor time, and if you are outside, find some shade and take regular breaks.

Recognize Signs of Dehydration

Make sure you know what to look for when it comes to recognizing signs of dehydration. These include:

  • Excessive panting or drooling
  • Saliva that is unusually sticky or a dry mouth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue or lethargy
  • Sunken eyes

Another test that you can use is to pinch a flap of their skin between your fingers. If it quickly snaps back into place, they’re probably okay. If it remains floppy and takes a while to go back to normal, they are probably dehydrated. Contact your veterinarian immediately if you have concerns about your dog being dehydrated.

Keep your pet comfortable this summer and know that they have plenty of access to fresh, clean water and a place to cool off while you’re not home by boarding them at Lake Wylie Pet Resort or signing them up for doggie daycare. Contact us today for more information!