Dogs are just as susceptible to dehydration as humans, especially during summer. But while you’re busy checking off things from your summer bucket list, it’s easy to lose sight of water intake for both you and your pet.
Believe it or not, your dog’s hydration is just as at risk — if not more so — than your own. In fact, an infographic from PetSafe showed that your pet’s body is made up of 80% water, compared to 60% for humans. So, while you’re recovering from that four-mile sunset hike, keep in mind that your dog is as well and needs just as much (or more) H2O as you do. Steve Mills of American Nutrition has a few ways to stay prepared.
#1 Always Carry Water
The first and most straightforward way to prevent dog dehydration is to carry water. Everywhere. You’d be surprised at how fast a dog goes through his/her water dish, so bringing more than you think necessary can’t hurt. Whether it’s taking your dog’s water dish to the beach or packing a few extra bottles in your camping cooler, ensuring there is drinkable water nearby is crucial. If you’re planning an outdoor activity for the day that involves a large amount of walking or exercising, keep in mind that dogs need a small amount of water every 15 minutes, so plan accordingly.
#2 Use Ice Cubes as Treats
For most dogs (and humans, if we’re honest), their ears perk up upon hearing the word “treats.” Why not kill two birds with one stone and give your dog a treat while also keeping them hydrated? Ice cubes are the perfect summertime snack to keep your dog hydrated and satisfied. One thing to note: When feeding your dog ice cubes, make sure you supervise. It’s never a good idea to give your pup multiple ice cubes — or any treat for that matter — all at the same time. Monitoring your dog while he or she cools off with their new favorite summertime snack will help prevent them from eating too many at once and choking.
#3 Know the Signs of Dog Dehydration
Like any medical condition, it’s important to be able to recognize the warning signs of dog dehydration. Symptoms such as excessive drooling, panting, vomiting, loss of appetite and a dry nose can all be signs that your dog is dehydrated. While we can’t always prevent our dogs from getting sick, it’s essential we know the causes and symptoms so we can take preventative measures when possible. As always, taking your dog to the vet is the best option if you suspect any illness.
#4 Keep Up with Grooming
Just as most humans get their hair cut in time for the summer heat, dogs should as well. If your dog has a thick coat of fur, grooming and brushing them regularly will help keep them refreshed. However, it’s crucial to maintain that grooming all throughout the summer. Giving your dog a haircut in the early summer months but then forgetting to manage it will make the fur matted and block airflow.
When it comes to preventing dog dehydration, summer is the most critical time of year. But no matter the season, ensuring your dog has access to clean drinking water at all times is just as key to pet health. With a little planning and precaution, you can make sure your best friend stays safe, happy and hydrated all year-round.