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How To Keep Your Dog Hydrated During the Summer
Your dog wants to be outside during the summer just as much as you do. Unfortunately, dogs also have heavy coats of fur. They thus can easily get hot and dehydrated.
Proper hydration is crucial for dogs. Water provides essential electrolytes that control your pet’s digestion and circulation. Your dog’s kidneys also use water to remove toxins from the blood.
If you notice that your dog is not eating and seems lethargic, he may be suffering from dehydration. An elevated heart rate, excessive panting, diarrhea and sticky or pale gums are also warning signs. Contact your vet if you suspect your pup needs more fluids. To prevent serious dehydration-related illnesses, you should also follow the below tips.
1. Keep Plenty of Fresh Water Outside Your Home
If you leave your pet outside for an extended period of time, make sure there is water for him to drink. You should also set up different water stations in the yard or a water fountain on your property so H20 will always be available to him.
In general, a dog needs one ounce of water daily for each pound of his body weight. However, your pet may require additional fluids on hot days. Check the level of his water bowl regularly to see how much water he is really drinking.
The quality of the water matters, as well. Install a water softener in your home to provide healthier, more refreshing water for your pet and your family. You should also wash your dog’s water bowl every day to eliminate any bacteria. Similarly, do not let your dog drink from contaminated water sources such as lakes, streams, puddles and toilets.
2. Carry Water During Trips
Whenever you and your dog hit the road, be sure to bring a water bottle or refillable bowl. Offer the water to your pup regularly so he has a chance to re-hydrate.
3. Make Water a Treat
Your dog does not understand the importance of water. He thus may not want to drink as much as he should. If this is the case, you should try to change up the water you give him. Add a bit of beef or chicken broth to the water for some added taste. Frozen peas and blueberries are also refreshing snacks that provide the necessary hydration. You can even create dog-friendly popsicles using ice cubes.
4. Switch to Wet Food
You may want to switch your dog over to wet food, which contains more moisture than dry food does. If your pet is in love with his dry kibble, try adding some water to it before you put it in his bowl.
5. Provide Extra Water During Exercise
Just like humans, dogs need extra hydration during workouts. Whenever your pet is running around in the heat, give him a bit of water every 15 to 20 minutes. Make sure he stops panting before offering him the fluid.
6. Change Your Walk Schedule
You may be used to walking your dog on your lunch break. However, noon is often one of the hottest times of the day during the summer. Instead, try to take your pet out in the early morning or late evening when there is less direct sunlight.
7. Avoid Hot Cars
In warm temperatures, cars are particularly dangerous for dogs. The inside of a vehicle can easily reach 100 degrees when the temperature outside is just 70 degrees. Therefore, your dog could get dehydrated or worse in just 15 minutes.
Even cracking open a car window may not be enough to keep your dog cool. You should thus avoid leaving your pet alone in a hot car whenever possible.
Your pup can easily get overheated during the summer, especially when he is exerting himself or sitting in a warm vehicle. To keep your pet hydrated and healthy in the hot months, give him plenty of water and limit his exposure to extreme temperatures.
Kari Oakley gained a love for fitness and animals as a young girl in Wisconsin. She spent each summer on some type of adventure, either a day at the lake with her family or just hiking with her friends. She took her love for fitness with her through college to get her degree in Kinesiology (Exercise Science). She has been working as a personal trainer/life coach in the Chicago area for the past 3 years. She has recently decided to share her passions with lower income schools in Chicago to help children develop a knowledge and love for fitness. When Kari started working with the kids in Chicago, she decided she wanted to share her knowledge and passion with as many people as possible. She has been freelance writing alongside ever since.