Besides love and affection, water is one of the most important things you can give your dog. Just like us, dogs’ bodies are made up mostly of water and it’s crucial to keep their bodies functioning properly. There can be dire consequences if your dog becomes dehydrated while out adventuring, so with summer in full swing and temperatures on the rise, we’re going to talk about the best ways to keep your dog cool and hydrated.
How to Tell if Your Dog is Dehydrated
Heat exhaustion and dehydration often go hand in hand and the signs and symptoms are similar. You’ll likely first see excessive panting and drooling. Remember, your dog can’t sweat like we do, so they rely on panting to get rid of excess heat. Other signs of dehydration include tiredness, dry nose, dry mouth, and loss of appetite. If you suspect your dog may be dehydrated, here are a few things you can do:
- Check their gums. Their gums should feel slick and moist and when you press on them with your finger, the color should return right away. If they feel dry or remain white when pressed, your dog is likely dehydrated.
- Lift up the skin on the back of their neck/shoulders. It should fall back into place right away. If it is slow to pull back into place, there may be a problem.
Dehydration can sneak up on all of us, especially when playing outside in the summertime, so try these tips to make sure your dog says dehydrated through all your adventures.
Tip #1: Be Prepared
This is good advice for a variety of situations, but always be prepared by having water for both you and your dog whenever you go out. Dogs need about one ounce of water for every pound of body weight daily to remain hydrated. The best treatment for dehydration is prevention, so offer your dog water often to make sure they stay happy and hydrated.
Tip #2: Be Mindful
When outside in the heat, keep an eye on your dog and look for signs that they may be getting too hot. If they are panting quite a bit and slowing down, get them to a shady area to offer them rest and some water. Slow down, pay attention, and be mindful of the signs and symptoms of dehydration to prevent a serious problem.
Tip #3: Get wet!
Getting your dog’s body wet is a great way to keep them cool. Take them to lakes and encourage them to swim, turn on the sprinkler for them to chase, or enjoy a classic water spree with the hose. Consider getting a kiddy pool for your dog to splash in the backyard. There’s nothing like a good ol’ pool party to keep everyone cool and having fun.
Summer is a great time to get out and enjoy the outdoors. Use these tips to stay cool, hydrated, and enjoy everything summer has to offer with your dog.