This month we’re celebrating National Dog Day and we wanted to make sure you’ve got plenty of hydration facts for that fur baby in your life. We’re still in the dog days of summer (see what we did there) which means while we are enjoying hiking, biking, walks and generally being outside, it’s still very hot. Most of us know how important hydration is for people but it’s just as important for pets. In fact, your pet’s body is made up of 80% water compared to the 60% that makes up your body. This means that pets are just as at risk for dehydration or heat exhaustion if not more so when it gets hot as you are! Heat stroke is fairly common in dogs and can be life threatening.
- Know the signs of Dehydration. Common signs of dehydration include:
– Vomiting and/or diarrhea
– Loss of energy
– Excessive, ongoing panting
– Loss of appetite
– Sunken, dry eyes
– Dry, sticky gums
– Loss of skin elasticity
- Know How Much Water Your Pet Needs
Pets need one ounce of water per pound of body weight. A 70-lb Labrador would need 70 ounces of water every day. If you have multiple pets it may be hard to keep track of how much water your furry friends are actually taking in, but knowing how much water your pet needs will help you to keep a closer eye on his water intake and determine whether he’s really getting all he needs.
- Bring Water with You
If you’re on the go and taking your fur buddy with you be sure to bring water for him too! If you’re on a long road trip, be sure to take breaks and give him opportunities to drink. If you’re on a hike and you’re thirsty, he likely is too! When you drink, he should drink too. There are lots of portable water dishes or doggy water bottles to help keep him hydrated.
- Provide a Place to Cool Off
Pets get hot in the sun especially if they have dark coats. Be sure he has a shady spot to cool off or comes back in to the air conditioning regularly.
- Exercise During the Coolest Times of Day
Early morning and evening are usually the coolest times of day. Get your walks or run in during these times to help keep your pet cool, and of course offer them plenty of water before, during and after.
- Never Leave a Pet in a Car
Did you know that even on a 71-degree day and with the windows cracked, it only takes one hour for your car’s temperature to reach 116-degrees? Don’t leave your pet in the car. Opt for the drive-thru, leave them at home, or research the many delivery options that are available for a wide range of products these days, such as home grocery delivery.
If you think your pet is suffering from dehydration or heatstroke, take immediate action. Move your pet into the shade or an air-conditioned area. Apply ice packs or cold towels to their head, neck and chest or run cool (not cold) water over them. Let them drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes. Take them directly to a veterinarian hospital for treatment!