There’s nothing more fun for your pup than a good game of fetch outside. However, as the temperatures rise, keeping your dog hydrated is a must. Just like you or I, a dog is a mammal that needs water in order to survive. Water is responsible for a large number of different body functions, so it is important to make sure your dog is taking in enough fluids.
Throughout the day, your dog will lose water through panting, breathing, urinating, and evaporation. As long as your dog is replacing that water by drinking and eating, though, this isn’t an issue. However, summertime heat will cause your dog to lose water more quickly, and he or she may experience dehydration. Dehydration can be very serious, leading to organ failure and even death if the dog isn’t treated.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY DOG IS DEHYDRATED?
Yes, dogs are stoic, and it’s not like they can tell us when they’re feeling not well. It is up to you, the owner, to determine when your dog is dehydrated. Luckily, there will be clues to help you. The American Kennel Club lists the following symptoms as signs your dog is likely dehydrated:
- Loss of appetite
- Reduced energy levels and/or lethargy
- Sunken, dry-looking eyes
- Dry nose and gums
- Loss of skin elasticity
In some cases when the dehydration is mild and there are no underlying medical conditions, providing your dog with fresh, clean drinking water may be enough. However, if the symptoms do not subside, you will likely need to go to the vet as soon as possible so your dog can receive fluids to help balance his or her systems. Your vet can also determine if there is an underlying medical condition that is contributing to the dehydration.
The most important thing to remember is that prevention is paramount. Make sure your dog has access to fresh, clean drinking water at all times. If the weather is hot, limit his or her time outside and make sure your pup has a cool spot to retreat. Also, a healthy dog is less likely to be dehydrated, so be sure to look at our vitamins and supplements for dogs and other dog supplies. By following a good prevention strategy and recognizing the symptoms of dehydration, you can make sure your dog has a fun and safe summer!