When summer arrives, there’s nothing better than getting out there in the sunshine with your dog. Whether it’s bringing them to the dog park, having them chase a frisbee in the back yard or taking them to the beach, your dog is just as excited as you are about the warm weather. Before you venture out, however, it’s important to know how to keep your dog hydrated and to be aware of any dog dehydration symptoms.
Why Dog Hydration is Important
Your dog’s health and wellness depend on their ability to get the proper amount of water each day. For dogs, water is more than just a refreshing drink, it has a wide range of positive effects like:
- hydrating brain and blood
- lubricating and cushioning joints
- body temperature regulation
- aiding in waste removal
- helping the digestion process
Calculating How Much Water Your Dog Should Drink
Providing adequate hydration to meet their daily requirements depends on several factors, such as their activity level, breed size and what type of food they eat. A general guideline is that dogs need approximately 1 ounce of water per 1 pound of body weight1.
Of course, your dog’s activity level and time spent in the sun may call for increased daily water intake.
The best thing to do for your dog to help prevent dehydration is to keep their water bowl filled with fresh, clean water. If you feel like your dog isn’t drinking enough water, try adding a flavor enhancement (like low-sodium chicken broth).
Signs of dehydration in dogs
Dehydration happens when your dog loses more fluids than he’s taking in. This causes your dog to lose more than water; their supply of electrolytes and essential minerals like sodium, chloride and potassium also start to drop.
Symptoms of dehydration can include:
- Dry, sticky gums
- Excessive panting
- Sunken or dry looking eyes
- Loss of appetite
- Skin that doesn't snap back into shape quickly when lightly pinched (excluding breeds with excess skin)
If you notice your dog overheating, the best thing you can do is head inside and make sure they have water. According to veterinarian Dr. Taylor, “You should also avoid putting them in an ice bath, as this can be detrimental to their health. Cool them down with room temperature water.”
How to Keep Your Dog Cool in Summer
Helping your dog stay cool and comfortable is an important step in keeping them hydrated. If you’re both going to be active on a hot day, there are some great ways to keep them from overheating, including:
- Have plenty of cold water available
- Encourage them to get wet by playing in a sprinkler or swimming in a pool, stream or lake
- Avoid the midday heat and take them out in the morning and late afternoon/evening instead
- Make sure he’s got plenty of shade to relax in
- Give them time to rest if they seem overexerted
- Check the pavement to make sure it’s not too hot for their paw pads
- Never leave them in a parked car on a hot day
Water’s Role in a Complete & Balanced Diet
Water is one of the essential nutrients your dog needs to live happy and healthy. A personalized blend from Just Right can give them all the others. Start your blend today and help your dog get everything they need to thrive.