Water, it’s not just for drinking. Summer is a time when pet parents need to make sure their dogs (and cats) are drinking enough water. It’s not easy to measure how much your dog drinks unless you fill his water bowl with a specific amount then measure how much is gone. Who’s going to do that? Probably not too many of us, right?
How can you keep your pets cool and hydrated and exercised in the summer heat? It’s possible, more importantly it’s necessary! Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean we want our dogs to become couch potatoes. In fact, if you’ve been cooped up most of the winter, you want to take advantage of the warm summer weather with your dog – you just have to do it safely. You also need to know how to read your dog’s body language to see if he’s too hot and you need to plan your walks and exercise for the cooler hours of the day and early evening.
Water: It’s not just for drinking (how to get your dogs to drink more water)
There are more ways than just filling your dog’s water bowl to get her to drink enough water to keep her hydrated this summer. Did you know that your dog or cat doesn’t sweat the way humans do? It’s true! They sweat through their paws; imagine if your dog is walking on hot pavement, exposing his paws to that heat and you can imagine how quickly they can overheat (less than one minute is all it takes!)
Before you walk your dog, test the pavement with your foot or the back of your hand. If you can’t tolerate the heat of the pavement, neither can your dog. Walk him somewhere that he doesn’t have to tread on hot pavement.
What are the signs of dehydration in your dog?
- Lack of energy/lethargy
- Excessive panting
- Loss of appetite
- Eyes that appear dry and/or sunken
- Skin has a loss of elasticity
- Dry nose and gums
Get creative when it comes to keeping your dog hydrated:
- Use ice cubes. Some dogs love to crunch on them and play with them.
- Make pupsicles. Take your dog’s favorite wet food, place it in ice cube trays and freeze. Grab some bone broth, put in the ice cube tray and put in some cut up veggies and freeze.
- Give your dog a fountain feeder. The running water in the water fountain may get them to drink more.
If your dog gets overheated, never plunge him into a cold bath. Grab an ice pack, wrap it in a towel or other cloth then place the wrapped pack on your pup’s belly.
A fun way to get your pup to get his water and stay cool this summer… get a small kiddie pool, fill it up and let your dog splash around. Toss in some of your dog’s favorite balls and play fetch with him. If your dog doesn’t like water or has never been in a swimming pool, lift him up and gently place his front paws in the water. Don’t force him to get in; let him get accustomed to the water on his own.
Keep your dogs safe this summer. Keep them hydrated. Keep them out of the sun by walking them in the cooler early morning hours, early evening hours and keeping them in shaded areas. Most of all, always have fresh, cool water available for them!