If you own a dog, you probably love going on adventures with them. They also probably really enjoy being outside, even when the weather is hot. You might not be aware, however, that your dog needs to be protected from dehydration when the weather gets warmer. It is easier than many pet owners realize for dogs to get dehydrated.
Since dehydration in dogs can lead to serious medical complications like heatstroke, you need to be sure that you take the right steps to prevent your dog from becoming dehydrated. This is one of the key aspects of protecting your pet from getting sick, and you should make sure to keep these tips in mind, even if your dog spends a lot of time indoors and is not very active.
1. Provide Easy Access to Water
Make sure that your dog has access to clean water all the time. This means that there needs to be a bowl of water in the backyard, as well as a bowl of water in the home for them to drink from. Make sure that outdoor water bowls are kept clean and ensure that all the water bowls that your dog can use are kept full enough that it is easy for them to drink out of the bowl.
Providing your dog with enough water all the time can have a big impact on their hydration levels and protect them from getting sick when the weather gets warmer. It is important to know that your dog can get dehydrated even in the winter if they are not given easy access to enough water. Dogs need to drink about an ounce of water per pound of body weight a day, which is a lot more than many dog owners realize.
2. Make Sure That Your Dog is Healthy
One of the other things that you need to be cautious about is ensuring that your dog is not dehydrated due to a medical condition. Issues with the liver and kidneys, along with a variety of other ailments, can lead to dogs being dehydrated. You will need to make sure that you pay attention to your dog’s coat condition, as well as check for other signs of consistent dehydration that seem not to improve even if they drink enough water each day.
If your dog has sunken eyes, dry skin, or a dry coat, they are probably dehydrated. If you have witnessed your dog drinking a lot of water every day, but they still appear dehydrated, this is a good sign that something more serious is wrong. It is always a good idea to rule out medical issues that might be leading to dehydration so that your dog can get the health support that they need.
3. Provide Water When Away from Home
Another key aspect to ensuring that your dog is getting enough water every day is to bring water with you when you take your dog out to go for walks, hikes, or even the dog park. Dogs need a lot of water to cool off their bodies when they are active, and you can protect them from dehydration when you are away from home by bringing them their own water and portable dog bowl.
Make sure that you bring more than just one bottle of water for your dog as well. You never know when you might get stuck on the side of the road or end up in a situation where extra water would come in handy. Traveling with enough water for your dog is key, and you should make this part of your travel routine for your pet.
4. Watch the Weather
Many pet owners are not aware of just how much the heat can impact their dog’s well-being. Dogs should not be taken outdoors to walk, hike, or exert when the outside temperature is more than 80 degrees. Exposing your pet to intense heat and then being active with them can lead to dehydration quite rapidly. Depending on the humidity and the hour of the day, the sun can cause your dog to get dehydrated very fast, even if the ambient temperature is not that high.
Watching the weather is key to ensuring that you do not accidentally put your pet at risk of becoming very dehydrated or getting heatstroke. If you do need to take your pet somewhere with you when the weather is less than ideal, make sure that you have protective boots for their feet and a sun shirt or sun gear to put on their bodies. Travel with water and try to keep them in the shade as much as possible.
You will also need to be certain that you do not leave your dog in an enclosed space like a car when the temperature is higher than 72 degrees. This can lead to death in dogs of all breeds and sizes. Enclosed spaces can get very hot and can lead to dog dehydration in a matter of minutes.
Dog Dehydration Can be Very Serious
Making sure that your dog is hydrated is key to their well-being. You need to make sure that your pet has easy access to enough water and that they are not exerting when it is too hot outside to be safe. Never shut your pet into an enclosed space in the heat, such as a car, and watch the weather to decide when it is safe for your pet to go for walks or hikes with you in the summer months.
Remember as well to bring water and a collapsible water bowl with you on walks or when you are away from home. This will help to ensure that your pet can get water, even when there is nowhere to fill up a dog bowl. Keeping your dog from getting dehydrated is essential for their health, and your pet will thank you for paying attention to their needs.
West Ashley Veterinary Clinic in Charleston, SC offers a full range of veterinary services to keep your pets happy and healthy through all stages of life!