Caitlin UltimoHealth / Pet Safety & Injury Prevention

4 Ways to Prevent Dog Dehydration

Spring and summer months are the perfect time to celebrate the change in seasons and enjoy the outdoors with your furry best friend. Summertime brings warm weather and additional daylight for a great variety of activity options. But, along with rising temperatures comes the challenge of staying hydrated—for humans and dogs alike. According to Dr. Rachel Barrack of Animal Acupuncture, “If your dog isn’t drinking enough water, they can rapidly become dehydrated on a hot summer day. Dehydration can be very dangerous and pose a serious threat to [a dog’s] health.” Keep the heat and humidity at bay to ensure your pet stays hydrated, healthy and safe all summer long with these simple and easy tips.

Adjust your schedule. With better weather comes the urge to soak up the sun—and although a day spent laying out at the beach or going for a run may seem like a great way to relax for humans, dogs don’t sweat the same way we do and have a harder time cooling off. Pups sweat through the pads of their feet and by releasing heat through panting. Overexposure to direct sunlight should be avoided, but this doesn’t mean having to eliminate all outdoor activity. Try adjusting your schedule by walking your pooch in the early morning or later evening to avoid peak temperatures, and be sure to provide your dog with ample water. “On particularly hot, humid days and with prolonged exercise, dogs require more water than normal,” says Dr. Barrack. The Petmate Pearl Replendish Waterer With Microban is a great dog water fountain for the indoors, outdoors or on the go. With variable size water reservoirs, the tank supplies your pup with readily available fresh water. This will help prevent dog dehydration by keeping him well hydrated.

Supply fresh water. Like humans, our pets have varied preferences and quirks. Some animals are particular when it comes to their water and won’t drink from a bowl that has been out too long, isn’t cool enough or has an odd odor. But finding the right water reservoir will make it easy. The Drinkwell Platinum Pet Fountain acts as a filter and aerator that constantly supplies fresh, clean water, making it a simple and stress-free option for pet parents. Although a dog water fountain provides free-falling water to encourage drinking, it is still up to us to make sure that our pets are comfortable and cool. Be sure to watch for warning signs of overheating or dog dehydration, such as excessive panting or drooling, “dry gums, dark, sunken eyes, rapid shallow breathing and lethargy,” says Dr. Barrack. A simple “skin test” can also be performed. Gently pinch and release the skin on the back of your dog’s neck to see if it takes longer than usual to fall back into place, which may suggest dog dehydration. If your pooch exhibits any of these signs, take them to your veterinarian immediately.

Be mindful. During warm-weather months, a pup is bound to spend more time outdoors, whether he’s playing outside, going on errands with you or traveling. After all, a dog makes every mundane task more enjoyable, so it’s only natural that we would want to bring him with us wherever we go. But remember, animals and cars can be a harmful and potentially dangerous combination in extreme weather. Animals can easily overheat in a vehicle, even when the temperature outside seems comfortable. When outdoor temperatures reach 70 degrees, the inside of your car can reach 100 degrees. Even with the windows cracked, your car can quickly turn into a deadly trap. With as little as 15 minutes in a hot car posing a threat to our furry loved ones, opt to keep your best friend at home on hotter days. Be sure to provide your dog with plenty of water to keep cool, even when indoors. Consider the Drinkwell 360 Stainless Steel Pet Fountain as a helpful tool to keep your four-legged best friend hydrated and happy. The pet water fountain’s streaming waterfalls mirror a natural drinking source and encourage frequent fountain stops for even the most quenched pup.

Beat the heat at home. Sometimes, staying indoors is the best way to beat the heat. When a dog is exposed to increased temperatures for an extended period of time, his body may have difficulty cooling down—especially for pets with darker-colored coats, which attract more sun. Give your pup the ultimate day of relaxation with a cooled atmosphere and ample water. The PetSafe Healthy Pet Water Station is an easy and convenient pet water fountain that provides your dog with an additional source of water to encourage drinking. Providing your pup with an easy-access reminder in the form of a fresh water bowl is a simple way to avoid dog dehydration or overheating. Additional water stations also ensure a continuous supply of sustenance, even if one runs out. You can also try adding some chopped up, frozen and dog-safe fruits or veggies to the mix to entice him to bob for the natural treats. Just be sure to keep the bowl clean to prevent bacterial growth, which can make for an unappetizing drink.

It’s no secret that we love our dogs and want what’s best for them. Warmer months are a great time to get active and spend more time with your pets. But because your dog can’t always tell you when he’s feeling ill or uncomfortable, it’s important to be aware of the heat. Be sure to keep your pup hydrated and take the appropriate safety precautions to guarantee fun and safety all summer long.