To Drink or Not to Drink? That Should Never Be A Question.
According to dictionary.com, dehydration is When you are out and about hiking, playing sports, swimming, running or just playing around having a good time do you stop for a moment to drink some water? What about your furry four legged friend? Do you think about giving him a bowl of water after he participates in those same activities with you? Maybe, Maybe not. Dehydration in dogs is a very serious condition, that if left unattended could actually lead to your dog’s death.
We humans hear all of the time “drink more water”. We try and get our kids in the habit of taking water bottles to every sports activity they attend. But sometimes we forget that Fido needs water just as much as we do, if not more. Humans are made up of roughly 60% water while Fido and his pals are made up of 80% water. Heat, humidity, exercise as well as illness can deplete our canine friend quickly. It is up to us as pet parents to make sure that dehydration does not occur but to also know the signs in case it does.
What are the basic signs of dehydration?
- Sunken eyes
- Loss of appetite or interest in drinking water
- Dry mouth, gums, noses
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Loss of skin elasticity. Use your thumb and forefinger to gently pinch a little skin on your dogs upper back. If they are well hydrated their skin will spring back into place quickly. If they are dehydrated their skin will move back into place much more slowly
How can we avoid dehydration?
- Always make sure that they have a fresh bowl of water at home. In the summer it is recommended that you add a bowl or two around the house just to make sure your dogs has access to it all day
- Give your dog ice cubes or frozen treats to play with and eat
- Soak a new toy in water and let them suck the water out
- Bring extra water with you on outings. Some for you and some for Fido
- Monitor your dogs water intake. Rule of thumb is at least one once of water for pound of body weight
- Never Ever Leave Them In Your Car!!!!!
- Avoid exercising your dog in hot weather
What if my dog does become dehydrated?
- Stop all activity and get them someplace cool
- Try to get them to drink some water. Make sure that they don’t drink too much or too fast as this can make them vomit, adding to the loss of water from their systems
- Take them to your veterinarian as quickly as possible.
Dehydration is a very serious condition and can result in organ damage or death. Being mindful of your dog’s behavior during outside activities or an illness can go along way in preventing dehydration.