Staying hydrated is one of the basic requirements for maintaining good health, and dogs need to drink enough water to live and thrive. During the summertime, dogs need 3 to 4 times more water than the normal amount of water, and this depends on their size and activity level.
Generally, dogs need 1 ounce of water for each pound of body weight per day. But they need more on days where the temperatures are rising or where they are more active.
Why your dog needs water
You may know that dogs need water but do you really know why? And what does staying hydrated mean to you? Well, water supplies your dog with plenty of electrolytes needed for digestion, circulation, and bowel movement.
When your dog stays hydrated, it helps their kidneys flush out toxins from their bloodstream. It also helps to promote a healthy cardiovascular system. But if your dog is not well-hydrated, it can cause organ failure and lead to death if proper attention is not given.
Simple Ways to Keep Your Dog Hydrated
There are several rules to make sure your furry friend is always wetting his whistle. Check out these simple tips:
1. Ensure your dog’s bowl is always clean
The truth is that when your dog’s bowl has the green algae or mold growing around the edges, your dog may be discouraged to drink from it. Just like you like taking water from a clean cup, dogs also like their bowls squeaky clean.
So ensure you keep a close eye on your dog’s water bowl and change their water multiple time daily. This way you will prevent any pathogen from growing and getting into your dog’s system.
2. Go with a water bottle
Whenever you’re walking or exercising your dog, always ensure you go with water. Besides, make sure they have easy access to potable water when playing in the park or hiking.
If you have to leave your dog at home for long, you should provide clean water. This is a good way to keep your dog hydrated.
You can invest in a water bottle/bowl combo or a collapsible bowl so your dog can have access to drinking water no matter you go with them.
If you’re taking a long car trip, ensure you stop a few times and give your pup some time to drink some freshwater. Besides, whenever you stop for a drink, offer your furry friend some water too. Keep in mind that if you’re thirsty, it’s likely your dog is too.
3. Add water to your dog’s food
When you add a little water to your dog’s food, it helps to get more water into their body. Besides, adding water to the dry kibble makes them food a little different for your pup. You can also offer your dog pieces of ice as a form of a treat.
4. Provide a place to cool off
One of the major causes of dehydration is exposure to sunlight for too long. And pets, especially those with dark coats tend to heat up quickly in the sun.
So it is advisable to provide a shady spot for your dog to cool off. You can keep their water bowl at that spot to help them rehydrate whenever they come back to rest after spending some time outside.
More so, if you keep your dog with you while relaxing in front of an air conditioning, they would feel very happy and excited.
5. You can try a pet drinking fountain
Sometimes, dogs have the instinct that stagnant water (like water in a bowl) is not safe, but running water is freshwater. If you look closely, you’ll notice that your dog is naturally drawn to running water and would drink more from a fountain than they will from the bowl water.
There are records of dogs that drink from bathroom faucets, but they always need someone to turn it on. To help your dog get running water anytime, you can get them a fountain. It encourages them to drink more water. Besides, the fountain can circulate and filter the water (which prevents the growth of bacteria). This gives you the confidence that their water will be clean and fresh around the clock, and you don’t have to refill now and then.
How to know when your dog is dehydrated
Generally, you need to always keep a close eye on your dog, especially as their activity increases or the temperature rises. You can check out for the following signs of dehydration:
If you notice less pep in your dog’s step without any sign of illness, they may need some hydration. Dogs need water just like humans to lubricate their joints and fuel their muscles.
You can open your dog’s lips to reveal their gums, and if you notice that they are dry, sticky, or pale, it’s a sign that your dog is dehydrated.
Normally, your dog should have a moist and pink gum. Their saliva should be slippery and think, but if they are ropey and thick, you should double down on the bowl water.
Increased heart rate
It might be hard to identify an increased heart rate, but this is one of the symptoms of dehydration. So what you need to do is to check out for a rapid heart rate. If your dog is panting profusely, you need to check for dehydration immediately. That should do, but if it doesn’t, then you should consult your vet.
Loss of appetite
If your dog turns down food, it could mean they need some hydration first. But a bigger issue might be at play. That’s why you need to offer them fresh water first to see if it will whet their appetite, but if they still show reluctance, it is better to consult your vet for advice.
How to know if your dog is satisfied
You obviously cannot ask your dog questions like “how many glasses of water have you had today?” or “do you want more water?” Dogs do not speak our language, but you can know if your dog is drinking enough water through the following ways:
Keep an eye on the water level
You can simply observe how many times your dog visits the water bowl, but this is stressful if you’ve got other things to do. So a good way to know if they are drinking enough is to mark the bowl’s water level at the start of the day.
If you notice that the water level hasn’t decreased significantly over the day, it’s a sign that your pup is not drinking enough. Maybe you need to check for some underlying issues because they might not be feeling well.
Check out how much they pee
The more your pup drinks water, the more they pee. It’s a simple sign. So if your dog pees regularly throughout the day, it’s a sign that they’re well hydrated. Invariably, a dehydrated dog will not be motivated to go potty, and will often show signs of fatigue or lethargy.
Most times, when dogs stay active and play around in the sun, it is usually a sign that they are well-hydrated. So always check out for these signs.
You need to keep the above-listed tips in mind to keep your dog hydrated always. This helps them stay happier and healthier, especially during summer time.