Pet Supplies Plus Shares Tips on How to Keep Your Pet Hydrated

pet hydration tips
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MARSHFIELD, WI (OnFocus) – “Hot enough for you?” When temperatures reach the point where people are tempted to say things like this, the summer weather has now officially become a health hazard.

Dogs and cats can’t cool down their body temperatures as easily as people can, so they’ll pant and salivate heavily instead. While this does provide some cooling relief, it can also cause pets to dehydrate more quickly. To prevent a health emergency, follow our H2O-based summer safety tips to help keep your pets safe and hydrated.

Pet Hydration Facts

Every day, dogs need about one ounce of water for every pound of body weight. Cats need about four ounces of water for every five pounds of body weight. During hot weather, a pet’s body tends to lose a lot of water due to panting and salivation. This could prove dangerous. Dehydration can lead to organ damage and even cause your pet’s kidneys, liver and other organs to shut down.

What to do: hydrate defensively. Before dehydration happens, make sure your pets always have access to clean drinking water. Whenever you and your pets are away from home (e.g., on a long walk, hiking, taking a family trip), bring along a travel water bottle and bowl.

Make your home a hydration station. Use a pet water fountain, put a water bowl next to their food and even place water bowls all around the house. This is to make clean water more convenient to drink. Fill their water bowls completely to encourage more drinking. Since cats are sensitive to the smell, taste and temperature of water, clean and refill water bowls frequently. And take advantage of the high moisture content found in wet dog and cat foods.

The Signs of Dehydration

Your pet might be dehydrated if you see symptoms such as:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Panting
  • Dry Nose
  • Loss of elasticity in your pet’s skin (if their skin doesn’t return to its original position after you pull on it, they could be dehydrated)
  • Loss of moisture in the gums (i.e., dry and covered in sticky, pasty saliva)
  • Sunken eyes

What to do: evaluate the situation. If you think your pet is slightly dehydrated, give your pet some water or pieces of ice every few minutes. Resist the temptation to give them too much water all at once since this could cause vomiting, making the dehydration worse. If you suspect your pet is severely dehydrated, go to your veterinarian or an animal hospital immediately.

Dogs and Cats Do Sweat… sort of.

Yes, cats sweat; however, they sweat through their paw pads. This does not do enough to cool off their entire body. As for dogs, they have two kinds of sweat glands. One set is on their paw pads. The other set can be found all over a dog’s body but those glands release pheromones, so they don’t really help regulate body temperatures.

What to do: more water to the rescue. Since sweating is not a real option for cooling off, we recommend spraying and soaking your pets with cool and even lukewarm water. This helps lower body temperatures quickly. Plus, the water evaporating off your pet’s fur has a nice cooling effect on their skin. Splash pads, dog pools and a dip in the lake or swimming pool are great ways to get your pets all wet. If your pet isn’t the strongest swimmer, try a pet lifejacket to help them stay afloat.

Whatever way you use to soak your pet, avoid ice-cold water. The cold water could cause outside blood vessels to constrict and narrow, which might raise their body temperatures instead.

“It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.” Your pet doesn’t care. When they feel hot, dogs and cats can get dehydrated. Make sure they’re getting plenty of water in and even on them. While we can’t help with the weather-induced clichés, Pet Supplies Plus can help with your pet’s hydration needs.

And a side note: Never leave your pet in your vehicle

It can take just 10 minutes for it to get almost 20° F hotter inside a car. Automobile glass traps heat from sunlight, so parking in the shade or leaving the windows open doesn’t help either. Leaving your dog inside the car can cause heatstroke.

If you think your dog has heatstroke:

  • Get them in front of a fan or inside an air-conditioned vehicle or building.
  • Give them drinking water and apply cool (not ice cold) water on their skin.
  • Once their body has cooled down, go to a veterinarian immediately!

Visit Pet Supplies Plus in Marshfield or online at www.petsuppliesplus.com. Learn about free delivery here.

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News Desk
Author: News Desk

This piece was posted by our news team! Contact us or submit stories at [email protected]