Keeping your pets hydrated is important year-round, but it’s especially important in the summer when the weather gets really hot. Like people, water is essential to almost every bodily function in dogs, from lubricating joints to aiding in digestion and regulating body temperature. Dehydration can be dangerous, so it’s important to monitor how much your dog drinks in a day to avoid any complications that can come from dehydration.
We’ve highlighted a few key steps you can take to keep your dog hydrated and some signs of dog dehydration to watch for this summer.
Signs of Dog Dehydration
In most cases, dogs need to drink at least an ounce of water per pound of body weight each day, though some more active dogs may require more. Temperature can also play a role in how much your dog will drink, as they can become more easily dehydrated in hot weather. When it comes to determining if your dog is dehydrated, here are a few things to watch for:
- Dry nose
- Dry gums and tongue
- Loss of skin elasticity
- Thick, ropey saliva
If your dog is exhibiting any of these symptoms, it might indicate that they are dehydrated and should be drinking more water.
Why Your Dog Isn’t Drinking Enough Water
There are several reasons why your dog might not be drinking enough, and while most are not a cause for concern, they could indicate a larger health problem.
Typically, if your dog is dehydrated, they will seek out water themselves but this isn’t always the case. If the weather is cooler and your dog isn’t getting enough exercise, they may drink less. Changes in location, whether from a move or a recent holiday, may also cause your dog to drink less. Another common reason your dog might not be drinking enough is due to old age or illness. Older dogs generally don’t get as much exercise, which means they may not be drinking as much as they should. Dogs that are sick might not have an appetite, which can also affect how much they drink.
How To Keep Your Dog Hydrated
While most dogs will naturally seek out water if they are dehydrated, you may find that you have to trick your dog into drinking from time to time to keep them hydrated. There are several creative ways to do this, such as adding water to your dog’s food or giving them more than one water bowl in the house.
Keeping one bowl inside and one bowl outside that are filled with water is also a great way to ensure that your dog has access to water even if they are out in the yard. Another way to get your dog to drink is to pour some water in your hand for them to drink up. This is a great option if you’re out at the park or are on a walk and don’t have a water bowl handy.
While most dogs can recover from dehydration with some water and rest, some might require some additional support or may have underlying health concerns that can be contributing to their dehydration. If you have concerns about your dog, it is always best to see a veterinarian to have them checked out.