It’s summertime and the livin’ is easy. Well, actually, that may not be the case for our dogs. The long, sweltering dog days of summer are when dehydration can rear its ugly head, causing major health concerns for our furry best friends.
Knowledge is power – and a happy, hydrated pup. So keep reading and we’ll give you the dish on the warning signs of dog dehydration, plus we’ll introduce you to a water additive for dogs that solves two problems at once!
How Much Water Does a Dog Need?
Many well-meaning pet parents just aren’t aware of how much water their dogs need each day. A good rule is 1 ounce of water (or 1/8 cup) per pound of body weight. So if your dog weighs 50 pounds, they’ll need around 50 ounces of water (6.25 cups). If you have a super active dog or the summer temps are rising like crazy, your dog may need even more H20 – sometimes 3x the amount.
Why Is Water So Important?
Nothing quenches our own thirst like a cool glass of water on a summer day – and if our dogs could talk, they’d heartily agree. But beyond how it makes our pets feel, what’s going on inside their bodies is just as important. Water is essential for every chemical process in a dog’s body. It helps flush out toxins, delivers oxygen to their organs, regulates body temp, transports nutrients, aids in digestion and joint health, and so much more.
5 Ways to Tell If Your Dog Is Dehydrated
#1. Excessive Panting
It only takes a 3–5% water loss for a dog to get dehydrated, which can easily occur after vigorous exercise in hot temperatures. Excessive panting (often accompanied with drooling) is likely the first sign you’ll notice.
#2. Loss of Skin Elasticity
If you gently grab a loose fold of skin on the back of your dog’s neck and it doesn’t immediately “snap back into place,” chances are your dog is dehydrated.
#3. Dry, Pale or Sticky Gums
Hydrated gums will look moist and pink, and the saliva will be thin. If the gums are dry, pale, or sticky, or the saliva is thick and ropey, it’s time for your dog to get sipping. You can also press your dog’s gums with your finger, then release. If your dog is properly hydrated, the area where you pressed will blanch white for a moment, then return to its pink color in under 3 seconds. If it doesn’t, you could have a dehydrated dog on your hands.
#4. Dry Nose or Eyes
There are many causes of dry nose in dogs, and many “flat-faced” breeds like pugs and bulldogs are predisposed to dry nose. However, if your dog NORMALLY doesn’t have a dry nose and suddenly has one after romping around in the summer sun, this could mean they’re slightly dehydrated. Likewise, dry eyes can be an indicator of dehydration.
#5. Low Energy
The heat can zap anyone’s energy levels, but if you notice that your dog seems “off” or isn’t interested in food, try to get them drinking more water to see if that pep in their step returns.
What to Do If Your Dog Is Dehydrated
If you find that your dog is slightly dehydrated, give them water in small amounts every few minutes and ice cubes to lick on. Too much water all at once can cause the dog to throw up, which will make their dehydration worse. And if they’re out in the sun, get them inside where it’s cool.
If your dog is severely dehydrated (signs include sunken-looking eyes, weak pulse, rapid heart rate, or shivering), shock can occur, and you’ll want to get emergency care for your pet right away.
How to Keep Your Dog Hydrated During the Summer Heat
Prevention should always be the goal when it comes to dogs and dehydration.
Pointer: Dogs should always have access to fresh water, so if you’re away a lot in the summer, consider purchasing an automatic dog water fountain/dispenser. Here are the best dog water fountains, according to Canine Journal.®
Go Further with a Dog Dental Water Additive
Has your dog’s smile been getting the brush-off? Problem solved!
While your dog is getting hydrated, you can help their dental health at the same time with Oxyfresh premium Pet Dental Water Additive. This vet-recommended, award-winning water additive for dogs is so easy to use: Just add a capful to their water bowl or fountain each day. That’s it! It’s tasteless and odorless so even the pickiest dogs will love it.
Non-toxic and USA-made, Oxyfresh’s dog drinking water additive fights plaque and tartar while completely eliminating pesky bad breath at the source. No coverups with mint, tea or artificial flavors. After all, a dog’s water should taste like, well, WATER! And what’s really “pawsome” … NO BRUSHING!
Want to know more about this exclusive dog water additive for teeth, gums and breath? Check out these Top 3 Reasons You’ll Love Oxyfresh Dog Water Additive.
Cheers to your happy, hydrated dog!