It is important to ensure that your dog stays hydrated during the summer, and they will need to drink a lot more water than usual to accommodate for the effects of the heat. Dogs rely on remaining properly hydrated to keep themselves cool; drinking water itself helps to keep them at a safe temperature, and as they pant to cool down, water from their bodies evaporates off.
This article will provide some tips and direction on how to keep your dog hydrated in the summer. Read on to learn more.
First of all, it may seem obvious that your dog should always be able to get to their water bowl and have free access to a drink whenever they want to at home, but a few potential barriers to this are easy to overlook.
For instance, if the whole family and the dog are out in the garden, ensure that doors to inside are not closed, preventing your dog going in to get a drink.
Consider bringing a bowl of water outside for your dog too, but also make sure their usual bowl is where they expect to find it too.
Always carry water for your dog on walks, along with a bowl for them to drink from. Collapsible bowls and combined water bottles with a folding drinking trough mean that while you will need to carry a little extra to enable this, it doesn’t have to be bulky.
When the weather is warm, stop every ten minutes or so to offer your dog water. If your dog is running around in a park chasing a ball or playing with friends and you’re watching them from a more or less static point, leave the water on the ground and available to them and recall them for a drink regularly.
If there is a tap along your route or in a park where you can get water from this is great for a refill; but don’t substitute clean water by allowing your dog to drink from ponds or streams, as this water may not always be clean or safe.
Remember you’ll need to refill your dog’s bowl more often in summer than in cooler weather, because they will need to drink more, and also the water will evaporate faster. Check the bowl and refill it at least twice a day, and if you do find it empties fast, get a bigger bowl.
Keeping your dog’s water reasonably cool will help to keep them cool too, and so putting the bowl in a cool or shady spot or on a cooling mat will help with this. Some ice cubes in a large bowl can help too, but avoid using plastic cubes as your dog might swallow these.
Also, while cooling down the water with ice is fine, giving your dog icy cold water isn’t a great idea; this can be a shock to the system, and also kick their body’s natural thermostat up, not down, to mitigate this.
Dogs that eat dry food need to drink more water than those that eat wet food, as the moisture content of dry food is lower. If you feel that your dog isn’t drinking enough or are looking for ways to get more liquids into them, consider switching them to wet foods, or adding water to their food; even with wet food you can mix in water and turn the meal into more of a soup!
Drinking ice water isn’t a good idea as mentioned, but you can give your dog frozen or cold treats in small quantities, such as by making ice lollies out of a thin gravy (a low sodium one and vitally, one that doesn’t contain onion, garlic, or anything similar).
Even if your dog has a bowl not that far away, when the weather is hot and they’re feeling particularly lazy, they might not actually bother to get up and go and drink from it as often as is sensible.
Some dogs will laze around until they actually start to overheat and dehydrate before meaningfully deciding to go and get a drink, and so if your dog doesn’t seem to have had water for a while or they look like getting up would be too much effort, take water to them.
It’s not a great idea for a dog to lie out in full sun for any length of time; they may get sunburn or overheat. Move your dog into shade if they’re lingering in very bright sun, or put something over them to shade them; this will also slow down the rate at which the moisture in their body evaporates too.
Keep their water in the shade as well, to slow down the rate of evaporation and also keep it cooler too.