Just because July and National Pet Hydration Month are coming to a close, doesn’t mean we can ease up and let our guard down when it comes to the topic of dehydration and overhydration. As August approaches, the summer temperatures only continue to rise, and we must pay extra attention to our dog’s water intake. Continue reading to ensure that you’re aware of the symptoms and dangers regarding dehydration and overhydration, so that you’re able to keep your furry friend safe and healthy in the heat!
- Loss of skin elasticity
- Loss of appetite
- Decrease in energy level
- Sunken and/or dry-looking eyes
- Dry nose or gums
- Thick saliva
Test your dog’s skin elasticity by gently holding some of your dog’s skin near their shoulder blades, raising it up, and letting go. The skin of a well-hydrated dog will spring directly back into place unlike a dehydrated dog, whose skin would take longer to fall back into its original position. Test your dog’s gums by checking for moist versus dry where tacky feeling gums are an indication of a dehydrated animal.
While dehydration may seem more common than overhydration, we can’t forget about our four-legged friends who can’t get enough of the garden hose or swim time. It is possible for dogs to ingest large quantities of water when they have been splashing around for extended periods of time. With that in mind, it is important to monitor dogs that are very active in the water and insist on regular rest breaks.
Listed below are symptoms of water intoxication that you can be on the lookout for:
- Loss of coordination
- Glazed eyes
- Excessive salivation
- Difficulty breathing
Understanding the importance of providing our dogs with constant access to fresh water, along with knowing the signs of both dehydration and overhydration, can help prevent these dangers before they become threatening. A general guideline is that our dogs require at least one ounce of water per day, for each pound of body weight. To get more specific guidelines, talk to your vet and ask for advice about how to best ensure that your dog consumes enough fluids based on their breed, size, activity level, food intake and overall health!