July is National Pet Hydration Month and helps bring focus to the important topic of keeping your pet hydrated. Summer has the hottest months of the year and it’s natural to want to spend more time outside with your pets. Your pets will most likely love spending time with you doing physical activities outside like hiking, walking, or swimming. While we all know how important it is for people to drink lots of water, it’s also important that our pets stay hydrated.
Did you know, humans are made up of only 55-60% water but 80% of your pet’s body is water? This means your pet can also be at a high risk for heat exhaustion or dehydration similar to people. These 5 tips are great ways to keep your pet hydrated during summer.
Make water accessible at all times
Even if you’re not around all the time, a water source should be available to your pet at all times. Leaving a bowl of clean, fresh water is important and can help keep your pets cool and hydrated. If you’re going on a long walk or out to somewhere new, make sure to bring a water bowl with you. Collapsible bowls are great to fit in backpacks and purses for water bowls on the go.
Give them a place to cool down
Pets (especially those with a lot of fur) heat up in the sun quickly. Make sure your pet has access to a nice shady spot so they can cool off. It’s important to avoid putting a leash somewhere that only gives them room to run in the sun. If you plan to spend a lot of time in your backyard, make sure to check on your pet often and give them time in the air conditioning to cool down if needed.
Replace water frequently
Water can get stagnant and become unhealthy for pets if sitting too long. According to the AVMA, you should keep food and water receptacles readily accessible and shall be cleaned regularly. Changing the water frequently and cleaning bowls can help prevent bacteria from growing and keep your pet hydrated.
Add water to their food
Adding water or wet food to their food can help increase the amount of water your pet is getting. Often people get water from the food they eat, specifically fruits and veggies. Wet food or a little bit of water added to dry kibble can help your pet get the water they need. It’s a little trick that goes a long way. Another way to offer your pets a refreshing treat is to give them ice cubes to chew on. The ice will feel good and it’s a great way to give them water throughout the day.
Look for signs of dehydration
Even if you have clean fresh water readily available to your pet, they may still become dehydrated. Knowing the signs of dehydration can help you react quicker and take care of your pet. Symptoms include:
- Little energy
- No interest in eating
- Sunken eyes
- Dry mouth
- Excessive panting
It’s important to keep your pet hydrated year-round but especially important to pay attention to the amount of water available during hot months. Supervise your pet and make sure they have plenty of shade and fresh water available. Keeping your pet well hydrated is important in keeping them safe. It will make those long summer days outside feel more comfortable for the whole family.