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How to Keep Your Dog Hydrated This Summer

Learn ways to keep your dog hydrated in warm weather.

It's important all year to make sure your dog drinks enough water. Not doing so can predispose him to bladder and kidney problems. During hot weather, it's even more important to be on top of your dog's water drinking habits because not having enough will predispose him to heatstroke and lead to other health problems more quickly.

How Much Water Should Your Dog Drink?

The exact amount of water that your dog should have per day varies significantly based on size, activity level, and weather conditions. A starting point to aim for is ½ to 1 ounce per pound of body weight per day. Some medical conditions cause dogs to drink too much water, so you should keep an eye on that as well. If your dog suddenly drinks much more or much less water than he was doing before, you should visit the veterinarian.

You can check your dog for dehydration by looking at his gums. They should be moist and pink, not dry, tacky, and pale. Also, you can gently lift the skin at the back of your dog's neck. A well-hydrated dog's skin will bounce back immediately while that of a dehydrated dog will be less elastic and return more slowly. Your dog's saliva should not be ropey or thick—if it is, he might be dehydrated.

Learn more here: "Dehydration in Dogs."

How to Keep Your Dog Hydrated

Your dog needs to have fresh, cool, clean water available at all times. Whether he is outside or inside, you need to check his water routinely. If it is hot and you are outside with your dog, you'll need to check the water bowl at least once an hour because he might drink it all or it could become warm and unappealing or get dirty.

Never leave your dog outside without a fresh, clean water source and keep in mind that if the water bowl gets knocked over and you aren't there to check it and refill it right away, your dog could become overheated and dehydrated quickly.

Here are some ways to increase your dog's water consumption, and they might be extra helpful during hot weather:

  • Provide a water fountain. These continuously circulate the water, keeping it fresh and appetizing.
  • Add a small amount of low sodium chicken or beef broth to your dog's water dish to entice him to drink more. You can also freeze broth into ice cubes and add them to the water that way.
  • Make other dog-friendly ice cubes that you can offer your dog at intervals. Check out some recipes here: "Popsicle Recipes for Dogs."
  • With your veterinarian's consent, replace some of your dog's dry food with wet dog food, which contains far more moisture. Alternatively, you can add water to your dog's dry food and let it soak for a few minutes before offering it to him.
  • Be sure to carry water with you whenever you and your dog go somewhere during warm weather. Offer water to your dog at regular intervals.

While you're keeping your dog well-hydrated this summer, don't forget to do so for yourself. It's easy to forget to drink enough water when you're indulging in fun warm weather activities.

You May Also Like These Articles:

Dehydration in Dogs

Heatstroke in Dogs

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