Summer is upon us and its a fantastic time to spend outdoors with your dog and human family. It is also important to become educated and more concerned about everyone’s hydration including knowing the signs of your dog becoming dehydrated and how to prevent it.
As with humans, dehydration can occur before we realize we are thirsty and dogs often times do not show that they donâ€™t feel well until its a serious condition. For dogs, dehydration can lead to serious life threatening emergencies. So itâ€™s important to provide your dog with frequent access to clean water to drink throughout the day.
In addition to frequent drinking water, here are some other tips:
- Limit your dogâ€™s outdoor activities to early morning and late evenings when itâ€™s cooler outdoors.
- Ensure your dog has ample cool ventilation when you are away from the home.
- Donâ€™t leave your dog in your car on warm days even with the air conditioning running as many dogs have died quickly in cars in which the car stalled and thus the air conditioning turned off.
- Provide your dog with ample shade when outdoors
- If you need to walk your dog in public wearing a muzzle for safety purposes, only use a basket style muzzle rather than a form fitting muzzle. The basket muzzle will allow your dog to more readily pant which is how dogs cool themselves off. The form fitting muzzle should only be used for short durations, such as during a veterinarian exam.
- Store your dog’s veternarian and your local 24 hour Emergency Vet Hospital phone numbers in your cell phone.
- Locate veternarian offices and 24 hour Emergency Veternarian Hospitals in the areas you travel to with your dog prior to embarking on a trip.
The American Kennel Club has a nice article about knowing the warning signs and preventing dehydration.
- â€œLoss of appetite
- Reduced energy levels and/or lethargy
- Sunken, dry-looking eyes
- Dry nose and gums
- Loss of skin elasticityâ€
A dogâ€™s normal temperature is 101-102.5. If your dog has a high temperature and/or exhibits the above symptoms contact your veterinarian (or an Emergency 24 hour Veterinarian if after hours) immediately.