Beat the Summer Heat: Hydration & Your Dog's Health

Summer is a time to soak up sunshine! Enjoying the outdoors with your pup is a healthy way to stay active, especially with frisbee on the beach or a romp through the woods! With all this time you’re spending outdoors, it’s important to be aware of the effects that the summer heat has on your dog’s health. Dog hydration is important to keep your pup feeling his best as you play through these sunny months!

Dogs and humans react differently to the heat. While we know how to judge when our bodies are getting dehydrated, it’s often much more difficult to tell with your pup. Sweating is particularly different for dogs. Unlike humans, they only have a small amount of sweat glands which are located on the pads of their paws. This means that they can’t fully rely on sweat glands to regulate body temperature like humans can. Instead, dogs use panting as their primary source for heat exchange. The lining of their lungs actually serves as an evaporative surface! Together, these methods are used as a natural way to cool the body.

Did you know a dog’s body is made up of 80% water? Water is crucial for dogs to regulate body temperature and to maintain healthy circulation and digestion.  With added exposure to heat, however, dogs can get easily dehydrated. It is important to keep a careful eye on your pup when you’re enjoying a long day in the sunshine. Severe dehydration can lead to heatstroke or serious problems for your dog’s health such as kidney and heart damage. It’s easy to prevent, and we have some tips on how to keep your dog healthily hydrated!

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First, always make sure your dog has access to clean drinking water and ensure there is a steady supply available. Clean your dog’s water bowl daily to avoid bacteria growth — this can be as simple as a quick daily scrub with dish soap. While simple, this is a fundamental factor in your dog’s health. An easy way to remind yourself daily to clean his bowl is to use the reminders feature in your WonderWoof app, that way you wont miss a day!

If you know you’ll be outdoors for a long period of time, bring a collapsable dog bowl and extra water to refill throughout the day. This is a great fix for a sunny day at the beach or if you’re planning to go on a lengthy hike!

Having a hard time getting your dog to drink water? Try feeding them small amounts of ice chips, especially if your dog is a compulsive eater! Another quick fix is to lightly sprinkle parmesan cheese in their water bowl. Just make sure your dog doesn’t have any dietary restrictions before trying this.

How can you spot dehydration? Two main signs to look out for include heavy panting and drooling. Alternatively, you can look for dry gums, sunken eyes and a noticeable lack of energy. If you spot any of these symptoms, try some of the tricks mentioned above to get boost their intake of water. If you’re worried your dog might be severely dehydrated, don’t hesitate to bring them to an emergency vet! Make sure to have their contact information available in case a critical situation like this occurs. With proper monitoring of your dog’s health, you will be able to keep them happy and healthy while they play in the sun. Your pup will be sure to thank you with a slobbery kiss!

Look out for your dog’s health: keep them active, and keep them hydrated. Our team at WonderWoof wishes you a playful and active summer!