Warm sunshine and balmy days — summers are a lot of fun for dogs and their humans. But for pet owners, one looming question is how to keep your dog hydrated. You want your dog to enjoy lazy days at the beach, but you also want to prevent dehydration or heat strokes, especially when the heat gets intense.
Did you know that your dog needs more than double the amount of water during summer depending on their size and activity level?
So the burning question (no pun intended) is, how to keep your dog hydrated in hot weather?
Importance of Keeping Your Dog Hydrated
Just like water makes up about 60 percent of the human body, it forms 70 percent of a dog’s body composition. The amount of water your dog drinks has a significant impact on its health and wellness.
Water not only quenches their thirst, but it is also one of the ways in which dogs can efficiently regulate their body temperature. Water helps keep your dog’s energy levels up and allows them to recover from any physical activity faster. It is also responsible for flushing out the toxins from your pet’s bloodstream.
Water contributes to various functions of your dog’s vital organs, such as maintaining proper metabolism, encouraging digestion and supporting urinary tract health.
Managing Your Dog’s Water Intake
The first step in how to keep a dog hydrated is knowing how much water your pup needs to drink daily. Remember that you and your dog don’t have the same electrolyte and hydration requirements. You sweat; your dog pants.
During summer, your dog needs at least three to four times its usual water intake — one ounce of water for each pound of your dog’s body weight.
Here is a guide that you can refer to and check whether your dog’s daily water intake during the summer is enough:
- For dogs that weigh 5 to 15 pounds: 1 to 2 cups of water per day
- For dogs that weigh 15 to 30 pounds: 2 to 4 cups of water per day
- For dogs that weigh 30 to 45 pounds: 4 to 6 cups of water per day
- For dogs that weigh 45 to 75 pounds: 6 to 8 cups of water per day
- For dogs that weigh 75 to 90 pounds: 8 to 10+ cups of water per day
Signs of Dehydration in Dogs
A combination of high temperature, inadequate water consumption and high activity levels can cause dehydration in dogs. It can cause your pet to lose electrolytes and water more and quicker than it is replenished.
Here are the common signs of dehydration to watch out for in your dog.
Pale and Dry Gums
When your dog is healthy and hydrated, its gums will be pink and moist with slippery, thin saliva. If you see your dog’s gums looking pale, dry and sticky with ropey and thick saliva, then it’s time to replenish the water bowl.
Loss of Appetite
Dogs enjoy eating, but if your dog has suddenly lost its appetite, it may be due to dehydration. Make sure you keep water available even when your dog is not eating solid food. But if your dog is reluctant or doesn’t even sip some water, you must take them to the vet.
Increased Heart Rate
Tachycardia or increased heart rate may manifest as your dog panting excessively, even without being engaged in physical activity. It is another sign that your dog needs to increase its water intake.
Water helps lubricate your dog’s joints and fuel their muscles. If your dog has suddenly lost that pep on its steps and has no other indications of being ill, consider encouraging your pet to drink more water.
Simple Ways to Keep your Dog Hydrated
Want some simple tips on how to keep your dog hydrated?
Here are some easy practices you can implement to keep your dog healthy.
1. Keep a Clean Water Bowl Filled with Water On-hand
Before worrying about water being available for your dog, you must first ensure that your dog’s water bowl is clean to prevent mold and bacteria from growing and being ingested by your dog. Once the bowl is clean, keep track of your dog’s water consumption and refill the bowl with water several times a day.
2. When Going Out, Always Have Water with You
Another answer to how to keep dogs hydrated in summer is to always have water available for your dog. At home, you can fill up the water bowl and go about your chores. But, when you’re out for a walk or a day of activities such as hiking or walking around with your dog, make sure you have bottled water and your dog’s collapsible bowl.
#3. Add Water to Your Dog’s Food
This is another great option for how to hydrate a dog at home. If your dog doesn’t like plain water, adding water to your dog’s food is a creative way to boost your dog’s hydration. You can soak your pet’s kibble for a few minutes to enhance the flavor and increase your pet’s digestive wellness.
#4. Store Ice Chips and Ice Cubes for Your Dog
What is the fastest way to hydrate your dog? Ice chips or ice cubes! Your dog can chew and lick on frozen water and replenish its water levels. It’s also a great way to help your pup cool down during intense summer heat.
#5. Prepare Some Frozen Treats
Ice cubes work, but delicious frozen treats are even better! But before that, you must inform yourself about safe frozen treats for your dog, especially if you are planning to incorporate human food. For example, frozen watermelon cubes without any seeds and unflavored Greek yogurt make for excellent frozen treats, as do peanut butter popsicles.
#6. Give Your Dog Rehydrating and Cool Snacks
If you’re wondering what can I give my dog to stay hydrated, there are lots of veggies and fruits that have high water content like watermelon, cucumber, apples, lettuce, etc. Can dogs eat lettuce? Sure, they can! It’s one of the best snacks for the summer since it is 90% water and low in calories. Your dog will feel full and satisfied while getting enough water.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long can a Dog Go Without Water in the Summer?
Dogs can generally go without water for up to three days. During summer, however, this timeframe is significantly reduced to 6 to 10 hours less, and even more if your pet is engaged in physical activities.
Do Dogs Drink Less Water in Summer?
Ideally, your dog should be drinking more water during the summer. But your dog may drink less water if he is not feeling well, if there are some changes in the environment, or if your dog is feeling stressed. If this goes on for too long, don’t put off a visit to the vet.
Can Dehydration in Dogs Lead to Death?
Yes, dehydration is extremely dangerous and must be remedied immediately. It can cause your dog’s internal organs to stop working and may lead to death.
Keep Your Dog Hydrated
Make summers fun, comfortable and memorable for you and your dog by keeping your furry friend well-hydrated to enjoy those warm, sunny days. We hope this guide helps you keep track of your dog’s water intake and avoid dehydration for a happy and safe summer.