Dehydration: The Summertime Threat

Summertime is the worst time for dehydration in dogs.

Dehydration: The Summertime Threat

Water is something that can go overlooked a lot in our dogs’ lives because who is monitoring their dogs exact water intake! We put down a water bowl, and if they are thirsty they will drink, right? Not always! Did you know that your dog should be drinking ½ to 1 ounce of water per pound of bodyweight each day?

For a 30lb dog, they need to be drinking about 3.5 cups a day! That doesn’t sound like a lot compared to humans, but if you measure out how much water your dog gets in a day… are they getting enough?

This is especially important in the summertime! Just as humans become more dehydrated, so do dogs. In fact, they get hot faster than people, so it’s no wonder that the heat takes a toll on these guys.

We know that about 60% of your dog’s body mass is made up of water alone, so you can imagine how detrimental it is to them if they don’t have enough water. Because of the summer heat, we need to make sure that they are getting extra water breaks, and more access to cool water.

Dehydration: The Summertime Threat

How can you tell if your dog is dehydrated?

Well, something you can do is to pinch the skin on the back of their neck. If it snaps right back into place, they are well hydrated. If not, they definitely need more fluids.

A few more signs of dehydration would be:

  • Weakness
  • Lethargic
  • Dry Gums
  • Fast Pulse

So, what is a dog parent to do when their dog doesn’t want up their water intake?

Aside from encouraging more fluids, you might need to invest in a water fountain bowl. Dogs and cats alike are interested in moving water, most of the time. If your dog is eating a moisture rich diet, which I encourage you to do, they might not need to drink as much as a dog who eats kibble every day.

Some dogs love snacking on ice cubes, which is a fun and easy way to encourage more water!

If your dog is not drinking, this is an emergency and they should be taken to your local emergency veterinarian. Your dog may need to have IV fluids to get back on track.

Remember, the best way to treat an illness is to prevent it!

Walk your dogs early in the morning before it gets too hot, or, later in the evening. If your dog likes water, try to teach them how to swim! It’s a great cooling activity.

Just always make sure you take frequent water breaks when playing, walking, or on trips. Try not to let them gulp it down too fast, as to not upset their stomachs.

Summer is about enjoying your time together, and you can still have fun outdoors! Just make sure you take the extra precautions to keep both you, and your dog, safe.

Dehydration: The Summertime Threat

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Shelby Gottschalk HeadshotShelby Gottschalk

My name is Shelby Gottschalk and I am the momma bear! I’ve been obsessed with animals for as long as I can remember. I’ve worked in vet offices, I work doing pet sitting, so naturally animal care was something I wanted to know more about. I decided to do research about holistic medicine/treatment and ended up getting a certificate in Holistic Pet Care. This led me to be curious about pet nutrition – what is in that dried kibble we are feeding our pets? The answers made me so sad after seeing so many vets that I worked with sell these brands that I knew were doing more harm than good. It made me evaluate my own dog’s food and there was no going back. My dogs are my kids, and I believe nutrition can prevent disease and save lives. Join me on my journey with raw food, trying new things and all things dog.


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22 Responses to Dehydration: The Summertime Threat

  1. Angie says:

    Is that your dog? He/She is adorable! I always worry about my cat being dehydrated. I always give him fresh water, and if it’s hot out (even though the air is on), I’ll put ice cubes in his water bowl. Of course he just plays with the ice and doesn’t drink the water right away.

  2. Vanessa says:

    Thanks for this information. Never thought about dog’s dehydration before.

  3. Thank you for reading! Please remember to keep your dogs super hydrated this Summer. :)

  4. Mel says:

    Aww sweet pups in the summertime! It’s so easy for all of us to get dehydrated, so your article is a great reminder!

  5. Kristi says:

    So many important things to know about for dog owners, summer and winter each has it’s important things to learn about.

  6. This is so hard for us with our pup. When she is really working hard she drinks a ton of water and then she promptly throws it all back up again. Icecubes help her stay cool without inhaling so much water she gets sick!

  7. Mistee Dawn says:

    That is a worry of mine, too! I do not have dogs, but both my neighbors do, and those dogs are like family. Thanks for the info.

  8. Brandy says:

    We have a dog who is part great dane, he loves to “sun bathe” as we call it. Always working on his tan, but we often have to call him inside for a fresh drink of water and to get out of the heat for he will stay outside laying in the sun ALL DAY if we let him, he just loves it.

  9. So many folks don’t realize how easy it is for anyone to get dehydrated, including dogs. Proper hydration is important year round.

  10. Kelsi says:

    Great advice! At the restaurant I work at, we always make sure to have water dishes for our outside dog visitors (they have to stay outside the patio, but we have water and treats for them anyway). No one likes to see an overheated puppy!

  11. Shannon says:

    Great tips especially for me since I live in extremely hot Southern California. Shared with all my dog-owning friends, thanks!

  12. Shahla says:

    So wise to try to give them ice cubes, I didn’t even think about that. Going to try.

  13. Emily says:

    Ice cubes is such a good idea! Keeps them interested in keeping hydrated!

  14. Such adorable photos! Thanks for sharing detailed information on this important subject. Staying hydrated means staying happy!

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