Dehydration in Pets

The summer months are approaching and it doesn’t matter how many warnings are given. You will see pets tortured inside sweltering cars in parking lots. It never fails. It is so disturbing to see a panting dog, heaving and slobbering against a car window on an 80 degree day. The inside of a car will reach 120 degrees within a few minutes. When that happens, your pet will not have much of a chance. Even cracking a window will not help in this kind of weather.

Don’t let your pet suffer. Protect him from dehydration and heat exhaustion. Like people, pets need a cool, shady spot to hunker down and wait out the daytime heat. Provide plenty of fresh water. The only way a dog can cool down its body is by drinking water. They do not sweat like people do. Overweight or older pets are especially affected by the heat.

If your pet becomes severely dehydrated and cannot drink, try giving it fluids by using a squirt bottle and squeezing the fluid into the cheek pouch. You can use something like Pedialyte to replace the electrolytes. You can also try soaking his body to lower his temperature. Use a rectal thermometer to take your pet’s temperature. It should read from 100 – 102. Anything higher than this is extremely dangerous. If these methods do not work, bring your pet to the vet immediately. Fluids will have to be replaced intravenously.

Another thing to keep in mind is that your pet does not wear running shoes. If you decide to go for a run on a hot day, it is better to leave your pet at home. Paws can get burned on the hot pavement, and body fluids depleted quickly. Keep your pet’s walks short. If you have to take your pet along, make sure to bring bottled water for your pet to drink from frequently. Exercise is not always a good idea on a hot day.

Your dog trusts you to take care of him. He will do anything you ask him to. He will run, play Frisbee, sit in a hot car or lay on a boiling beach just to be by your side. Be the sensible one, and keep your pet safe. Enjoy each other’s company lounging around at home together. Stay cool with an iced tea for you and a Frosty Paws for your pet.

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