Some pets are outside all day long, playing and barking, and most are left at home while their owners are away at work or on vacation. It is very easy for your pets to become dehydrated quickly. Just like people, pets need a constant flow of fluids to keep their bodies going, their tissues moist, joints and muscles well oiled, blood, proteins, and other nutrients flowing properly throughout their bodies. However, unlike people pets will drink water to prevent dehydration. Fluid is very important to pets. Dogs get dehydrated more often than cats. Symptoms of dehydration are a dry mouth, sunken eyes, and extreme exhaustion just to name a few. Once your pet becomes dehydrated a vet’s care is required, but there are things you can do to prevent your pet from becoming dehydrated.
Pets don’t sweat but they lose fluids through panting. Make sure you always keep a full water bowl available for your pet. If you are not going to be home during the day or gone for a number of days, make sure you either have two large bowls filled with water or leave the hose running to allow just enough water to leak for your pet. Make sure you set the bowls in a position that your pet won’t knock over easily. My dog constantly knocks over her water bowl throughout the day when she is running and jumping around. If your pet has gone a long time without water, try to get them to drink slowly and in intervals not gulping it down all at once. Drinking a lot of water too quickly can result in vomiting, which results in even more fluids leaving the body.
Although drinking water replenishes electrolytes in the body that are lost during dehydration, you can give your pet additional fluids such as Pedialyte, to increase the intake of potassium and sodium. You can also try to give your pooch a taste of the popular sports drinks like Gatorade, some will enjoy the sweet taste. Most pets enjoy licking ice and it is fun to sit and watch them lick ice. Not only is it entertaining but it is another way to get water into your overheated pet and it also prevents them from drinking too much too quickly. Another way to prevent your pet from becoming dehydrated is to check their mouths to make sure they don’t have something stuck in it like a burr. If you see something in their mouth that prevents them from drinking, take them to the vet right away.
The last thing you can do to prevent your pet from getting dehydrated is to constantly give them water. Make sure they have water or access to water when they go on long trips, especially on hot days and when they go on long walks. Pets will often seek water and you can tell they may be thirsty when they pant constantly and look exhausted and drained. You can also check their skin by pulling it, if it pulls up loose and like elastic they culd be close to dehydration.