Once summer arrives, it’s common to see small businesses and shop owners place a doggie bowl of water just outside their front door so dogs can stop by for a quick drink. It’s a kind and benevolent thing to do, but smart pet parents cannot count on it. So, when you’re out and about with your dog, follow these tips to keep them well hydrated to avoid unnecessary discomfort and illness.
To judge how much water a dog needs to avoid dehydration, use this simple guidance. Provide one ounce of water daily for each pound of weight. So, a 10-pound dog needs at least 10 ounces of water every day. If you measure how much water a dog bowl contains, you can judge intake by noting what level you fill the bowl and how far the level drops over 24 hours.
Taking Your Dog for a Walk
During the course of the day, your dog will naturally lose water. Dogs sweat through their paw pads, and they’ll also lose water when they’re panting. Because warm weather makes for hot sidewalks and surfaces, a sunny summer day in particular is a time to ensure dogs are drinking plenty of water frequently. If you take your dog on a walk, bring water along, plus something to put it in.
Should there happen to be an outdoor splash fountain in the dog park, your dog will love it, of course. And if you do run short of water or forget the bowl, share your own water bottle.
Taking Your Dog in the Car
On a road trip of any duration, it’s important to take more than enough water — at least one gallon — per dog. You don’t want to run short on water in case of a traffic jam, a vehicle breakdown or other types of delays while driving. Better safe than sorry. Take a cooler to tuck your water supply away somewhere that’s out of the heat so you’re not serving up warm water to a hot and thirsty dog.
Providing Water at Home
Place sturdy containers of fresh water in several places at home and in the fenced-in at-home yard. Ensure the water is changed several times a day to encourage drinking. Clean the bowl daily and refresh the water regularly. On a hot day, you can always add ice to the indoor or outdoor water bowl.
Is My Dog Dehydrated?
If you suspect dehydration in a dog, it’s recommended to contact your vet immediately. Here are some of the warning signs:
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Lethargy, loss of energy
- Excessive, continuous panting
- Loss of appetite
- Dry and sunken eyes
- Dry mouth, sticky gums
- Loss of elasticity in the skin