July is Pet Hydration Month. This is an extremely important topic at this time of year, especially here in the Southwest, where scorching temperatures are just par for the course in summer. Dehydration is a huge hazard for pets. It goes hand in paw with heat exhaustion, which can lead to heat stroke, a potentially fatal condition. Here, a Scottsdale, AZ veterinarian discusses keeping your pet properly hydrated.
When it’s really hot out, you may want to put ice cubes in your pet’s water. You may want to set out more than one watering station, particularly if you have more than one pet and/or a large house or yard. Remember to clean and refill bowls daily. This is especially important with outside containers. Poisonous toads may sit in the water, which could make it toxic.
Many pets prefer to drink running water. Your dog or cat may enjoy a pet fountain. Automated waterers are also a good option, especially if you’re gone long hours at work, or have a dog that drains his bowl quickly.
Treats And Snacks
Keep water content in mind when choosing your pet’s snacks. Fido may enjoy some doggy ice cream or pupsicles, which are basically kibbles, treats, or meat frozen in water or sodium-free broth. Fluffy might like some chilled tuna in water. Sodium-free broth is another great option, and is safe for both dogs and cats. Smaller animals, like birds, may enjoy bits of fruits or veggies with high water, such as watermelon. However, don’t give your pet anything without making sure that it’s safe for them.
Out And About
Be very careful when taking Fido places with you. Cars can reach deadly temperatures in just minutes! If your pup can’t go inside with you at your destination, leave him cool and comfy at home. That said, if you do take your dog somewhere, bring water along for him.
Know Signs Of Dehydration
It’s also important to know the warning signs of dehydration. Panting is a big one, and often the first thing you’ll notice. Other red flags include trembling, vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, lethargy, a warm back, reduced or dark urine, discolored gums, and unusual vocalizations. If you notice any of these things, immediately give your pet some water and call your vet.
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