With temperatures starting to heat up, it’s time to start thinking about our best friends. That is man’s best friend, our trusty dogs. With scorching summer temperatures, make sure you are on the lookout for dehydration in your animals. Dehydration may occur as a result of sickness or as a result of heat. A few important points and tips to consider are:
Notice the Early Signs of Dehydration:
Loose skin- does not easily regain its shaped when pulled on or moved.
Dry Mouth and gums- The inside of the gums and mouth become tacky and dry. May loose the pink coloring and become more of a pale or white color.
Sunken Eyes – advanced stage of dehydration.
Depression- is a very real sign of dehydration in animals. The animal becomes lethargic and it preserves as much energy as possible.
The best course of action is to call your veterinarian right away. You can explain the signs you are observing and follow his recommendations. If you provide them with too much water too soon, it could send the animal into shock or worse. If you have to await a call back, wet a washcloth and allow the dog to moisten his mouth with it.
Buy a kiddie pool and fill with water, try to sit it in a shaded area. The animals can have constant access to water.
Provide a shaded area for your dog to rest. Steer clear of full sun areas, they do not allow the dog to cool off and bring elevated temperatures down naturally.
Freeze soda bottles filled with water to add to the kiddie pool. This will help keep the water cooler longer. We typically use 2 or 3 liter bottles. You want to add a few if available.
Limit food in direct heat. If your dog eats excessive amounts of food, the heat may get to him and cause him to vomit, adding a double whammy to an already bad situation. Wait to feed you dog until he is a shaded and cool spot. Try and make it so that he doesn’t go right back to strenuous activity after eating.
Maintaining constant awareness of your pet’s health is especially important in the summer months. While dehydration is never a welcomed issue, if caught quickly, the effects are limited to replacing lost fluids. Prepare your dog for the day in the same manner that you would for your own child. They cannot speak for themselves and do not have the ability to do it themselves. You are their voice, make sure you hear them. Be sure to always keep an eye out when you dog is loose and running about.