by Melody Keilig
We all know those dog days of summer, where the heat seems to pound down on us while the humidity leaves us feeling bathed in hot water.
July is when the heat turns up, causing dehydration in humans and pets. So besides remembering to wear sunscreen and UV protective clothing, how can you make sure to keep your dog hydrated during your outdoor adventures this summer?
How to Keep Your Dog Hydrated Outside
Besides knowing the early signs of heat exhaustion and dehydration in your dog, it’s also important to understand how to keep your dog hydrated throughout the day. Keeping them hydrated is especially important if you plan to go outside and be in the sun for a few hours.
First things first, make sure you have cool water on hand for the amount of time you’ll be outside. You could even bring an extra water bottle just in case you get held up somewhere for longer than you planned.
Bring a cooler full of ice that can sit in your car for a few hours to keep the water cold. If you’re going on a hike, bring what you can carry and leave the rest in your vehicle. That way, you’ll have cool water to come back to afterward. Bring a dog bowl along so your dog can drink enough water and help themselves to more.
You must also have plenty of fresh water so your dog doesn’t drink from any natural water source. Although it might seem okay for pets to drink water from a river, lake, pond, or stream, you don’t know the cleanliness of that water source.
Give Your Dog Some Wet Food
If your dog isn’t drinking enough water, sneak in some extra water by giving them a serving of wet food on top of their regular dry food. Dogs are bound to lap up the wet food, and they’ll need to drink water after eating, so it’s like a parent sneaking veggies onto their child’s dinner plate!
Because wet food can affect your dog’s weight more than dry food, keep portions in mind when giving them wet food with their dry food. After all, you don’t want to accidentally give them too much wet food, negatively affecting their health. Don’t make this a regular treat: give your dog wet food on dry food when they need a little help with hydration.
Or, if you’re worried about your dog expecting wet food every day, try giving them their dry food with enough water to make the food soft.
Share Fruits and Veggies With Your Dog
There are many hydrating fruits and vegetables that you can share with your dog. Just make sure that you give your dog fresh fruits and veggies, not dehydrated or modified into treats.
So, if your dog isn’t drinking enough water or needs more hydration, here are dog-safe fruits and veggies with higher water content.
For fresh fruits, your dog can have a helping of:
For fresh veggies, your dog can have a helping of:
With anything you give your dog to eat, monitor how much you give them and your dog’s reaction. For example, although these fruits and vegetables are great health foods for dogs, too many helpings could cause an upset stomach.
Because every dog is different, no matter the age or breed, you’ll have to test beforehand what fresh foods are best for your dog.
How Often Should Your Dog Drink Water?
Making sure your dog gets enough water is essential, whether you’re exploring the outdoors or spending your day at home during the heatwave.
If you’re doing physical activities outdoors, like hiking or walking, check your dog’s hydration levels by offering them water hourly. Some dogs may drink water every hour, but some dogs may not be thirsty so often. So, if your dog refuses to drink the water, splash some water on their back or chest to keep them cool.
The human body is comprised of 60% water, but dogs need more water than us. Dog’s bodies are made up of 80% water, so your dog will need to drink more water than you throughout the day.
To avoid other conditions like heat stroke, ensure the heat is tolerable before you head outside with your dog. Although exercise is excellent for pet health, you don't want to put your dog in danger. So, if you need to spend the day inside, you can always go outside another day when the heat isn't dangerous to your dog.
It's fun when summer rolls around and brings us back outside for beautiful walks, runs, hikes, and trips to the beach. But as dedicated pawrents, we need to know when the heat is too much for our furbabies to handle. So follow the advice to learn how to safely have fun in the sun and have the best time outside with your dog.
What are your favorite summertime activities to do with your dog? Let us know in the official Porch Potty community on Facebook!