Thirsty dog in hot summer day. Labrador retriever drinking water from metal bowl.

Summer evenings in Auburn are absolutely lovely, but we have to go through a lot to fully enjoy them. Slogging through the super hot days of August is not easy (or pleasant), but that’s what air conditioning is all about, right? 

We could all stay indoors until the sun goes down but that’s not always an option for pets. Dogs have to go outside to relieve themselves, but many other pets find themselves outside during the hottest times of the day. Don’t forget: Pet hydration is the key to their health and safety this summer

Functional Systems

Pets need water to support healthy digestion and the removal of waste, but they also depend on it to help them regulate their body temperature. Without a proper approach to pet hydration, pets can be at risk of numerous health conditions. 

Dry gums, constipation, sunken eyes, and uncharacteristic lethargy are the common signs of dehydration. If left untreated, dehydration can cause a serious pet emergency.

Measuring Cups

A pet’s water needs vary depending on their diet and lifestyle. However, the general rule to secure overall pet hydration is to provide one ounce of water per pound of body weight every single day. They also should be encouraged to drink after any exertion, when outside on a hot day, or while taking certain medications. 

Water, Water Everywhere

Dry food is obviously less hydrating than wet or canned food (dry food is abou 10% moisture; wet food is 75-80% moisture). Many pet owners try to supplement their pet’s dry diet with canned food, broth, frozen treats, ice cubes, and extra clean, fresh water. 

Despite generally loathing getting wet, cats are drawn to the sight and sound of running water. Provide a water fountain that filters fresh water throughout the day. It may be harder to measure how much they’re getting in a day, but as long as they aren’t in the full sun for hours at a time cats will intuitively know how much water they need to feel good.

Load Up On Bowls

Dogs will usually drink from a bowl that has water in it. Owners can help to maintain pet hydration by stocking up on water bowls and placing them strategically around the home or yard. Fill as needed throughout the day. 

Benefits of Pet Hydration

Keeping up with pet hydration is a necessary and worthwhile goal all year long, but during the hotter months it is absolutely crucial. Be sure that your pet has access to cross ventilation, shade and loads of water every day. Try not to exercise together outside during the house of 10 am and 4 pm – instead, walk or play near dawn and dusk.

Health and Happiness

Please let us know if you have additional questions about pet hydration. Our team at Bowman Veterinary Hospital is always here for you.