Human beings are recommended to drink between 2.7 liters (women) and 3.7 liters (men) of fluid a day, but no consensus exists for how to define optimal hydration or water intake for dogs (Zanghi, 2018). In general, the daily water-to-calorie ratio for dogs has been loosely estimated at 1.0:1.0 mL water: ME (kcal/kg) though this amount can vary significantly depending on how active a dog is and whether or not it lives in an area with a cold climate. Because dogs drink when they are thirsty, it is important to have pure water available for them at all times. If you’re planning on taking your pooch for a camping trip or trek soon, don’t forget your water bottle and favorite max bone dehydrated food and toys so your dog can have a fun, safe day out. Watch out for signs of dehydration and tackle dehydration from a preventive stance.
Causes and Signs of Dehydration
Your dog may get dehydrated for various reasons, ranging from vomiting and diarrhea to panting or playing outside on a hot summer’s day without having access to water. Signs of dehydration include lethargy, loss of elasticity in the skin (do a pinch test to see if skin ‘bounces back’ into place or stays pinched for various seconds), and a sunken appearance in the eyes. Another test you should conduct is to press on your dog’s gums until they become white. If blood rushes back to the gums quickly, it is a good sign. If it takes three or more seconds to do so, it is a sign that your dog is very dehydrated.
Tips for Keeping Your Dog Hydrated
If you have a dog then you know that especially in the summer months, your pet can easily empty its bowl so there are several steps you can take to ensure that your dog always has weather when needed. One option is to have bowls in different areas — including indoor and outdoor spaces your dog can easily access. One popular option is a pet water dispenser providing continual water access. This device, which is also affordable enough to place in various zones in your home, looks a little like a fountain and some models come with inbuilt filters for optimal quality water. Keep your dispenser or bowls clean, since dogs will be more likely to lap up fresh water that does not have a stale taste. When choosing bowls or dispensers, opt for plastic-free models, since plastic can easily be chewed or scratched, leading to bacterial buildup. Moreover, plastics can contain BPA and other harmful chemicals and they can cause dogs allergic flare-ups.
Tips for Dogs on the Move
If you have an active lifestyle and you like to camp, spend the day out in nature, or travel frequently, Rubber Travel Bowls or Go! Portable Bowls are a good option since they take less space and are light. In addition to keeping your dog hydrated, make sure to fuel him up with max bone foods and treats, which contain quality protein, vegetables, fruits, and even superfoods like chia seeds. These foods contain no synthetic vitamins and minerals, fillers, flavorings, preservatives, or coloring. When served alongside fresh water, they help keep your dog healthy, energetic, and happy.
When is Dehydration Considered an Emergency?
In cases of severe dehydration, your dog may have bright red gums and a rapid heart rate and weak pulse. They may shake, faint, and in some cases, die. If your dog has heatstroke, consider it an emergency and take it to a veteran quickly. IV fluid replacement may be required to save its life. Before even getting into a car, call your vet, as the latter may recommend giving your dog small amounts of water until they improve. Do not give them too much water at once as this may cause them to vomit and become even more dehydrated. Finally, keep electrolyte powder at home as it can help in cases of severe dehydration. Consult with your vet first regarding the appropriate powder and dosage.
Dogs are intuitive animals that usually drink as much as they need. Make sure your dog never gets dehydrated by providing it with fresh, clean water daily. In the event that you do notice signs of severe dehydration or heatstroke, call your veterinarian immediately, since an IV fluid replacement treatment may be necessary.