Summer is here, and so is the heat! Not only is summer here, but so is National Pet Hydration Awareness Month, a month dedicated to spreading awareness about keeping your cats and dogs hydrated.
Keeping pets cool and hydrated is your top pet health priority as pet parents in the summer months (And year-round), which is why we at the Bone & Biscuit put together this helpful guide around pet hydration to help you and your pets stay cool in the heat.
Keep reading to learn more about National Pet Hydration Awareness Month, pet dehydration and tips for keeping your pet hydrated this summer!
What Is National Pet Hydration Awareness Month?
National Pet Hydration Awareness Month occurs in July every year. Its purpose is to spread awareness about the dangers of pet dehydration and the importance of keeping them hydrated in the heat for pet health.
Not only is the month about pet hydration, but it’s also about teaching you the signs of dehydration in dogs and cats. Dedicated to spreading awareness and helping pet owners be better prepared when facing dehydrated pets, National Pet Hydration Awareness Month is a great monthly observation that we’re happy to share and provide our tips for.
From keeping your dog’s water bowl full to getting a cat water fountain for your pet to drink from, there are plenty of ways you can help your pets drink enough water. But how will you know if your pet is dehydrated?
Learn more below about the dangers and signs of a dehydrated pet.
What is Pet Dehydration and What Are Signs My Pet is Dehydrated?
Pet Health: What Is Pet Dehydration?
Dehydration in dogs and cats is when they lose more water and electrolytes than they are taking in, and their body begins to break down. It can be a dangerous pet emergency, but is also treatable depending on the stage, and is also preventable. Animals, like dogs and cats, will lose water naturally throughout the day from performing their normal activities, like walking, running, panting or urinating. By eating and drinking, they can regain any loss of water or electrolytes from their activities.
On especially hot or dry days, when they’ve been more active, they don’t have access to water, if they are ill, if they have chronic dehydration issues, if they have things like diabetes or chronic kidney disease, or if there is a health imbalance, is when dehydration can occur in your dog or cat. Dehydration can be very common in pets, although not always at dangerous levels.
While treatable and avoidable, if left untreated or ignored, dehydration in your dog or cat can be incredibly dangerous. Dog dehydration and cat dehydration can lead to things like kidney failure, unconsciousness or even death. This is why proper hydration is key.
That’s why it’s extremely important to not only keep your pets hydrated but to also understand what the symptoms of dehydration in your pets are so that you can be better prepared.
What Are Signs of Dehydration In My Pet:
Signs of dehydration in dogs and cats can be similar, but also be different from one another:
- Loss of skin elasticity
- Loss of appetite
- Vomiting (with or without diarrhea)
- Reduced energy levels/lethargy
- Sunken eyes, dry eyes
- Dry nose
- Dry, sticky gums
- Thick saliva
How to Check For Dehydration in Your Dog Or Cat
Here are some simple ways you can check for dehydration in your pet and for these symptoms:
- Skin test: Lift the skin between their shoulder blades up, then drop. If their skin comes back into place almost immediately, they are likely fine, but if takes time for their skin to go back to normal and reshape itself, they’re likely dehydrated.
- Gum check: Lift their lip and touch their gums with your fingers. If their gums are dry or overly sticky, they may be dehydrated.
- Eye check: Check their eyes and the skin around their eyes for sunken appearances and dryness
- Observation: Keep an eye on them throughout the day, especially on hot days, for changes in their behaviour, like lethargy
What To Do if My Pet Is Dehydrated?
Do you think your cat or dog is dehydrated? Check for the dehydration symptoms listed above, and provide them with fresh water and a safe, cool spot to relax in. Depending on their symptoms and the length of their dehydration, they may be able to recover with enough water, careful observation and some time to reset.
However, we always recommend seeking veterinarian advice with any medical issues for your dog or cat. If your dog or cat is severely dehydrated, they will need medical attention right away to avoid worsening their condition. Consult with your veterinarian right away if you believe your cat or dog is suffering from dehydration, especially if their symptoms are not improving.
What Are Some Tips To Keep My Pets Cool & Hydrated This Summer?
Now that you know the signs of dehydration in dogs and cats, and how to help them when they are, we want to give you tips on keeping your pets cool and hydrated to, hopefully, avoid the dangers of dehydration altogether!
Here are some of our top recommendations from our very own Bone & Biscuit pet supply stores for keeping your dog or cat hydrated and cool in the heat:
Pet Hydration Tips From Our Bone & Biscuit Lethbridge Locations:
“Pet Hydration!! It can be fun (and tasty) for you and your pup and kittie. Things like Bone Broths, Goats Milk (full of Probiotics for pets), Brothsicles (pet-friendly freezies), and even water added to Kibble are all great ways to keep your pets hydrated.”
Check out these great Bone & Biscuit Lethbridge pet products and treats that your pets will love, and help them stay hydrated:
Does your cat or dog drink enough water? Here are some other great tips you can try to keep your dog or cat hydrated in the heat:
- Always keep fresh water in your home easily accessible for your dog or cat
- Change the water and clean their pet dishes regularly
- Have multiple pet water bowls and fountains throughout the home, especially if your home has multiple levels
- Use water fountains to help encourage your cat or dog to drink (many pets instinctively prefer to drink from running, rather than still, water)
- Give them pet-friendly treats with high water content for improved water intake (such as watermelon with no seeds, cantaloupe, and bone broth like the ones from Bone & Biscuit Lethbridge)
- For extra cooling off, give them frozen treats (frozen watermelon, frozen bone broth dog freezies or frozen goat milk like those from Bone & Biscuit Lethbridge, ice cubes, frozen bananas, frozen blueberries)
- Feed them wet food or raw food with high water content to help with water intake (wet foods have a higher amount of water for improved hydration)
- Bring dog water bottles with you on all outdoor outings with your pets, even short walks to help with water intake no matter where you are (Pro tip: Add ice cubes to the water to keep it cool)
- Use wet bandanas and tie them around your dog or cat’s head, neck or back to keep them cool
- Set up kiddie pools and sprinklers in your yard for some cool, watery fun on hot days for your dog
- Set up shaded areas in your yard to help them escape the sun
- Avoid the hottest times of the day for dog walks and outings or outdoor activities (Make sure to test pavement by pressing the back of your hand to the ground – if it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for their paws!)
- Set up fans in the home, especially if you don’t have air conditioning, to help your cat or dog stay cool
Beat The Heat This Summer With The Bone & Biscuit And National Pet Hydration Awareness Month
As pet owners ourselves, we hope these tips and information will help you beat the heat this summer and enjoy the sunshine with your pets!
Proper hydration for dogs and cats is important for their health. Need to re-up on your pet food supplies, pick up some cute summer dog accessories for your pet, or grab some pet products to help them stay hydrated this season? Be sure to stop by your local Bone & Biscuit pet supply store for more tips and products to help you and your dog or cat stay cool this summer.
We hope you all have a safe and fun National Pet Hydration Awareness Month!
*Disclaimer: The contents of this blog post, such as any graphics, images, text and other material contained on this site are for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding your pet’s medical condition. Never disregard professional advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.
If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately. Reliance on any information appearing on this website is at your own risk. If you have medical concerns or need advice for your dog or cat, please seek out your closest holistic or integrative veterinarian.