8 July 2022 UK
There’s a heatwave on the way this weekend, and whilst the warmer weather and long days provide us with even more possibilities for fun with our furry friends, it’s essential that we keep them hydrated and healthy as temperatures rise.
We all need to drink more fluids to avoid dehydration – and pets are no different. Whilst water makes up over half our bodyweight, it constitutes 80 per cent of our pets’ - making fluid replenishment even more important for their overall health.
As a guideline, your pet needs 70 ml of water daily for every 1 kg of weight. So, a 10 kg dog, such as a Westie, should drink around 700 ml - just over a pint - in 24 hours. A 30 kg large breed dog – such as a Labrador – should be drinking 2.1 litres during the same period.
So, to help us keep our pets hydrated this summer, Rob Steele, from global pet company PetSafe® Brand, shares his eight top tips to keep our cats and dogs hydrated, happy and healthy.
1. Keep them cool
When it’s warm and sunny, make sure your pets stay in the shade, and never leave them alone in a hot parked car – this can be fatal. Even when parked in the shade with the windows open, dogs can become distressed and uncomfortable very quickly.
Cars can reach incredibly high temperatures within minutes of stopping. When a dog’s temperature goes above 40°C, it can trigger the start of irreversible damage to the brain and internal organs. If you see a dog in a hot car and can’t locate the owner, call the RSPCA for advice. Alternatively, call 101 or the local non-emergency police number and wait until they arrive.
Also, remember that dogs pant to keep their body temperature down. This is only effective when the dog is sufficiently hydrated. If your dog isn’t panting and it's hot, he’s thirsty and needs water.
2. Add water to their food
Adding a little water to your dog’s food is a really simple and effective way to introduce more water to his diet.
Pet food - especially kibble - has a very low moisture content. Adding water is a great way to make the food look and taste a little different, as well as providing a bit more hydration. You could also give your dog ice cubes as a cooling and refreshing treat.
3. Keep their water bowl clean
It’s important to keep your pet’s water bowl clean. It encourages them to drink more and helps prevent any bacteria or mould from growing and entering their systems. We wouldn’t want to drink from a dirty mouldy cup and neither do our cats and dogs. And make sure to keep a close eye on water levels and refill during the day and before you go to bed.
4. Always take water with you
Giving your dog lots of exercise is a brilliant healthy habit to have and, for dogs and dog owners who are often out and about, we recommend buying a collapsible bowl or water bottle-bowl combo to provide access to drinking water wherever you are.
To prevent dehydration and overheating when out with your dog on warm days, offer small amounts of water every 15 to 20 minutes.
5. Have multiple bowls of water throughout the house
To ensure that your pet has a continuous supply of fresh water, put out different clean bowls and water stations around your home and garden and make sure you keep them topped up.
6. Add flavour to water
Adding low sodium chicken broth or beef broth – without the onions - or bone broth to plain water is another handy way to encourage our dogs to drink more.
7. Create frozen fun with cooling freezer toys
Freezer toys are great for keeping your pooch cool and hydrated – and extending shaded playtime to up to 30 minutes - when temperatures rise. The Frosty Cone Freezer Toy is particularly popular. It helps pups cool down and stay entertained by filling and freezing it with their wet food for a slow feed option to savour. Even better, it also helps cleans teeth and gums whilst chewing on grooves and crevices.
8. Invest in a pet water fountain
For more reluctant drinkers, take a look at pet fountains, which encourage dogs and cats to drink more water because it’s running. The continuous, fresh supply of running water provides a more natural way for pets to drink.
They’re a particularly popular choice amongst owners who want to provide a clean supply of fresh, great-tasting water - giving pets a reason to drink more to stay hydrated and healthy.
Rob Steele said: “The best seasonal advice we can give to pet owners is to make sure their four-legged friends are getting enough water. By following these few simple steps, we can make a real difference to their hydration and general health.
“Try to monitor water levels in bowls if you can, keeping an eye on how many times they visit them. If water levels don’t decrease sufficiently over the course of the day, they’re not drinking enough. Be aware of the signs of dehydration – including sunken eyes, lethargy, loss of appetite, a dry mouth and depression. And if they’re not adequately hydrated, they won’t be able to pant or sweat efficiently, which puts them at risk of overheating.
“It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on how often they go to the toilet. It’s a good sign if your pet is urinating several times a day. If your dog is dehydrated, he won’t be motivated to go to the toilet and will show signs of lethargy or fatigue. Being active and playing happily are signs that they’re drinking enough water.”
For more information on Pet Fountains and the full PetSafe® Brand range visit www.petsafe.com/UK. You can find accompanying images via this link https://we.tl/t-9L6JqThEdC.Download