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how to keep your dog hydrated and cool in summer

7 Ways to Keep Your Pet Hydrated and Cool This Summer

The summer months are typically a time when families enjoy a lot of time outdoors. And whether you enjoy more physical activities like walking or hiking, or you prefer to sit around the pool or put on a few backyard barbecues, chances are, your furry family members will be joining you for at least some of your outdoor summer fun.

Most of us know how important it is for people to drink enough water, but it’s just as important for pets. As a matter of fact, your pet’s body is made up of 80% water, compared to the 60% that makes up your body! What this means is that, especially when it gets hot, your pet is at just as great a risk for dehydration or heat exhaustion as you are!

Pet Hydration Month

Here in Florida it can be hot just about any time of the year, but no matter where you live it’s important to pay close attention to make sure your pets are drinking enough. To raise awareness of the importance of pet hydration and to help pet parents to keep their pets safe, hydrated, and healthy, PetSafe® Brand has declared July National Pet Hydration Awareness Month.

Hydration and Your Pet’s Health

Getting enough water is crucial to your pet’s health. Staying hydrated:

  • Promotes urinary tract health. Pets who stay hydrated have lower risk of urinary tract infections. They also avoid developing urinary stones or crystals that can cause dangerous obstructions.
  • Helps regulate body temperature. Water has a cooling effect on your pet’s body and helps him maintain a consistent, healthy temperature — even when it’s hot.
  • Keeps energy levels up. Water helps animals convert fat to energy. So staying hydrated helps your pet have enough energy for play and exercise.
  • Promotes easier healing and recovery. Drinking water keeps your pets’ kidneys healthy and flushes toxins from their bodies. This helps them recover from sickness, injury, or surgery more quickly.

It’s one thing to know how important it is for your pet to stay hydrated. It’s another to make sure that they are actually drinking enough!

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7 Ways to Keep Your Pet Hydrated and Cool

1. Know The Signs of Dehydration

Common signs of dehydration include:

  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Loss of energy
  • Excessive, ongoing panting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sunken, dry eyes
  • Dry, sticky gums
  • Loss of skin elasticity

If you suspect that your pet is dehydrated, call your vet immediately. He or she can monitor your pet’s condition and administer fluids if necessary. Check out this video from PetSafe Brand for tips on how pet parents can check hydration levels at home.

2. Know How Much Water Your Pet Needs

How much water your pet needs

Pets need one ounce of water for each pound of body weight. So a 10 lb. cat would need to drink 10 ounces of water every day, but a 70 lb. Labrador Retriever would need 70 ounces.

It might be hard to keep track of exactly how much water your furry friend is drinking, especially if you have multiple pets or if Fido occasionally drinks from backyard puddles or the kids’ wading pool. But knowing how much water your pet needs will help you to keep a closer eye on his water intake and determine whether he’s really getting all he needs.

3. Give Your Pet Access To Fresh Water At All Times

Pet hydration month infographic

There should never be a time when you deprive your pet of the opportunity to drink. If you leave for any period of time, leave enough water so that your pet doesn’t run out before you get back. Even if you’re house training a puppy, he should always have plenty of clean, fresh water available. If you plan on spending time outside with your pet, make sure that you fill a water bowl and bring it out with you.

Change your pet’s water frequently, and wash water bowls every day to prevent bacteria from growing.

4. Bring Water With You

If you’re on the go, don’t forget to bring water for your pets. Taking a long car trip? Stop a few times and give them a chance to drink some fresh water. Hitting the trails with your dog? If you’re thirsty, it’s likely he is, too. Whenever you stop for a drink, offer your furry hiking buddy some water. You can even find special portable water dishes or doggy water bottles that make it easier to keep him hydrated.

5. Provide a Place to Cool Off

Pets heat up quickly in the sun, especially those with dark coats like my dog, Chilly. When your pet is outside, even if it’s only for a short time, make sure he has access to a nice shady spot to cool off. And, when you’re inside sitting in front of the air conditioning, your pet would probably be happiest and comfiest sitting right next to you!

6. Add Water to Your Pet’s Food

We humans can get a lot of water from the foods that we eat. But pet food, especially the dry kibble, isn’t especially high in water content. If you suspect that your pet isn’t getting enough water from drinking alone, try adding a little water to his dry food or start offering more wet food.

7. Try a Pet Drinking Fountain

A pet’s instinct tells them that running water is fresh water, but stagnant water (like in a bowl) is not always safe or healthy. Many pets are naturally drawn to running water and will drink more from a fountain than they will from a traditional water dish.

Pagoda Drinking Fountain

My cat Olivia LOVES to drink from the bathroom faucet. She meows for me to turn it on, even when she has a bowl full of fresh water! So I knew she would be a big fan of the PetSafe® Drinkwell® Pagoda Drinking Fountain. Now that she has her beautiful fountain, she can get fresh, filtered, running water whenever she wants it — not just when I’m around to turn on the faucet!

Just knowing how much my girl loves to drink from her fountain is enough for me, but there are a few more reasons why I think this fountain is amazing. The running water encourages my pets to drink more, but the fountain also filters and circulates the water (which keeps bacteria from growing), so I know that their water will be fresh and clean around the clock — not just for a few minutes after I refill their bowls.

Dog Drinking From Pagoda Drinking Fountain

I also love how easy the Pagoda Drinking Fountain is to clean – I can even put it in my dishwasher! And it doesn’t hurt that it’s stylish, too!

The Pagoda fountain is paw-some for small to medium pets, and it comes in four colors to coordinate with any room! If you’re looking for a little extra peace of mind, this is a great option to encourage your pets to drink more so that they can stay hydrated and cool year round!

This is a sponsored post. However, all opinions and anecdotes are my own, and I never promote any products or brands I don’t believe in. ~Petfully yours, Kristen

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Kristen Levine is a nationally acclaimed pet expert, influencer, and Fear Free Certified® Professional with over 30 years of experience in the industry. She's helped millions of pet parents provide the best care at every stage of their pet’s life.

Her blog, Pet Living with Kristen Levine has been featured in Pop Sugar, Good Housekeeping, New York Times, USA Today, and more.

She's also the founder of FWV Fetching, the first marketing agency exclusively serving pet and animal health companies.

Her early work with the SPCA led her to a lifelong career in the pet industry, advocating for pet adoption and rescue as well as for pets and their parents here on her blog and in the media.

She’s frequently booked on satellite media tours and national shows, like FOX & Friends, Good Morning America, and Daytime, to talk about pet trends and new products.

Insanely passionate about pets since she was a little girl, Kristen has had more than 30 pets in her lifetime — including dogs, cats, goats, donkeys, a horse, a gerbil, mice, and chickens!

In 2022, she launched to help pet parents keep pet homes clean -- to love more, stress less.

Kristen is married and lives in the mountains of North Carolina with her dog Tulip.

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