Water is the most abundant nutrient in your pet’s body, making up 75-80 percent of their composition. Water transports vital nutrients and removes waste. With the critical nature of its function, it’s essential your pet takes in the water they need.
In the summer months we often burn excessive amounts of water in the heat. If it is not replaced, dehydration occurs. For our pets, dehydration can occur more quickly because they get hot faster and do not sweat. Being aware of the threat of dehydration and how your pet responds to it can help you avoid it.
Signs of Dehydration
We can recognize our own dehydration as a dry mouth, water craving, headaches, and irritability. Even though your pet won’t ask for a glass of cold water when they’re hot, they will exhibit behaviors that can help you know when you need to step in. It’s important to look for and recognize these signs early to avoid life threatening complications.
Here are some signs your pet might need your help to cool down and rehydrate:
Remember, dehydration can occur indoors, too. If the temperature gets very high and you don’t have air conditioning, or the power fails your house may be similar to the outside. It’s important to stay vigilant. If you are ever concerned that your pet is dehydrated, contact your veterinarian or emergency clinic for help.
Who Is At Risk
Pets most at risk for dehydration are the elderly, the very young, and those with pre-existing conditions such as kidney disease, respiratory disease, and obesity. Breed predispositions to overheating and dehydration include flat-faced dogs and cats as well as heavy coated breeds.
How To Prevent Dehydration
As with any illness, prevention is always best. Here are some suggestions to help prevent summer dehydration.
As much as we love to bring our pets, especially dogs, everywhere with us, remember when temperatures are soaring, your pet’s well-being may be best served by being left at home. Being a good pet owner is not about spending every minute with your pet, but about making appropriate choices to keep them healthy and safe. If you are concerned that your pet is dehydrated, seek advice from your veterinarian.
One of the best ways to keep your pet healthy is by feeding them a diet that provides complete and balanced nutrition. Learn more about how Nutrena can help you feed your pet well.