We all know that summer is not the longest season of the year in the maritimes. Our furry friends are also aware of this, although unable to help themselves cool down during these few hot days. You might need to get creative to make sure you keep your pet hydrated. Getting plenty of water is crucial for your pet, both for the short term and the long-term health.
Here are a few ways to ensure your pet gets the water he/she needs to prevent dehydration:
Shade & Water: If your pet is outdoors make sure they have plenty of water and an area where they are able to hide from the warm sun. Most enjoy the sun but like us they need to have an area where they can cool down. A pool is another great option if they enjoy swimming as well as giving them plenty of water.
Never Leave your pet in the car: On a warm summer day, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees. This is very dangerous to your pet and the effects can be irreversible. It only takes a few minutes for this situation to result in death.
Switch to wet food: Wet food can contain 70% more moisture than dry food, therefore giving your pet even more water. Be aware there may be risks in giving wet food (food intolerance, allergies etc.), please consult with one of the veterinarians at VetCare if you are having trouble choosing a brand. Another option would be to add water to your pets dry kibble. This would prevent any complications with their diet.
Water bowls: There are many different types of water bowls, many made for convenience. Travelling bowls are a good option when on the road or going for long walks. If travelling, be sure to stop as much as possible giving your pet the opportunity to urinate (what goes in must come out!)
Walks on hot days: Our pets have an insulated coat they wear the entire day and night. They are unable to control their internal body temperature, therefore get dehydrated. The best thing to do on these warm days is to limit exercise to the coolest time of day; early morning & late evening. Remember that not only are they dealing with their fur, but hot asphalt can significantly increase your pet’s temperature. If you must walk them midday on a hot day try to cut the walk short, or go on two shorter walks at less warm times.
In any circumstance where your pet is over heated, the best thing to do is to give them a cool bath. This will help lower their body temperature and prevent further damage. If you think your pet has heat stroke, please contact our Riverview vet team immediately.