We are Hiring! CLICK HERE!

Essential Tips for Pet Hydration Month!

by Kamie Roth July 09, 2024

Essential Tips for Pet Hydration Month!

This month aims to highlight the importance of proper hydration for pets, particularly dogs and horses, during the sweltering summer months when the risk of dehydration is higher. Proper hydration is crucial for the overall health and well-being of pets, helping to maintain their body functions and prevent heat-related illnesses!

Why Is Hydration Important For Pets?
Just like humans, pets need water to survive! Water is vital for maintaining proper bodily functions and plays a significant role in regulating body temperature, aiding digestion, and supporting organ function. Without sufficient hydration, pets can experience various health issues, including kidney problems, urinary tract infections, and heatstroke!

Tips for Keeping Dogs and Horses Hydrated

For Dogs:

Always Provide Fresh Water: Always give your pets access to fresh, clean water. Regularly check their water bowls to ensure they are clean and replenish the water throughout the day, especially during hot weather or if your pet is particularly active. Consider using a pet water fountain, as some pets prefer running water, which can encourage them to drink more. Be sure to clean the water fountain regularly, especially in multi-pet households.

Multiple Water Stations: Place water bowls in various locations around your home and yard to encourage your dog to drink more often.

Carry Water On Walks: If you are planning outdoor activities with your pet, bring along a portable water bowl and a bottle of water. Take regular breaks to offer your pet water and encourage them to drink. Remember that physical exertion and heat can cause pets to become dehydrated more quickly, so be extra vigilant during these times!

Add Water To Food: Talk to your veterinarian about incorporating wet food into your pet's diet, as it contains higher moisture content compared to dry food. Additionally, you can provide hydrating treats such as frozen seedless melon or low-sodium chicken broth ice cubes. These can be a tasty way to increase your pet's fluid intake.

Shaded Areas and Cooling Mats: Provide shaded areas and cooling mats, especially in hot weather, to prevent overheating and encourage drinking.

Flavor The Water: If your dog is reluctant to drink, try adding a small amount of low-sodium chicken or beef broth to their water to make it more enticing.

Regular Breaks: During exercise or playtime, take regular breaks and offer water to your dog.

Monitor Water Intake: Keep an eye on how much your dog is drinking and consult a vet if you notice a significant increase or decrease in their overall water intake as it can be an indication of underlying heath issues. Keep in mind that ideally, a dog needs an ounce of water for every pound it weighs. For example, a 16-pound dog would require around 16 ounces of water a day!

Watch For Signs Of Dehydration: Learn to recognize the signs of dehydration in dogs such as:

  • Lethargy
  • Reduced energy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Heavy panting
  • Dry gums and nose
  • Sunken eyes
  • Decreased skin elasticity (skin tenting)
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation or extremely hard stools

If you notice these signs, provide water immediately and consult your veterinarian as soon as possible!

Is Cold Water Bad For Dogs? Drinking icy cold water occasionally is okay, but consistent servings are bad for dogs, as it can lead to a hypothermic shock.

 

For Horses:

Provide Constant Access To Water: Always ensure your horse has access to clean, fresh water. Change the water at least once a day and clean the water trough or bucket regularly to prevent algae and bacteria build-up.

Monitor Water Intake: Keep track of how much your horse is drinking. Horses typically drink between 5-10 gallons of water per day, depending on their size, diet, and activity level.

Observe Behavior: Look for signs of dehydration such as:

  • Loss of Elasticity
  • Slow Capillary Refill Time
  • Rapid Changes In Body Weight
  • Weariness or Weakness
  • Stiffness
  • Dark Urine
  • High Resting Heart Rate
  • Increased Respiratory Rate
  • Tying Up

If your horse shows any other signs of dehydration contact your vet as soon as possible!

Electrolytes: In hot weather or after intense exercise, consider giving your horse electrolyte supplements to encourage drinking and replace lost minerals. These can be added to their feed or water. Provide free-choice salt licks. Salt can encourage drinking and help maintain electrolyte balance.

Cool, Not Cold, Water: Horses may prefer cool water over ice-cold water, especially in colder weather. Ensure the water is at a comfortable temperature. If your horse is picky about water, especially when traveling, try offering flavored water by adding a bit of apple juice or molasses to make it more appealing.

Soak Feed: Adding water to your horse’s feed can increase their water intake. Soaking hay or giving wet mashes are effective ways to ensure they consume more water.

Regular Breaks During Travel: When transporting horses, stop regularly to offer water. Traveling can dehydrate horses quickly.

Monitor Urine and Manure: Check your horse’s urine and manure. Dark, concentrated urine or dry, hard manure can be signs of dehydration.

Shade and Shelter: Provide shaded areas and shelter in pastures to protect your horse from extreme heat, which can help prevent dehydration.

Exercise Management: During intense exercise, ensure you have water available and offer it frequently. Allow your horse to cool down properly after exercise with access to water.

Hydration Checks: Perform skin pinch tests (pinching the skin on the neck or shoulder to see how quickly it returns to normal) and check gum moisture to monitor hydration levels.

Promoting awareness and educating pet owners about the importance of hydration can help ensure that pets stay healthy and comfortable during the warmer months!




Kamie Roth

Author



Also in Majesty's Minute

National Microchipping Month!
National Microchipping Month!

by Kamie Roth June 17, 2024

Unraveling The Mystery: Is Your Pet Suffering from Allergies?
Unraveling The Mystery: Is Your Pet Suffering from Allergies?

by Kamie Roth May 10, 2024

Celebrating Active Pet Month: Keeping Your Furry Friends Fit and Happy!
Celebrating Active Pet Month: Keeping Your Furry Friends Fit and Happy!

by Kamie Roth April 06, 2024