Pet Supplies Plus shares tips on how to keep your pet hydrated

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MARSHFIELD, WI (OnFocus) – “Hot enough for you?” When temperatures reach the point where people are tempted to say things like that, summer weather has now officially become a health hazard.

Dogs and cats can’t cool their body temperature as easily as people, so they pant and salivate a lot instead. While this provides some cooling relief, it can also cause pets to dehydrate more quickly. To prevent a health emergency, follow our H2O-based summer safety tips to help keep your pets safe and hydrated.

Pet Hydration Facts

Every day, dogs need about one ounce of water for every pound of body weight. Cats need about four ounces of water for every five pounds of body weight. In hot weather, an animal’s body tends to lose a lot of water due to panting and salivation. It could be dangerous. Dehydration can damage organs and even cause your pet’s kidneys, liver and other organs to shut down.

What to do: Hydrate defensively. Before dehydration occurs, make sure your pets always have access to clean drinking water. Whenever you and your pets are away from home (eg, on a long walk, hike, family trip), bring along a water bottle and travel bowl.

Make your home a hydration station. Use a pet water fountain, place a water bowl next to their food, and even place water bowls all around the house. It’s about making clean water more convenient to drink. Fill their water bowls completely to encourage them to drink more. Since cats are sensitive to the smell, taste and temperature of water, clean and refill water bowls frequently. And enjoy the high moisture content of wet dog and cat food.

Signs of dehydration

Your pet may be dehydrated if you see symptoms such as:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Panting
  • dry nose
  • Loss of elasticity in your pet’s skin (if his skin does not return to its original position after pulling on it, he could become dehydrated)
  • Loss of moisture in the gums (i.e. dry and covered in sticky, mushy saliva)
  • sunken eyes

What to do: Assess the situation. If you suspect your pet is mildly dehydrated, give them water or ice chips every few minutes. Resist the temptation to give too much water all at once, as this can cause vomiting and further dehydration. If you think your pet is severely dehydrated, go to your veterinarian or animal hospital immediately.

Dogs and cats sweat…sort of.

Yes, cats sweat; however, they sweat through their pads. This is not enough to cool their whole body. As for dogs, they have two types of sweat glands. A set is on their legs. The other set can be found all over a dog’s body, but these glands release pheromones, so they don’t really help regulate body temperature.

What to do: more water to the rescue. Since sweating is not a real option for cooling off, we recommend spraying and soaking your pets with cool, even lukewarm water. This helps to quickly lower body temperature. Plus, the water that evaporates from your pet’s fur has a nice cooling effect on their skin. Wading pools, dog pools, and a dip in the lake or pool are great ways to get your pets wet. If your pet isn’t the best swimmer, try a pet life jacket to help them stay afloat.

Whatever method you use to soak your pet, avoid ice cold water. The cold water could cause the outer blood vessels to constrict and narrow, which could instead increase their body temperature.

“It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.” Your pet doesn’t care. When hot, dogs and cats can become dehydrated. Make sure they get plenty of water and even on them. While we can’t help with weather-induced snaps, Pet Supplies Plus can meet your pet’s hydration needs.

And a side note: never leave your pet in your vehicle.

It can take just 10 minutes for it to be nearly 20°F warmer inside a car. Auto glass retains heat from the sun, so parking in the shade or leaving the windows open doesn’t help either. Leaving your dog inside the car can cause heat stroke.

If you think your dog has heat stroke:

  • Place them in front of a fan or inside an air-conditioned vehicle or building.
  • Give them clean water and apply cool (not ice cold) water to their skin.
  • Once their body has cooled, go to a veterinarian immediately!

Visit Pet Supplies Plus in Marshfield or online at www.petsuppliesplus.com. Learn more about free shipping here.

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