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Celebrate Pet Hydration Month in July

We are in the warm Iowa sun this month making these the dog days of summer. Keeping ourselves and our pet hydrated is important.

Our pets bodies are made up of 60-70% of water where us humans are 50-60%. By checking in with your pet every so often to make sure they are hydrated is a must. You can do so by looking at the gums. Are they moist and shiny and not dry and tacky? The "skin turgon test" is another way to check. By gently pinching the skin between the shoulder blades, the skin should relax back into place, not be stiff.

Keeping our pets hydrated has addition health benefits: aids in weight management, skin and coat support (reducing dryness and itchiness), supports digestion, increases nutrient absorption, regulates body temp, wards off sever health problems like kidney disease and UTIs.

Ways to hydrate your pet:

  • add filtered water over dry dog food and let soak 10-20 min before feeding

  • use a water fountain for cats - they are drawn to moving water

  • add toppers over their dry food

  • change diet to a non kibble diet as allowed - wet food is a good start

  • Feed broth, jiggles, goats milk, keifer

  • Feed cucumbers and watermelon (no rine or seeds)

  • Make frozen ball treats, pupsicles

  • Place fresh water throughout the house and yard

Signs of dehydration: (symptoms do not always show)

  • drinking less

  • eating less

  • lack of energy

  • panting

  • dry skin

  • dry & sticky gums

  • sunken eyes

Be aware of water intoxication which is an over hydration of a pet. Early signs include:

  • excessive salvation

  • seizures

  • vomiting

  • bloating

An electrolyte imbalance can happen and threaten life by hyponatremia.

Ice cold water is ok once in awhile, but not consistently for dogs it can lead to hypothermic shock.

Make sure your pet is getting 1 ounce of water for every pound of body weight. Get in the habit of cleaning and filling your pets bowl everyday. This helps you keep an eye on the intake of water.

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