If you are living or vacationing on the East Coast then you know we are in the middle of a potentially record-breaking heat wave. One of the big dangers of this extreme weather is dehydration. Dehydration can result in both humans and canines with too much heat exposure.
Tips to Keep Your Dog Cool & Avoid Dehydration
- Take walks early in the morning or after the sun goes down. Bring water for both you and your dog! Take shorter walks, if necessary. Less is more in this weather!
- Make sure your dog has access to plenty of clean, fresh water throughout the day; check water bowls more frequently and consider leaving an extra bowl or two out.
- Remind your dog to drink water. This sounds silly but sometimes a simple verbal cue or leading your dog to the water bowl gets him lapping.
- Give your dog ice cubes to chomp on throughout the day.
- Move your dog's bed and toys to a cooler spot in the house.
- Take your dog for a swim or if your dog is agreeable, wet her down with a hose or sprinkler.
- Do not leave your dog in a hot car! Even if you leave the AC on, it can malfunction and your dog could become severely dehydrated or worse.
Signs & Symptoms of Dehydration
- Change in urination habits (more or less)
- Excessive thirst and mouth dryness
- Loss of skin elasticity
- Sunken eyes
How To Determine Dehydration
Pull up on the skin at the back of your dog's neck; it should spring back to the normal position immediately (1-2 secs.). If it doesn't, she is dehydrated. Dehydration can be more difficult to assess in geriatric, malnourished and obese dogs. If you suspect your dog is dehydrated, take her to the vet immediately. Your vet will determine how severely she is dehydrated. Fluids may need to be administered under the skin or intravenously. A list of local veterinarians and hospitals can be found in our "Kennebunkport" section of this website.
Remember, if you are in Kennebunkport and need water for your pup, stop by Scalawags. We always have a water bowl out and are happy to refill your portable water bottles.
Stay cool & hydrated!