Summer will soon be here and it’s going to get real hot. High temperatures along with high humidity levels will combine to deliver a potentially dangerous summer in much of the U.S. this year. So it’s time to keep you and your pet dog cool with lots of water and some helpful tips. An more frequent hosing down or visits to the local dog wash might be in order.
Summer can take a toll on most of us, to say nothing of our helpless pets. Like babies, dogs too can get dehydrated easily and won’t be able to tell you. Dehydration can set in unawares, at times in less than an hour depending on the environment. Here’s how you can keep an eye out for warning signs and some guidelines to follow.
Pay attention to your pet. You should take stock of unusual behavior like restlessness or pacing that can indicate that a dog is dehydrated. A dog may lick his lips or act anxious if it is unable to get enough to drink. Some dogs may also lie with their nose resting against their (empty) water bowl.
Scruff or the loose folds of skin over the back of a dog’s neck or shoulders is the best way to spot the skin’s elasticity, that decreases with dehydration. One can often see vets do this test. Here’s how to do it right.
Gather the skin with your fingers and gently lift it a couple of inches upwards. Upon releasing the scruff, hydrated skin will spring back into place promptly. If the dog is dehydrated, the skin might take more than a couple of seconds to return to normal. It’d be a good idea to get him into a pet washing station more often, but go slow on the conditioner and shampoo.
Normally dog gums are moist and shiny, but dehydrated dogs tend to have dry or tacky gums and are prone to have less saliva as well.
If your dog seems be urinating less than usual or his urine is concentrated with a deep yellow color, it means that the dog has not had enough to drink and the kidneys are working extra hard to recycle water.
These are the indications that a dog is suffering from dehydration. However if a dog seems sick and giving it water to drink doesn’t relieve the symptoms, it’d be best to get in touch with your veterinarian. A dog in a serious condition might need an IV to rehydrate and protect its organ functions.
You should permit your dog to decide for itself whether it is too hot to go on a long walk. If too hot to venture outside, a dog will protect itself by instinct and shorten his walk, or scamper back inside where it’s cooler. In the summer, it’s best to exercise your dog in the cooler parts of the day or better still, have some fun hosing him with water.
A morning run or late night walk is best and instead of walking, you can take the dog on a swim or allow him to loll around in a tub.
Here are a few Innovative ways to cool down your pooch – set up a kiddie pool in a shaded spot, get him a dog wash tub to loll around in, have a misting fan in his cage or near his rug, sprinklers in the lawn and when it gets too hot, get him a damp towel to lie on.
Related Post: Caring For Your Pets – The Modern Way