Just like us, dogs need to drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep themselves hydrated. Water delivers vital nutrients, aids food digestion and helps to regulate body temperature – so it’s even more important when the weather is hot.
As the UK experiences another heatwave, pet expert and founder of Yappy.com, John Smith, shares his advice for keeping dogs cool and healthy in the heat – including one clever tip that all owners can easily follow. John said: “A lot of pets will have a set place in the home where they know their food is left for them.
“But in the heat, pets will move around the house to find cooler spots to rest.
“Make sure you leave some water in each room of the house so that, wherever they find some shade, there is water readily available, keeping them hydrated.”
As well as scattering water bowls around the house, there are other ways you can encourage your dog to drink more.
Secret and sweet additions
Hiding some enticing ingredients into water is a great method to encourage drinking more fluids.
Make sure to use dog-friendly flavourings, fruit or vegetables, such as watermelon, apples and carrots.
The aroma should lure them into drinking more water, even if they don’t necessarily feel thirsty.
Water, water, water
When the weather is hotter, your dogs will sweat more though their paws and lose more water while panting – which they do to keep cool.
So, make sure you increase their water intake and monitor how often you fill up their bowls.
Also take into consideration how active they are – pets that exercise or run more will need even more water.
When feeding your pets in the heat, opt for wet food where possible rather than dry biscuits or treats.
If you are using dryer foods, try adding just a touch of water into the bowl but don’t go overboard as you may find that they’ll avoid eating it completely. A little goes a long way.
Creating pet-safe smoothies, full of fruit and veg which have lots of water in them, will help to keep pets hydrated.
Check which ingredients are safe for which animals but generally celery, cucumber, strawberries, blueberries and watermelon are all good for dogs and cats. Remember to only use it in moderation.
The key symptoms to look out for with dogs and cats are vomiting, loss of energy, a dry nose, excessive panting, loss of appetite, sunken or dry eyes, sticky gums, or urinating less frequently.
Another, more unknown trick, is to pull up some of the skin near their shoulders and if they’re hydrated it will spring back into shape, whereas dehydrated animals will remain upright for longer.
Check for these symptoms regularly throughout the day and always contact a vet if you’re worried.