The Dog Days of Summer

Most pet owners spend a good deal of time outside during the spring and summer months. Many take their dog along to share in the fun. While doing so, they expose them to fleas, ticks, and other animals that can be carriers of rabies and other diseases.

Get a Cooling Bed for Your Pup

We all know that our pets can experience some serious discomfort in the hot summer months so look into buying a cooling pet bed or pet mat.

Deal with Dehydration

Dehydration in dogs can be a serious matter. It is very easy for a dog to become dehydrated; easier than many pet owners realize. It most often involves the loss of water and minerals such as sodium, chloride, and potassium; collectively called electrolytes. Remember that dogs lack sweat glands to keep them cool. They pant in an effort to regulate their body temperature. A panting dog is a hot dog.

Preventing Dog Dehydration

The best way to prevent dehydration is to make sure your dog has plenty of fresh water available. The dog should always have at least one full bowl of water available at all times. When they are outdoors it is imperative that dogs have an available supply of fresh water.

Treating a Dehydrated Dog

If you suspect that your dog is dehydrated, get it some water immediately and then get it to the vet. Signs of dehydration can include a lack of elasticity to the skin, dry and sunken eyes, and a dry mouth and nose. Dehydrated dogs will also experience a delay in capillary refill time. To test for this, pull the dog’s lip away from its gum (gently) and press a finger against the gum until the area whitens. Release your finger and the color should return to the area almost immediately. A delay could be an indication of dehydration.

Lots of water is the best way to replace fluids, but a severely dehydrated dog should not be allowed to take in large amounts at once. This will result in vomiting and a further loss of fluids. Instead let the dog drink small amounts over a period of time. Electrolytes can be replaced with a hydrating solution. Pedialyte, a water and electrolyte product sold for infants is suitable for dogs as well. Of course any dog that seems dehydrated or refuses to drink should be seen by a vet to determine appropriate treatment and whether the dehydration is a symptom of some other ailment.

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