Rehydrating - Saving Your Dog!
How to Keep a Dog Hydrated
Water is essential for your dog’s digestion, circulation, waste filtering, and body temperature. Your dog should drink about one ounce of water for every pound of weight on a daily basis, though they may need more if they are exercising or if it’s hot outside.To ensure your dog stays hydrated, invest in a quality water bowl and make sure you are hydrating your dog effectively at home and on the go. If you think your pup is experiencing dehydration, bring them to the vet right away. Dehydration can be life threatening if it goes untreated.
Using a Quality Water Bowl
Get a water bowl that is the right size for your dog.Make sure your dog’s water bowl is the right size for them, as a bowl that is too big or too small will limit their access to water. Check that the water bowl is made for a small, medium, or large dog. Get the size that will make it easy for your pup to bend down and drink from the bowl.
- For example, tall, narrow bowls are ideal for dogs with long ears, such as Bassets and Spaniels. This can help to keep their ears out of the bowl, which can reduce the risk of ear infections.
- Smaller dogs do well with a water bowl that is low and shallow, as this will make it easier for them to drink from the bowl.
- A bowl that is big and wide is ideal for medium to large dogs.
Buy a weighted water bowl.A weighted water bowl will have a heavier bottom, making them less likely to tip over. This may be a good investment if you are worried about your dog tipping over their water bowl or moving the bowl around and spilling the water while they drink. Look for weighted water bowls online or at your local pet store.
- Test the water bowl before you give it to your dog to use. Fill it with water and tap or try to tip one side of the bowl. A weighted water bowl should make it harder to do this.
Invest in a water fountain.Larger dogs and dogs who are picky about their water may benefit from a water fountain. Most water fountains will filter and recirculate the water so it is fresh and tastes delicious to your dog.
- You can buy water fountains online or at your local pet store.
Hydrating Your Dog At Home
Fill your dog’s water bowl daily.Make sure you keep your dog’s water bowl filled with fresh water on a daily basis. Fill it up first thing in the morning when you give your dog their breakfast. Then, check their water bowl throughout the day to make sure it is full. Fill it up again at dinner time, if it needs refilling.
- Make sure you toss out any old water from the previous day before you fill it up with fresh water. This will ensure the water tastes good to your dog and is free of bacteria.
Clean their water bowl regularly.Bacteria can end up sitting on the rim of the water bowl and in any water still in the water bowl. Get in the habit of cleaning your dog’s water bowl on a daily basis. Use soap and water to remove any grime or dirt in the bowl or on the rim. Dry the bowl well before you fill it up with fresh water and set it down for your pup.
- For example, you may clean the bowl first thing in the morning before filling it up with fresh water. This way, it will stay clean for the rest of the day until you clean it again the following morning.
Place water bowls for your dog throughout your home.If your dog likes to roam through your home, make sure you have water sources located throughout the space for them. Put water bowls on each floor of your home. Set up water fountains in several spots in your house so your dog always has access to fresh water. Doing this will ensure your dog never gets dehydrated.
- Make sure you clean all of your dog’s water sources in your home on a daily basis. This will ensure they do not get dirty or contract any bacteria.
Keep the toilet seat down in your home.Prevent your dog from drinking from the toilet bowl by keeping the seat down at all times. The water in your toilet bowl likely contains bacteria and other pathogens that are harmful to dogs. Keeping the seat down will make it difficult for your dog to access the toilet bowl water. It will also encourage them to drink the fresh, clean water from their water bowl instead.
- If your dog really enjoys drinking from the toilet, consider purchasing a ceramic bowl for them that will mimic the type of “bowl” your toilet is.
Switch your dog to wet food.To encourage your dog to stay hydrated, consider switching from dry dog food to wet dog food. Wet dog food contains more water and can help your dog stay hydrated. Add water to their wet food at a 1:1 ratio to help your dog drink more water.
- You can also try giving your dog two wet food meals and one dry food meal a day. Wet dog food can be more expensive than dry food and requires more preparation time, so this may be a good option if you’re short on time and money.
- If your dog will eat all of their dry food at one time, you can try adding water to the dry food. Many dogs will consume all of the dog food as well as the water.
Hydrating Your Dog on the Go
Bring bottled water on walks or long trips.Dogs can often get dehydrated when they are out for a long walk or running around outside during a play session. Long car trips can also make your dog thirsty, especially if it is a hot day. Pack bottled water or water jugs and your dog’s water bowl so you can provide fresh water for them on the go.
- Some dogs can be trained to drink from a squirt bottle. Try to get your dog used to drinking from a squirt bottle so you can bring it with you when you go on a walk or to a dog park. This will make it easier for you to squirt water into your dog’s mouth if they start to get dehydrated.
- You can also purchase a portable, collapsible dog bowl to take with you on the go.
Give your dog ice cubes as treats.Ice cubes are often a fun treat for dogs and can help them stay hydrated. Use ice cubes as a reward when your dog does a trick or follows an obedience command. Pack a cooler of ice cubes on a long trips and give them to your dog periodically to ensure they stay hydrated.
- To make the ice cubes more appetizing, you can try putting a dog treat in water in the ice cube tray and freeze it overnight. This way, your dog can lick the water, working their way to the treat inside the ice cube.
Do not keep your dog tied up outside.Try not to keep your dog chained or tied up outside, especially on hot days. Dogs can end up wrapping their chain or leash around poles or trees, make it impossible for them to access their water bowls. Do not leave your dog tied up unattended for prolonged periods of time.
- If you do need to keep your dog contained, put them in their crate or kennel with access to a water bottle or a water bowl. This way, they will still be able to access fresh water.
- Keep an eye on your dog if you are worried they might be getting dehydrated, especially if they are outside in hot weather. The symptoms of dehydration include sunken eyes, lethargy, a loss of appetite, dry mouth, and depression.
- Your dog may be at a higher risk of dehydration if they have kidney disorders, cancer, or an infectious disease. Older dogs, diabetic dogs, and dogs that are pregnant or nursing may also be prone to dehydration.
- Bring your dog to the vet right away if they are dehydrated. Your vet will give your dog fluids through an IV to help rehydrate them. They may also run additional tests to determine the cause of your dog’s dehydration.
Video: Keep Your Dog Hydrated During Summer Fun
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