Summertime is the worst time for dehydration in dogs.

Dehydration: The Summertime Threat

Water is something that can go overlooked a lot in our dogs’ lives because who is monitoring their dogs exact water intake! We put down a water bowl, and if they are thirsty they will drink, right? Not always! Did you know that your dog should be drinking ½ to 1 ounce of water per pound of bodyweight each day?

For a 30lb dog, they need to be drinking about 3.5 cups a day! That doesn’t sound like a lot compared to humans, but if you measure out how much water your dog gets in a day… are they getting enough?

This is especially important in the summertime! Just as humans become more dehydrated, so do dogs. In fact, they get hot faster than people, so it’s no wonder that the heat takes a toll on these guys.

We know that about 60% of your dog’s body mass is made up of water alone, so you can imagine how detrimental it is to them if they don’t have enough water. Because of the summer heat, we need to make sure that they are getting extra water breaks, and more access to cool water.

Dehydration: The Summertime Threat

How can you tell if your dog is dehydrated?

Well, something you can do is to pinch the skin on the back of their neck. If it snaps right back into place, they are well hydrated. If not, they definitely need more fluids.

A few more signs of dehydration would be:

  • Weakness
  • Lethargic
  • Dry Gums
  • Fast Pulse

So, what is a dog parent to do when their dog doesn’t want up their water intake?

Aside from encouraging more fluids, you might need to invest in a water fountain bowl. Dogs and cats alike are interested in moving water, most of the time. If your dog is eating a moisture rich diet, which I encourage you to do, they might not need to drink as much as a dog who eats kibble every day.

Some dogs love snacking on ice cubes, which is a fun and easy way to encourage more water!

If your dog is not drinking, this is an emergency and they should be taken to your local emergency veterinarian. Your dog may need to have IV fluids to get back on track.

Remember, the best way to treat an illness is to prevent it!

Walk your dogs early in the morning before it gets too hot, or, later in the evening. If your dog likes water, try to teach them how to swim! It’s a great cooling activity.

Just always make sure you take frequent water breaks when playing, walking, or on trips. Try not to let them gulp it down too fast, as to not upset their stomachs.

Summer is about enjoying your time together, and you can still have fun outdoors! Just make sure you take the extra precautions to keep both you, and your dog, safe.

Dehydration: The Summertime Threat

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Shelby Gottschalk HeadshotShelby Gottschalk

My name is Shelby Gottschalk and I am the momma bear! I’ve been obsessed with animals for as long as I can remember. I’ve worked in vet offices, I work doing pet sitting, so naturally animal care was something I wanted to know more about. I decided to do research about holistic medicine/treatment and ended up getting a certificate in Holistic Pet Care. This led me to be curious about pet nutrition – what is in that dried kibble we are feeding our pets? The answers made me so sad after seeing so many vets that I worked with sell these brands that I knew were doing more harm than good. It made me evaluate my own dog’s food and there was no going back. My dogs are my kids, and I believe nutrition can prevent disease and save lives. Join me on my journey with raw food, trying new things and all things dog.


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