Summer months are coming, and the temperatures are sure hitting the high marks again. For beach loving people, this would be the perfect time to get that long-awaited beach tan. However, with the advent of global warming dawning on us, getting that perfect tan could be a risky business, especially if it’s overdone. If too much heat could kill people, (and I’m not exaggerating) the same applies for our beloved pets?
“Weather: It’s going to be a warm one with the National Weather Service predicting the high will hit 90 today. Skies are supposed to be mostly sunny. “
It’s not unlikely for our pets to become dehydrated, especially if we forget to take really good care of them these summer months. Just like us humans, most of our pet’s weight is made up of a certain percentage of water. For example, a dog’s weight is composed of more than 90% water. If the dog loses 5% of this water stored in his body due to excessive heat exposure, symptoms of dehydration could occur, and if not managed promptly, it might result in serious complications and eventually death. Scary, isn’t it? Well, don’t worry yourself too much, as dehydration is a very preventable problem, especially if necessary steps have been taken to make sure protect your pet. How then could we detect dehydration in our pets?
Signs of Pet Dehydration
• Decreased skin elasticity. Being able to detect this is as simple as one-two-three. You just have to pull your pet’s skin, and see if it snaps back into place. If it doesn’t, then your pet must be dehydrated.
• Dull, sticky gums. Healthy dogs have wet, slippery gums. If it becomes dull and sticky, then take action.
• Lethargy. Simply put, this manifestation occurs due to loss of both water and electrolytes, which have a large role in maintaining our pet’s optimal physical and mental functioning. If these are depleted, most likely our former active dog or cat who can’t keep itself in place even for a few seconds, would most likely be content just watching you work, or he would just doze off.
• Depression. You don’t think pets could suffer depression? Well, this speaks for itself. Dogs and cats, or any other animal, in this case, also suffer depression. Just like depressed humans, depressed animals would also suffer from anergia (lack of energy). This means that it would be difficult for them to participate in previously enjoyable activities, as they simply are not themselves at the moment.
• Sunken eyes. Detecting this sign might be a bit tricky to detect, especially if your dogs or cats are very furry that you can’t even see their eyes. However, if you are very observant, you would be able to notice this right away. If you happen to notice that your pet’s facial expression has changed and that their eyes lack that luster, that in itself speaks to you that they are dehydrated and need more water to lap up.
Now that we have jotted down these signs of dehydration, how then can we prevent it? As they say, prevention is better than cure.
• First and foremost, KEEP THEM OUT OF THE SUN! It’s as simple as it sounds, am I right? Well, just like the common procedures that humans use to prevent themselves from becoming fried under the scorching heat of the sun, it would be best to keep your pets indoors, or in some shady portion of your backyard between 9 AM-3 PM.
• Give them plenty of water. Together with the first tip, this would greatly prevent your pets from becoming dehydrated. Not that you have to deliberately count the number of glasses, or even bowls, of water that your pet consumes. Simply refill their water containers every time they become empty, and that would keep your pet in good shape.
• If your pets are very active try to keep their activity levels lower during hot periods. In short, don’t overwork them. If you find your dog can’t keep up with your pace while you’re walking along the street, better take a good rest and have him lap up some water.
• Last, but not the least, give them a bit of ice. Not that water does not suffice their needs; it’s just that a little bit of cold is a good thirst quencher. Not only that, it ensures that the water you gave to your pet stays cool a bit longer, and cooler than the usual. Just make sure you have lots if your pet prefers to chomp the ice instead of drinking the cooled water.
Well, I’ve already given you the tips on how to prevent dehydration from sneaking up on your pets. If, however, it does sneak up on your pet, immediately seek your vet’s help so as to prevent further complications. Have a safe and enjoyable summer fellas!