Summer Dog Dangers: Preventing Dehydration
Summer is the best time of year to take your dog out for a day of fun in the sun. However, with outdoor activities and exertion in extreme heat comes the risk of dehydration and other potential issues for your pet. In this article, we’re going to point out what you should watch out for and how to prevent dehydration in your dog. An even better way to protect your dog is with a Canine Liability policy.
Signs of dehydration.
Picking up on these cues is critical to your dog’s health and safety during the hot summer months. Here’s what to watch out for.
- Dry mouth – If you have a normally slobbery dog, a lack of slobber is a really easy indicator of hydration status. Dogs cool through the evaporation of saliva as they pant. Once your dog’s mouth becomes dry, he is no longer able to cool himself, quickly compounding the problem and leading to heat stroke. If you are unsure, simply feel his gums. They should feel wet. If your finger sticks just a little, the gums are tacky. Tacky gums indicate mild dehydration, explains Animal Wellness Magazine.
- Loss of skin elasticity – Gently create a tent on your pet’s head and see if it goes back into its regular form quickly. If it takes a bit of time to return to its normal position, your dog needs a water break.
- Trembling, weakness, or sunken eyes – This severe stage of dehydration requires medical attention as soon as possible. If left untreated, these effects can be life threatening.
When on the road or hiking, carrying water can be a burden. While it might be tempting to let your dog drink from streams and lakes, you run the risk of them acquiring giardia, a nasty parasite that causes severe intestinal upsets. If your dog is physically capable, and loves to expel their energy outdoors, invest in a backpack that allows them to carry their own water bottles.
If you’re traveling in the car with your dog, be sure to provide air conditioning and plenty of water and bathroom stops. Like always, never leave your dog in the car, especially on a hot day where heat stroke can happen in a matter of minutes.
During the summer, it’s important to consider your dog’s comfort and overall attitude. Remember, an uncomfortable dog, one that is not feeling well, or one that is suffering from scorched paw pads or dehydration might react adversely to an otherwise regular scenario.
There are many reasons a dog may bite, and it’s not always 100% preventable. In addition to financially protecting dog owners from dog bite claims, our Canine Liability Policy also covers other injuries to people, including scratches and fall injuries caused by dogs and injuries to other animals. Please contact us today for more information at (407) 865-7477, ext. 101.