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By: Tracy Zysk – July, 2012
The next couple of days may be record breaking HOT!! Summer vacation is here and everyone is enjoying this beautiful weather. We are planning our trips to the beach, hanging out at the pool and cooking on the grill. With all this excitement are you remembering your pets? As hot as you are, their body temperatures are higher and they can become dehydrated much quicker.
Like humans, dog and cats bodies are made up of 80 percent water. Having enough water in an animal’s system determines the proper flow of nutrients needed for the functionality of the organs and helps prevent illness.
But more simply put . . . it’s HOT and your pet needs water. He is thirsty!
As a rule of thumb, a dog needs approximately twice as much as its body weight to remain hydrated. For example: a dog that weighs 15 pounds should have at least 30 ounces of water a day.
• Keep the water bowl full all day.
This time of year keep multiple bowls in easy access places to where your
pet may be.
• Keep the water bowl clean I have seen so many of these water fountains for pets and owners fill them up thinking they don’t need to change the water until it is empty. Hum … probably not one of my favorite pet inventions, people tend to forget it is “still” water in that container at room temperature. It needs to be changed and the container needs to be cleaned. If not, bacteria and mold will grow inside. Once ingested by the pet, mold can lead to severe internal sickness.
• Ice Cubes Dogs love chewing on ices cubes, it helps get fluids in their bodies and it is a fun interactive toy, too!
• Dog pools, sprinkler or hose Take the kiddie pool, fill it up with water and let your dog jump around in it. Oh my god, have you ever seen a dog in a kiddie pool? They bounce all around and have a blast, too. If you don’t have a pool, a sprinkler or a garden hose can be just as effective.
• AC or Fan Yup … spoil your pet a bit. My Lani, she loves her AC and ceiling fan as she lounges on her couch.
If you have concerns that your dog or cat may be dehydrated do the “scruff” test:
To determine the extent of your pet’s dehydration a dehydrated dog or cat will lose skin elasticity. Pull lightly on the skin at the scruff of the neck and note how quickly it returns to its normal location. The longer it takes, the more dehydrated your dog or cat is. And as always, with any health questions or concerns please call your veterinarian immediately.
Now that the sunny warm weather is here , fill the ice cube trays, buy some Frosty Paws treats and enjoy a happy and hydrated summer with your pets.
Stay cool, too!
Tracey Zysk, owner of Wiggles & Jiggles Pet Care in North Andover MA is a local pet care professional. She has been featured on local radio, tv and newspapers educating the general public on animal care and animal health & wellness. Tracey is a proud supporter of Police, Fire & Military K9 units. Tracey may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Become a fan on facebook at Wiggles & Jiggles Pet Care.