Triple-digit days and nights continue to ravage American cities. These blistering temperatures are not good for human bodies. We’ve heard of fainting, dangerous dehydration, and even sudden deaths. Think of what the heat is doing to your dogs when you walk them. Or any pet inside your home if you don’t have the AC running while you are not home.

July is National Pet Hydration Awareness Month. The goal is to raise awareness & understanding of pet hydration among owners.

As a pet owner, did you know that your pet’s body has a higher water percentage than your own human body?

Yes. Water makes up to 80% of a pet’s body! Compare that to 55-60% in humans.

Your cat or dog will naturally lose water all day. They sweat it off through their paws. Water washes out with urine and feces.

Pet Hydration and Heatstroke

Heatstroke can result in severe, multi-organ failure. This can ultimately be fatal to a pet. Heatstroke can assault the central nervous system, the gastrointestinal tract, the renal system, and the coagulation system.

The signs of pet dehydration are similar in both a cat and a dog. They include:

  • Loss of skin elasticity
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy and low energy levels
  • Panting
  • Sunken, dry-looking eyes
  • Dry nose
  • Dry, sticky gums
  • Thick saliva

The Humane Society of the United States has issued a pet dehydration advisory.

“Take care when exercising your pet. Adjust intensity and duration of exercise in accordance with the temperature. 

On very hot days, limit exercise to early morning or evening hours, and be especially careful with pets with white-colored ears, who are more susceptible to skin cancer, and short-nosed pets, who typically have difficulty breathing. 

Asphalt gets very hot and can burn your pet’s paws, so walk your dog on the grass if possible.” 

Heatstroke Suggestion

Remember the National Pet Hydration Awareness Month statistic mentioned earlier in this blog? Water makes up to 80% of a pet’s body.

Your dog needs at least 1 ounce of water daily for each pound it weighs. That means a 20-pound dog should be drinking at least 20 ounces of water every day. That’s more than 2 cups or as much as in some bottles of water.

For more info on “dog dehydration” go to: https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/water-dog-health#1

Your cat needs a daily amount of about 3.5 to 4.5 ounces of water per 5 pounds of their body weight. So, if you have a 10-pound cat, it should be drinking between 7 to 9 ounces of water daily.

For more info on “cat dehydration” go to: https://pets.webmd.com/cats/guide/dehydration-cats#1

Another way to support pet hydration is to introduce more wet food into their daily diet.

I saw a simple but great suggestion on the Pet Safe website (giving credit where credit is due):

Each time you reach for a water bottle to keep yourself healthy & hydrated, think of your pet. He or she depends on you for fresh drinking water.

(What type of content should your business website blog offer? Advice rather than product promotion. Be a valuable info resource rather than an irritating source of sales pitches. For example, if you owned a pet shop or veterinary practice, then you might share this type of content. Contact me if interested.)