National Pet Hydration Awareness Month


Water and Your Pet: National Pet Hydration Awareness Month

The summer months mean warmer weather and more days spent playing at the beach, and who doesn’t love taking their dog to splash in the waves? However, the warm weather and the ocean present two potential problems for pets: dehydration (and subsequent heatstroke) and water intoxication. Both are serious health concerns and can be fatal.
During National Pet Hydration Awareness Month in July, our veterinarians are spreading awareness about the importance of proper pet hydration. Keeping your pets hydrated by providing plenty of cool, fresh water can help prevent dehydration, heatstroke, and water intoxication which can all be fatal.
To safely have fun with your pets this summer, keep them hydrated and learn to recognize the signs of both dehydration and water intoxication.

Signs of Dehydration in Pets

Your pet might be dehydrated if you notice any of the following signs or symptoms:
  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive panting
  • Appetite loss
  • Sunken eyes
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of skin elasticity
Dehydration is a medical emergency and can be fatal if left unaddressed.
Your pet’s body contains 80% water! That’s a way bigger percentage than humans who are about 60% water. So, your pets need to drink a lot to stay hydrated in warm weather. You can help your pet stay hydrated by providing plenty of fresh, cool drinking water. Consider purchasing a pet water fountain to encourage drinking or adding broth ice cubes for an enticing flavor your pet will love.

Signs of Water Intoxication

Water intoxication occurs when the ratio of water to salt in your pet’s bloodstream becomes unbalanced. Water intoxication can happen when pets drink too much water (hyponatremia) or ingest too much salt (hypernatremia).
Mild signs and symptoms include:
  • Loss of coordination
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Dilated pupils and glazed eyes
  • Excessive drooling
  • Pale gums
Severe signs and symptoms include:
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Collapse
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Coma
Water intoxication is a medical emergency, as it can be fatal without prompt treatment.
When you visit the beach, be sure to bring plenty of fresh water for your dog to drink and carefully monitor how much saltwater your pet might be taking in.

Learn More About Keeping Your Pet Safe This Summer

To learn more about the importance of proper pet hydration and electrolyte balance, we encourage you to talk with our veterinarians in Chula Vista. To schedule an appointment, we welcome you to contact Pacific Pet Hospital today.