Keeping your pet hydrated this summer
As the days are getting warmer, and we’re all looking for ways to keep ourselves cool and hydrated, it is easy to forget our four-legged friends. Our pets can overheat and get dehydrated easily, it only takes a few degrees increase in body temperature to potentially be hazardous for cat and dog health. Cats and dogs get hot faster than people, and with very few warning signals, so even the healthiest of pets can become seriously dehydrated quickly. However, there are some warning signs of dehydration pet owners should look out for, to ensure their pet remains in happy, healthy and hydrated.
What is dehydration and how does it happen?
Dehydration refers to an excessive loss of water and electrolytes in your pet. Dehydration is extremely common in pets and can be caused by a lowered intake of fluids due to lack of access to water, a reduced appetite for water, or increased fluid loss. Dehydration in pets can lead to serious conditions such as heat stroke and cardiac arrest.
Although all pets are at risk of becoming dehydrated, certain breeds can be more susceptible than others. These include toy breeds such as Chihuahuas, Yorkshire Terriers, and Pomeranians. Additionally, puppies and kittens as well as older or nursing cats or dogs can be more at risk. Dogs or cats with gastrointestinal issues, kidney disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer are also more prone to becoming dehydrated.
Dehydration signs and effects in pets
The symptoms of dehydration can vary vastly according to the reason your pet is becoming dehydrated or how dehydrated your pet is. It is important to be able to spot the most common signs:
- Weakness and lethargy (loss of energy)
- Shortness of breath and excessive panting
- Reduction or loss of appetite
- Sunken eyes
- Dry, bright red gums
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Dark-coloured urine
If you suspect your pet is dehydrated, these techniques will help verify:
- Checking their gums: Touch their gums with your finger and if they feel dry or they look very pale or bright red, your pet may be dehydrated.
- The ‘Skin Tent’ test: Gently grasp a pinch of your pet’s skin between their shoulder blades and if the skin is slow to move back, this may be a sign of low hydration levels.
How can DoggyRade and KittyRade help?
When your pet starts to show any of these symptoms of dehydration, it is important to act fast. DoggyRade and KittyRade are prebiotic isotonic drinks, packed with prebiotics, amino acids and electrolytes. These isotonic drinks contain small amounts of sugar and salts that allow the functional ingredients to be absorbed quickly into your pet’s bloodstream. This helps your pet rehydrate quickly on warm days and after exercise to help them avoid dehydration. The prebiotics also help improve gut health, digestive health and support nutrient absorption, which will all work towards fast recovery from dehydration.
Dogs and cats often dislike the taste of chlorine in tap water. That’s why you see them drinking out of puddles after it rains! DoggyRade and KittyRade are highly palatable for cats and dogs. Our research shows that if given the opportunity, dogs drink four times more DoggyRade and cats drink nine times more KittyRade than water. With the DoggyRade range of products your pet is motivated to drink more, and their chances of becoming dehydrated decrease making them happier, healthier and more hydrated along the way.
Preparing for heatwaves, keeping pets cool and hydrated:
Sometimes it can be difficult to get your furry friends to drink and stay cool, here are some fun ideas to try as things heat up this summer:
- Freeze some DoggyRade, KittyRade or YummyRade into ice cubes as a treat on their own or to add to their food
- Store your DoggyRade, KittyRade or YummyRade in the fridge before serving
- Lay a damp mat out for them to lie in the shade on
- Invest in a cooling jacket for walks
- Freeze some DoggyRade, KittyRade or YummyRade onto a sensory mat with their favourite food for a great frozen treat
- Encourage them to stay in shaded areas and away from direct sunlight
- Make sure there is always water available
- Introduce new games that don’t involve too much running around
If you start to notice the mild symptoms of dehydration in your pet, provide them with our prebiotic isotonic drinks to immediately combat their symptoms. If your pet is showing signs of more severe symptoms, is in pain, has not eaten, or is experiencing vomiting and/or diarrhea for 24 hours, you should seek veterinary attention immediately.