02 Jul

Pet Hydration and Why is It Important

Summer season is currently in full swing, which means an increased risk of heatstroke and dehydration for both people and pets alike. While we cannot control or predict the weather, we can prepare for the prevailing weather conditions and take the required steps to keep ourselves and our pets safe. To help you do so, we’ve compiled some information related to dehydration and heat strokes in pets which will help you protect your pet and prepare your routine appropriately. 

What is Dehydration in Pets? 

Dehydration happens when a body is losing more fluids than it is consuming. Most pets rely on water for their normal everyday functioning, with dogs, cats, rabbits, etc. all needing plenty of water throughout the day. Water and hydration are not necessary just to quench your pet’s thirst either; water is necessary for normal bodily functioning, digestion, organ health, and regulation of body temperature. 

When a pet reaches the point where it loses more fluids than it consumes, it can experience dehydration. Dehydration means blood flow slows down, which in turn reduces the amount of oxygen reaching the organs, muscles, and tissue. Aside from fluid dehydration, it will also lead to a loss of salts and electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and chloride. These electrolytes are responsible for regulating nerve function, muscle function, and the movement of nutrition in and out of cells, and a loss of them can hamper your pet’s health significantly. 

What are Heat Strokes in Pets? 

Heat strokes are a condition where a body can no longer control its temperature, leading to a rapid rise in body temperature. It is caused by overheating, which usually occurs due to prolonged exposure to the scorching sun and hot environments or due to intense physical activity in hot weather and climate.

Heat strokes in pets are a dangerous and potentially fatal condition. As humans, we can often beat the heat through temperature regulation, which our bodies achieve through sweating. Most house pets lack this sweat mechanism, meaning that it is difficult for them to cool down or regulate their body temperature once they overheat. 

Symptoms of Heatstroke in Pets 

Given that heat strokes are a dangerous condition, it is important to be able to recognize the signs of heatstroke in your pet. Here are a few symptoms or signs that your pet is experiencing heatstroke. 

  • Heavy panting and rapid breathing
  • Drooling 
  • Bright red tongue and/or gums
  • Loss of energy
  • Vomiting
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Diarrhea
  • Seizures Confusion or disorientation
  • Fainting or loss of consciousness

Tips to Prevent Heat Strokes in Pets 

Given that the summers in India can be extremely hot, dry, or humid (depending on your region) it is important to recognize the signs of heatstroke and know how to prevent it. Here are a few tips to prevent heatstroke in your pet during the seething summer temperatures.

  • Hydration: Heat will lead to dehydration, which is why it is important to stay hydrated. Make sure your pet has plenty of fresh water, and make sure to keep their water bowl topped up throughout the day. 
  • Stay in the Shade: Direct sunlight will heat your pet quickly, so keep your pet away from direct sunlight, particularly during peak noon hours. Pulling down the blinds or curtains will also help limit the sun’s rays, and you can also use a fan or air conditioning to ensure your house stays cool. 
  • Moisture through food: Serving your pet foods with high water content can help combat the loss of fluids and dehydration due to the immense heat. If you feed your pet a dry diet, try mixing some water with it. You can also serve snacks rich in water, such as apples and melons to help supplement your pet’s fluid intake. 
  • Variable walk times: Exercise is important, but exercising and walking in the sun is an easy way to become dehydrated, which can easily lead to heatstroke. Try to schedule your pet’s walk and exercise time during cooler hours, preferably before 9 AM or after 5 PM. The temperatures in India can heat sidewalks and walking surfaces to the point where they can burn your pet’s paws, so step out when the weather is cooler during early morning or evening hours.  
  • Grooming: You should appropriately groom your pet; fur should be trimmed but not shaved so there is a degree of protection against the sun. Make sure to groom your pet regularly, comb their hair, and remove any excess undercoat or matting in their fur.  
  • Breed-Specific Care: Some animal breeds are more prone to heatstroke than others. For example, brachycephalic flat-faced or snub-nosed pets heat up much quicker, due to their respiratory system being more cramped than that of the average house pet. This means they can suffer from heat stroke much more quickly, and that they require extra care and attention if you live in a country with a hot climate. 

To conclude, have a hot climate which means you will need to take a little extra care when with your pet when outdoors during the summer months. Provided you follow these tips, ensure your pet is sufficiently hydrated, follow grooming procedures, and step out during cooler hours of the day, you should have no problem keeping your pet safe in heat. Each pet is unique, and if you follow a schedule that suits your pet, you will enjoy the summer to the fullest.



Carry My Pet

Passionate pet enthusiasts and globetrotters, dedicated to easing furry friends' journeys worldwide. Penning tales of compassion at CarryMyPet, where every relocation is a tail-wagging adventure.

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