July is National Pet Hydration Month and with good reason -- it's been hot, humid and unbearable for humans and that means if it's uncomfortable for you, it's uncomfortable for your pets.
Did you know that your dog should drink one ounce of water for each pound of his body weight? This means your five pound poodle should drink five ounces a day and your seventy pound lab should drink seventy ounces of water daily. That is a lot of water and it might be hard for a human to drink seventy ounces of water daily so how do you get your dog to drink enough water to keep him hydrated during the hot summer months?
Here are some ways in which to keep your pet hydrated.
- Offer flavored water. There are water flavorings on the market that boast beef, chicken and liver flavors. You put in the number of recommended drops into your dog’s water bowl and he may be more inclined to drink enough water because it has a flavor.
- Serve their water in a fountain bowl. Many dogs and cats prefer to drink “moving” water instead of “stagnant” water in their usual water bowl. In the wild, dogs would look for moving bodies of water rather than drink out of a puddle, if possible.
- Freeze their favorite treat in an ice cube or a bowl. If your dog loves watermelon or has a favorite treat, freeze those in a large bowl or ice cube tray. Once frozen, give it to your dog and he will have to lick the ice cube or frozen bowl to get to the treat. He’ll be getting more water in the process.
- Freeze his water bowl. If you’re sitting outside with your dog or are at a picnic or on a road trip, a frozen water bowl will assure he has access to cold water while you’re out and about. If you’re at work and your dog is home alone, a frozen water bowl will provide him with access to cold water all day long.
- Make sure, no matter where you are that your dog has constant access to water. If your dog is home alone you need to make sure he has fresh water available all day long. You will also want to give him toys to keep him entertained so he doesn’t scratch or claw your doors or window sills while you’re away!
A note of caution, though, don’t let your dog drink swimming pool water or salt water (from an ocean or sea); the chemicals and salt can sicken him. If your dog loves to play in the water, fill a kiddie pool with clean, fresh water and let him splash in that and drink the water from there to his heart’s content.
What is your favorite trick to get your dog to drink enough water? We’d love to hear it!
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