(BPT) - It's a warm summer day - the sun is shining, the sky is blue and the scent of blooming flowers fills the air. As a pet owner, you're probably planning to take your dog on a walk, maybe even several. Meanwhile, your cat has found that sunny space underneath the windowsill.
If so, then you already know how much cats and dogs enjoy basking in the sun, but just like people, over-exposure to heat can cause our furry friends to become varied versions of themselves. And too often signs of dehydration, which frequently appear in the form of lethargy, dry mouth and loss of appetite, are confused with run-of-the-mill exhaustion.
Considering all the things we do know about our pets, it's hard to believe that we wouldn't recognize the symptoms that accompany something as serious as dehydration. But the truth is that unless you know which indicators to look for, it can be easy to misdiagnose. That's why the experts at PetSafe have compiled a list of tips and tricks for making sure your pet is experiencing healthy hydration all year long.
Keeping them hydrated
Water is without a doubt the single most important resource you can provide your animal, especially during hot summer months. Whether outside or inside, dogs and cats should consume around one ounce of water per pound each day. In other words, if you have a 20-pound terrier or a 20-pound tomcat, they should have access to at least 20 ounces of cool, clean drinking water every day.
It's also important to remember that liquid can evaporate quickly in high temperatures, so if your pet's water source is outside it's best to check on the amount of available water several times throughout the day or consider purchasing an auto-fill watering bowl like the Drinkwell(R) Everflow Indoor/Outdoor Fountain by PetSafe.
How do I detect dehydration in my pet?
The observable signs of dehydration will frequently include one of more of the following symptoms:
· Lack of skin elasticity. You can test this by gently pinching or pulling some of their skin. If it doesn't return to a normal position, your pet is likely dehydrated.
· Drop in energy levels
· Dry, sticky gums or foam around the mouth
· Heavier than average panting
· Loss of appetite
· Sunken, dry eyes
Treatment and prevention
If your dog or cat exhibits any of these behaviors or symptoms, it's important to seek veterinary attention where they will likely monitor the body temperature of your pet.
To prevent dehydration, pet parents should consider taking active measures to encourage pets to drink more water. Products like PetSafe Brand Pet Fountains are designed to continually circulate and filter water. This not only provides dogs and cats with a steady source of fresh water, but relieves owners of the constant hassle of refilling the bowl. Plus, the sound of flowing water tends to trigger an animal's desire to drink more.
With proper care and precaution, your pet can enjoy every season - even summer - while staying happy, healthy and hydrated. Visit PetSafe.com to find more great tips, products and articles on pet care.