In this hot weather, it is easy for your dog to become dehydrated - yet drinking plenty of water is absolutely essential for maintaining your pooch's health in the heat. Without it, he will not only struggle to keep cool and be at greater risk of sun-related conditions such as heatstroke, but also struggle with normal functions like thinking and digesting.
Know how much water your dog normally needs
In order to make sure your dog is drinking enough, you need to know how much he needs. This varies according to the size, breed, age, activity level and overall health of your dog, but generally speaking, he should have approximately an ounce of water for every pound of body weight. It's best to speak to your vet to if you are at all unsure about how much your dog should be drinking.
Does your dog need more water than usual?
There are plenty of situations in which your dog will need more water than normal, such as if he has been on a particularly long or strenuous walk, if the weather is hot or if he is taking any medication that may dehydrate him. It's especially important to make sure he's drinking enough on hot days, because he won't be able to regulate his body temperature otherwise.
Ensure a constant supply of fresh water
Your dog should always have access to plenty of fresh, clean water - more than he needs. So, aim to keep his water bowl constantly topped up, ideally with twice the amount of water he needs. Be careful when doing so, however, because it's crucial the water bowl isn't too big for your pooch. After all, if he can only reach halfway down the bowl and is therefore unable to drink it all, he won't have the generous supply you have tried to provide.
Take a portable water bowl on walks and long car journeys
It's harder to maintain a constant water supply while you're out and about. What you can do instead is carry a portable water bowl and bottles of water, and make regular stops to give your dog the opportunity to drink as much as he needs.
Look out for signs of dehydration
It's also important to know the signs of dehydration so you can whisk your dog to the vet if you need to. These include dry-looking eyes, sticky gums, and lethargy.
Written by: Hannah Dyball