The risk of dehydration soars when summertime comes around. This is because the hot weather causes a dog to pant more, which in turn lead to a quicker water loss via water droplets in his breath. Even with water available, some dogs do not properly self-regulate. Water requirements may rise as much as 20% when it’s hot outside.
Just a 2% drop in normal water levels can lead to physical issues like dry skin and brittle nails, health issues such as headaches and mood changes
including trouble focusing.
Once you reach a 5% drop, this can become a severe issue of dehydration.
Signs include sunken in eyes, lethargy, decreased appetite, dizziness and increased heart rate. Decreased rate of blood capillary refill time is also a sign; you can test this by pressing a fingertip onto your Poodle’s gums and releasing. You will see a spot on the gum that is paler in color. Count to see how long it takes for it to return to its natural color. If it takes more than a count of two full seconds, this points to dehydration.
What to do:
You’ll want to encourage your Poodle to drink a bit more in the summer:
Employ the use of a canine watering fountain. These are great for filtering out toxins from tap water, but also are good at attracting a dog to them via the noise of the flowing water.
If you stick with a bowl, be sure to use a stainless steel bowl (these are more sanitary than plastic), clean it daily and refill it often with cool, clean water. Dogs may resist drinking enough if the water is stale and/or has food particles in it.
Offer water-packed fruit, as mentioned earlier or mix some into meals for added hydration.