5 Tips to Help Keep Your Pets Hydrated this Summer

cat drinking water

July is National Pet Hydration Awareness Month! Here are some simple tips to ensure your pets stay hydrated: 


  1. Fresh Water: Always provide clean, cool water for your pets throughout the day. Change the water frequently to maintain its freshness. Also, remember to wash your pet’s water bowl often, a dirty bowl creates a breeding ground for bacteria. 
  2. Multiple Water Sources: Place water bowls in different areas of your home or yard, making it easier for your pet to access water wherever they roam. If you notice that your pet prefers drinking from the hose rather than an indoor bowl, consider a water fountain style indoor bowl to make their hydration experience more fun!
  3. Outdoor Hydration: If your pet spends time outdoors, provide shaded areas and multiple water stations to prevent dehydration. Ideally, outdoor water bowls should be kept in the shade to keep water cool making it more enticing for your furry friend. 
  4. Travel with Water: When on the go, carry a water bottle and a collapsible bowl for your pet. Regular hydration is crucial, even during adventures! 
  5. Hydration Treats: Consider offering hydrating treats like watermelon or frozen broth cubes to supplement their fluid intake. 

Proper hydration is essential for your pet’s overall well-being and helps prevent heat-related illnesses. Let’s keep our furry friends cool, happy, and healthy this summer! 


How to Tell if Your Pet Is Dehydrated

In addition to ensuring your pet stays hydrated on hot summer days, it’s important to be able to tell if they are dehydrated. If you suspect your pet is dehydrated, please book a same-day appointment with your nearest PetMedic location.


Dehydration occurs when your pet loses more fluid than they take in during the day. Illness and extreme heat are two examples of how pets can become dehydrated.

Here are common symptoms of dehydration to look for:


  • Panting
  • Lethargy/loss of energy
  • Sunken eyes
  • Dry and sticky gums
  • Appetite loss
  • Loss of skin elasticity: this can easily be tested by lifting up your dog’s scruff which is either over their shoulders or on the back of their neck. If the skin doesn’t rebound instantly, and instead slowly lowers, your dog is dehydrated and needs immediate attention. 

When should you take your dog to the vet for dehydration

Just like with humans, pets can experience multiple levels of dehydration. Out of the symptoms listed above, panting, lethargy, and sticky gums are mild symptoms. 

You need to take your dog to an urgent vet near you for the more serious dehydration symptoms such as:


  • Diarrhea and vomiting
  • Sunken eyes
  • Excessive panting: this is when you can notice your dog having difficulty breathing because they are panting so hard. 

How to Tell if Your Dog is Suffering from Heat Stroke

Heat stroke occurs when the body’s core temperature is so high that cells and proteins start to break down, and cause multi-organ failure. This is life-threatening in both humans and animals. 

Symptoms of heat stroke in dogs: 

  • Excessive panting
  • Red gum color
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Rapid heart rate
  •  Collapsing
  • Ruptured blood vessels under the skin
  • Loss of consciousness
Many symptoms of dehydration and heat stroke (appetite loss, lethargy, excessive panting, etc.) can be glossed over or passed off as something else, so it’s important to keep a close watch on your pet.
If you suspect your pet is suffering from dehydration or heat stroke, follow our guidelines on identifying and treating heat stroke. And remember, PetMedic is here if your pet needs us!


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Angelika Demers, CVT

Clinical Supervisor

Angelika started her animal health career in 2014 when she attended the University of Maine Augusta, Bangor campus, for Veterinary Technology. She graduated in early 2018 and became a Certified Veterinary Technician later that year. Her internship, and first veterinary field job, was at the MSPCA Angell in Boston, where she discovered her interest in emergency medicine. Throughout the years, she has continued to advance her knowledge in the field of emergency medicine, but also in cultivating relationships with patients and clients alike to offer the best quality care. Outside of work she likes hanging out with her cat, Mew, spending time outdoors, watching game shows, and photography.