Summer nutrition tips for your pet to prevent dehydration

It’s important to feed your furry friends hydrating foods as temperatures rise. From wet foods to juicy fruits, here are summer nutrition tips for your dog.

Pets in summer are susceptible to several health issues due to the merciless heat and dehydration is one of them. It is crucial to pay attention to the symptoms of heat illnesses or dehydration in your pet. If your dog's saliva is thick and pasty, they have dry nose or they aren't eating properly, panting, you must get them medical attention before their health deteriorates further. To prevent dehydration in pets, one must give them wet foods, fruits, adequate water and keep them in cooler areas.

"Dogs don’t have sweat glands hence their body tends to heat up very quickly. During summer months dogs are susceptible to conditions like heavy panting, dehydration, dry and bright red gums, and even heat stroke if the temperature is too high," says Dr Punith G (MVSc, Animal Nutrition), Asst. Product and Technocommercial manager, Drools.

Apart from plenty of water, one can get wet foods for their dogs for good hydration.

"Feeding your pooches wet food is a great idea. Wet food with ingredients like chicken, eggs, vegetables, spinach, and some fruits help to keep your dog’s body hydrated and cool. Not only does it provide a good number of calories, being rich in water (about 80%), it also helps in proper hydration of the body. Water-rich foods like seedless watermelons and cucumbers are packed with potassium and essential vitamins making them ideal summer foods, that help your pet stay hydrated. Yogurt, buttermilk and even coconut water are must-haves during summer and can provide them relief in the hot weather," says Dr Punith.

A dog’s body constitutes about 60 to 65% of water and even a 5% loss of water can lead to serious issues. Water is an important nutrient that helps in body metabolism and as a major constituent of blood and body fluids it helps in the transport of nutrients and the excretion of waste.

"Dehydration is one of the concerns during warmer temperatures of summer. Usually, dogs have a weaker thirst centre and may not drink an adequate amount of water. Signs of dehydration may include dry gums and over-drooling. It is advised to make sure that your pooch is getting clean and fresh water to drink at regular intervals. Dog’s water requirement is almost similar to the number of calories they consume on a daily basis. Providing an adequate amount of water can help with dehydration and heat stroke. Keeping water bowls at multiple points in the house with few ice cubes and walking them in the cooler part of the day can prevent dehydration," says Dr Punith.