With this summer’s sporting bonanza well underway – from the Euros to Wimbledon and the Olympics just around the corner – UK dog owners could have plenty of distractions to take their attention away from their four legged friends.
Reassuringly, a recent survey of over 1,000 pet owners conducted by pet product expert, PetSafe® brand, has found that our passion for pets comes before our love of sport, but two in 10 pet owners aren’t sure how to tell if their pet is hydrated.
Wanting to do the ‘right thing’ for their pet over the summer months came across clearly in the study with 9 in 10 dog owners saying their pets come first and exercise, hydration and all important meal times for those who clock watch. However, once the elusive summer sun comes out, there was confusion amongst dog owners about what the ‘right thing’ actually is – particularly when it comes to keeping pooches cool and hydrated.
While almost all of the pet owners surveyed give their dogs fresh water every day, over half are unsure how much water their pets actually need to keep cool and hydrated.
Uncertainty crept in over whether pets should be put outside in warm weather – or kept indoors as 17 per cent said pets would be left outside as temperatures creep up to keep them cool.
Worryingly, 20 per cent admitted they couldn’t tell if their pet was dehydrated and common signs of dehydration were confused.
A staggering 88 per cent thought panting or sweating was a sign of dehydration, which is a common misconception and 40 per cent also incorrectly thought whining was a sign.
How to Tell If Your Dog Is Dehydrated
Symptoms of dehydration include lethargy, sunken eyes, and loss of appetite and depression. Another tell tale symptom is when pets’ gums lose moistness and become dry and sticky.
A spokesperson for the PetSafe® brand, Angela Critchley said: “It’s really encouraging to see that despite all the distractions taking place in people’s lives our dogs still take top priority.
“What’s concerning is the lack of knowledge when it comes to pet hydration. Even loosing just 10% of the body’s water can have serious consequences for a dog, so it is vital to ensure owners can pick up the signals quickly to avoid putting their pets at risk.
“If pets are not adequately hydrated they can not pant or sweat efficiently which means they can’t keep themselves cool and can over heat. The average Labrador weighing around 35kgs will need 2.45 litres of water a day to keep hydrated, that’s several bowls and regular water top ups are needed throughout the day”
She continues: “Simple measures such as leaving a number of water bowls in different areas in the house can help replenish hydration even if you’re not able to be in the home. If pets are outside it’s critical that they have access to shade and their water is kept in a cool place – remember some doghouses are not good shelter in the summer, as they can trap heat.”