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We tend to associate dehydration with hot days, but the truth is, for our dogs, dehydration can happen at any time. If your dog enjoys a long walk or a good run with his ball, you need to keep your eye out for dehydration symptoms. Just like us, dogs need water in their bodies to function properly. So, if your dog is suffering from dehydration, you may notice some odd behaviors. Here’s what to look for.
Loss of Appetite
If your dog is normally one to guzzle down its food within thirty seconds, but has suddenly become uninterested in the food in its bowl, you’ll automatically know something isn’t right. Most owners won’t assume its dehydration that’s causing the problem. In fact, most owners usually assume their dog is feeling under the weather and decide to monitor their behavior before visiting a vet. If a dog has lost its normally healthy appetite, don’t wait to book an appointment with your vet, especially if your dog becomes lethargic too.
Panting is usually a sign that your dog needs to cool down. On hot days, it’s best to find some helpful tips on how to keep dogs cool. We expect to see our dogs panting after a long walk, but if your dog is panting at unusual times of the day, it could be a sign of dehydration. If you notice this happening to your dog, check that there’s a good supply of fresh water available to him and encourage him to take a few sips. If your dog is dehydrated, it could be better to feed him wet food and some water every hour or so to avoid water intoxication. This can occur when your dog drinks too much water, too fast.
Dry Eyes, Nose and Gums
If your dog is showing signs of dehydration but you aren’t positive that’s what’s causing them, this will be your best way of testing. Check your dog’s eyes, nose and gums for dryness. As a dog owner, you’ll know that dog’s noses are usually wet, so if your dog is showing signs of dryness, a visit to your vet is required. In cases of extreme dehydration, you’ll need your vet to intervene with medication. So, if you find that your dog’s eyes, nose and gums are dry don’t waste any time in booking an emergency appointment.
There’s one final check you can use on your dog when looking for dehydration symptoms and that’s to check his skin. When the skin is starved of moisture, it loses its elasticity. Part the fur on your dog’s stomach and gently pinch the skin between your thumb and forefinger. Look to see how long the skin takes to spring back into position. If it quickly returns, your dog may only be mildly dehydrated, but if it takes a while to fall back, it’s a good indication that your dog is severely dehydrated.
When in doubt, get the advice of a veterinary professional, instead of trying at home fixes.
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Dogs can really struggle in the heat, and as owners we don’t like to see our pets suffer. Going through a heat wave is difficult enough for humans, but imagine being covered in fur. As owners it’s our responsibility to keep our furry friends as comfortable as possible. As well as providing plenty of fresh, cool drinking water and a few water fights in the garden, there are plenty of other things you can try to keep your animal best friend from suffering. Take a look at some of these tips.
If your dog has lots of energy, you’ll know that a good walk every day does him the world of good. However, when the temperatures are high, a walk is sometimes the last thing your dog needs. If you intend on walking your dog, do it early in the morning or late at night when temperatures have dropped. It’s also important to check how hot the pavements are before setting off on your walk. Remember the 5 second rule: place your hand on the concrete and leave it there for five seconds. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws.
Find the Coolest Spot
Isn’t it annoying when you can’t sleep because you’re too hot? Your dog goes through the same thing. When it comes to sleeping through the night, set up a temporary bed in the coolest part of the house. For many people, this is the garage, so you may have to take some extra safety precautions. You’ll need to figure out what’s the best garage door opener for your dog’s security and consider crating the dog if there’s any chance he could harm himself by wandering around. If your garage isn’t attached to the house, you may want to think of other options, like under the stairs or in a shaded part of the kitchen.
Set up a Fan
Even if you have air conditioning inside, setting up a fan specifically for your dog can help him to cool down easily. It can also help to place a bowl of ice in front of the fan so the air blows colder. If you leave both the fan and ice on the floor, the dog can also take some ice to chew on if he wants to. You could also freeze other treats, like carrots or chicken broth ice-lollies.
One of the most important things you can do for your dog is recognise tell-tale signs of dehydration. Your dog won’t sweat, so you’ll probably notice him panting a lot to cool down. That’s normal, but if you notice any drooling along with it, you’ll need to monitor your dog closely. Dogs are also capable of burning their skin in the sun, so if you notice his skin turning pink, use a dog-friendly sunscreen on him.
Cooling Mats and Jackets
If you’re finding it difficult to keep your dog cool, you could invest in a cooling mat and jacket. Use the jacket throughout the day and place the mat in your dog’s bed at night.
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Dogs are awesome creatures, aren’t they? They love us unconditionally, and they don’t judge us (the complete opposite of cats). However, the amount of dogs out there that have had a very lax training routine is unbelievable. These dogs are running riot, and making the rules for their owners to follow.
Training your dog from an early age is one of the best things you’ll ever do for them. Bear in mind that loving your dog and training your dog are two separate things. You can still train your dog to be well behaved and give them plenty of fuss and cuddles. It’s when you fail to train them at all that things go awry.
When you fail to train your dog, they get confused about who the pack leader is. You’ll sometimes give signals that it’s you, but telling them to get off the couch or eating your food first. However, you’ll let them think it’s them sometimes by allowing them to pull you on a walk. When a dog is confused, it isn’t happy. It might look happy with a wagging tail most of the time, but it can get terrible separation anxiety. When you train your dog, you’ll both have a much happier life together. Here are some important things to bear in mind:
Selecting a Dog To Suit Your Lifestyle
Before you even consider buying a dog you need to make sure you select a dog to suit your lifestyle. Looking at cute tri color pitbull puppies for sale with your family is great, but if that breed doesn’t suit your lifestyle, you should think again. No matter how much you train a dog, if it’s too energetic for you, or doesn’t do well around kids, or any number of other factors, you won’t have a good time together.
Training Right Away
Putting training in place right away is crucial. There are so many things that go into this, and it’s far more than teaching them to sit down, roll over, and give you their paw. Here’s what you need to do:
- Make sure they always walk next to you or behind you on a walk. You can do this with treats. They should never walk in front of you.
- Practice the basic stop, sit, and come back commands regularly.
- Walk in the house before your dog after a walk.
- Eat your food before your dog.
- Never feed your dog off your plate.
- Greet other members of the family before your dog.
- Simply have a dominant attitude; no need to be loud or threatening.
If you need extra help, you can consider taking your dog to a training school. The important thing is that you make it clear with a calm, dominant attitude that you are the pack leader.
Consistency With All Family Members
Above all else, consistency among each family member is crucial. If one member of the family allows fido to pull on their lead and you don’t, you’re going to struggle.
Good luck training your dog – it will be worth it!