Noah’s Ark Pets http://www.noahsarkpets.net Okinawa's Best Pet Care - Your Pet, Our Passion Thu, 17 Apr 2014 11:17:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.2 Why Pets Drink Toilet Water http://www.noahsarkpets.net/why-pets-drink-toilet-water/ http://www.noahsarkpets.net/why-pets-drink-toilet-water/#comments Wed, 21 Aug 2013 04:00:40 +0000 Noah Admin http://www.noahsarkpets.net/?p=795 Even if dog sometimes sample water from various places in the house, but why would pets drink toilet water?  While most people  simply chalk this behavior up to the pet being stuck inside the house, bored, curious, or odd, there are reasons for this behavior that stretch back to the wild. The “Safety” Factor In the wild, fresher, moving water Read full Article ...

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Even if dog sometimes sample water from various places in the house, but why would pets drink toilet water?  While most people  simply chalk this behavior up to the pet being stuck inside the house, bored, curious, or odd, there are reasons for this behavior that stretch back to the wild.

The “Safety” Factor cats drinking

In the wild, fresher, moving water is generally a safer bet than sitting water when a pet is searching for a drink.  Dr. Marty Becker at Vet Street says:

Animals are naturally drawn to cool, running water, which is more likely, in the wild, to be safer for drinking than warm, still water. Think about the difference between a mountain stream and an algae-heavy pond and it’s obvious this is a good strategy for survival.

The toilet water may actually taste fresher to your pet since it is changed every time the toilet is flushed.  When choosing between water that’s been sitting out a few days in their bowl or water that is changed multiple times a day, your pet may legitimately think the toilet water is fresher and safer.  The frequent flushing of toilets means toilet water also likely has a higher oxygen content than other available water.

The toilet bowl may also make the toilet water cooler than the water sitting in your pet’s bowl.  Cooler water can make a big difference to a fur-covered pet on a hot day!  Although the toilet water obviously contains other compounds that are likely not great for your pet to be ingesting, evolution may be indicating something very different to them.

Pets Just Wanna Have FUN! dog toilet ball

Your pet may have connected the toilet with playtime – many dogs and cats drop their toys into the toilet, showing that they have made some sort of connection between the two things.  Your pet may have been rewarded in some way for this behavior and the connection between the toilet and fun could be difficult to break.  Pam Johnson-Bennet at Cat Behavior Associates says:

If there aren’t other forms of stimulation and environmental enrichment, kitty may develop an interest in watching the water swirl around whenever the toilet is flushed. That visual fascination may then lead to curiosity and she may dip a paw in the water. Some very smart cats have even learned to flush the toilet themselves.

This sort of behavior may indicate that you need to provide more enrichment in your pet’s life.  Pick up a few toys, some catnip, a scratching post or maybe commit to taking your dog to the park more often to help keep your pet from drinking toilet water.

Will Drinking Toilet Water Make my Pet Sick? cat in toilet

It definitely could!  The biggest risk to your pet may be any cleaning & chemical residue in the toilet water.  You should be concerned about this especially if you use bleach-based and other toxic chemicals to clean your toilet, if you have a drop-in toilet freshener, and (especially!) if you place anti-freeze in your tank to keep the water from freezing in the winter.  (Antifreeze is poisonous to pets, and although it is FAR too hot in Okinawa for this to be a concern, you should be aware for the future!)  Any of these chemicals and cleaning agents can cause chemical burns to your pet’s mouth and throat, which can lead to other problems.   Susan Parretts at the Nest says:

At the very least, your pet will likely experience some gastrointestinal upset or vomiting if he ingests even a small amount of toilet cleaning chemicals.

In addition to concerns about Chemicals, toilets are also obvious breeding grounds for bacteria and germs.  Toilet water like this can easily make your pet sick.  There are other dangers that may be inherent when your pet drinks from the toilet as well, especially when your small pet drinks toilet water – they could easily fall into the bowl.  This could easily lead to confusion, injury and death.

What You Should Do dog toilet drink

There are a few easy interventions that will help keep your pet safe:

1.  Keep your toilet lids closed (or close the door to the bathroom)

2.  If you can’t keep your pet out of the toilet, use a pet safe cleaner like vinegar and baking soda

3.  Get a pet drinking fountain – the peace of mind these bring you may be worth the money!  They offer your pet the same things they’re looking for in toilet water: cooler, running water, but without the dangerous aspects.  See a few options on Amazon here.

3. Check toilets when you bring your pet to visit a friend’s house 

What have you done to keep your pets out of the toilet?

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Pet Rain Gear – Is It Worth It? http://www.noahsarkpets.net/pet-rain-gear-is-it-worth-it/ http://www.noahsarkpets.net/pet-rain-gear-is-it-worth-it/#comments Wed, 14 Aug 2013 02:17:20 +0000 Noah Admin http://www.noahsarkpets.net/?p=775 Maybe you’re not a big fan of the wet dog smell, but you’re not quite convinced that you need to go out and make a whole new puppy wardrobe purchase.  Really, this pet rain gear/plastic get-up would simply be an attempt to keep Fido dry while he does his business, so how much thought should this really require? A couple Read full Article ...

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Maybe you’re not a big fan of the wet dog smell, but you’re not quite convinced that you need to go out and make a whole new puppy wardrobe purchase.  Really, this pet rain gear/plastic get-up would simply be an attempt to keep Fido dry while he does his business, so how much thought should this really require?

A couple things to consider: cat

Do You Live in a Rainy Area?

If you live somewhere where it rains around 25% of the time, it could be worth it to consider picking up something for your four legged buddy.  If you’re reading this from outside the often rainforest-like Okinawa, you may have great reason to say “no” to this wardrobe upgrade and just move on.  If you’re in Oki, however, consider that Okinawa’s least rainy month (July) has an average of 17 rainy days. 

The other option you’ve considered – namely gluing yourself to a window, watching for a dry patch, then throwing a leash on your dog and screaming outside like a jet plane could work.  (You and your dog may need experience in parkour – We do not recommend this.)  If you opt to stay on the ground, however, Okinawa will give you plenty of opportunities to use doggie rain gear.

Does Your Dog Use Pee Pads?

If you can use pee pads, you can easily chuck the whole idea of buying pet rain gear on the trash heap – however, there always is the consideration of fashion if you are so inclined.  Rain wear can be particularly adorable. 

Does a Wet House Bother You? dog 10

If you absolutely hate it when rain finds its way onto your couch cushions, gets shaken onto your walls, and pools in that wet spot after you walk puppy, pet rain gear could be a simple sanity saver. 

As a personal side note, our dogs always have a dramatic hey-day after wet walks.  They attack all soft surfaces, rolling and rubbing all the rain water off.  They fly around they house with an intensity you’d find if they were being attacked by zombies.  They clearly assume our deepest wish is to watch their show.  If yours do the same, you may opt for rain gear instead of season tickets to the puppy show this year (while saving your house in the process).

Does your cat go outdoors?

Believe it or not, the photo that started me writing this post is the one above of the cat in a bright yellow hooded raincoat – if you have an outdoor cat, do you think a rain coat could work for you?  I admit, I found it tough to believe that a cat wouldn’t quickly claw his rain wear into oblivion, but you may have a cat who is very well suited to rain wear.  If you are one of the few who bring their cat on walks, this could be a good option for you. 

Pet Rain Gear Options dog 4

There are definitely plenty of options for pet rain wear out there – you can find dog rain coats, rain boots, Doggles and even dog umbrellas (no kidding!)  See a few examples in the gallery below.

Dog raincoats come in both short and long versions, both with or without hoods in any color you can dream up. You can even see one coat below that’s designed to protect your dog from mud – it covers the legs and stomach instead of the back!

Rain boots come in many varieties – tall or short, hard or softer materials, loud or demure colors, and they may also be useful for protecting Fido’s paws during walks on Okinawa’s hot pavement during sunny days.

Doggles come in many varieties and can be used as rain gear.  They also work well when used to block the sun or protect a dog’s eyes from flying debris when sticking their heads outside car windows.

Dog umbrellas (or “Dogbrella”) are a pretty fun idea that could be a convenient solution to getting your dog out the quickest while avoiding the wet dog smell.  As a side benefit, they also qualify as a great gag gift.

Whether you choose to let your pet enjoy the rain “au natural” or to try out of the options above, we wish you many wonderful walks with your best friend – in the rain or not!

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FREE Adoption Day! http://www.noahsarkpets.net/free-adoption-day/ http://www.noahsarkpets.net/free-adoption-day/#comments Sat, 10 Aug 2013 11:02:45 +0000 Noah Admin http://www.noahsarkpets.net/?p=789 Karing Kennels on Kadena is having an adoption day August 17th when you can adopt any adult pet for FREE – they even include the microchip and the 1st rabies & distemper shots! If you’re looking for a new family member, come out and take a look at who you could bring home.  

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Karing Kennels on Kadena is having an adoption day August 17th when you can adopt any adult pet for FREE – they even include the microchip and the 1st rabies & distemper shots!

If you’re looking for a new family member, come out and take a look at who you could bring home.

Karing Kennels adoption day

 

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Your Dog’s Teeth http://www.noahsarkpets.net/your-dogs-teeth/ http://www.noahsarkpets.net/your-dogs-teeth/#comments Wed, 07 Aug 2013 05:04:10 +0000 Noah Admin http://www.noahsarkpets.net/?p=764 Dental Care for Dogs Dental hygiene is just as important for dogs as it is for human beings!  Plaque builds up on dogs’ teeth just as it does on ours.  After plaque builds up, it hardens to become a coarse brown substance called tartar.  Tartar eventually accumulates and works its way under the gums, causing painful infections and gum disease.  Read full Article ...

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Dental Care for Dogsdog dental 2

Dental hygiene is just as important for dogs as it is for human beings!  Plaque builds up on dogs’ teeth just as it does on ours.  After plaque builds up, it hardens to become a coarse brown substance called tartar.  Tartar eventually accumulates and works its way under the gums, causing painful infections and gum disease.  You probably brush your teeth every day – what do you do to help your dog’s teeth stay in good shape?

Why Brush Your Dog’s Teeth?

Vets recommend that dog owners brush their dog’s teeth at least twice a week to minimize the buildup of tartar.  Most pet supply stores carry specially designed toothbrushes and toothpaste just for dogs.  Remember that a dog’s sense of taste and smell is far more acute than that of a human and the zesty, tingly, mint taste of your toothpastes will be terrible to your dog.  Most regular toothpastes also contain fluoride, which is highly poisonous to dogs.  Use the specially designed doggie toothpaste instead to avoid a surprise trip to the vet!

Additional Measures

Dog's teeth both with and without tartar

Dog’s teeth both with and without tartar

You say you don’t have to time (or patience) to brush Fido’s teeth on a regular basis?  There are other ways you can help take care of his choppers.  A dog’s natural tendency to chew is a built-in dental care mechanism.  There are a couple of ways you can take advantage of this.  Some dog diets and dental treats can reduce plaque by up to 70% as measured by the Veterinary Oral Health Council* (VOHC).  Find some things that you can do for Fido’s dental health below.

What Food is Best?

Dry food is always better than wet food in helping to keep Fido’s teeth clean – however, the size of your kibble can be important.  One study by the VOHC found that increasing the diameter of kibble by 50% led to a 42% reduction in tartar.  Kibble breaks into small chunks when chewed, then rub against the teeth, providing a cleaning service. There’s no substitute for brushing your dog’s teeth, but if you can’t do that, make sure he has access to at least one of the options below on a regular basis to slow the buildup of plaque and tartar.

Dental Chew Toys dog dental 4

Make sure your dog has plenty of safe chewing options so their teeth get extra scrubbing.  These may include safe synthetic bones, toys and rawhide – these reduce plaque and tartar and come in various shapes and sizes.  Some great examples are Kong® toys, Plaque Attackers®, or Gumabones® – these synthetic options are especially good for dogs that swallow rawhide whole or chew through it too quickly. 

Dog Treats

There are a number of edible treat options for the dogs that the VOHC has recommended, including Greenies®, Del Monte Tartar Check® Dog Biscuits, Bright Bites, and Vetradent Dog Chews.  If you simply give one after meals once or every other day, these can help keep Fido’s teeth clean and bright. 

Mouth Diseases in Dogs

Dogs that do not receive proper dental care run the risk of several mouth diseases.  These can range from mild gingivitis (a gum disease that results in swollen, inflamed gums) to a serious bacterial infection that can spread through the dog’s bloodstream causing damage to vital organs.  If necessary, dental services are available for dogs in a vet’s office – a dog’s teeth can be filled, capped, and extracted if necessary, just like a human’s.  Dogs routinely die from effects of the lack of dental care.  You owe it to yourself and your dog to take care of his teeth – it’s a simple way to prolong his life, avoid painful and costly treatment, and take care of your best friend.

Here’s to another way to keep your dog smiling!  dog smile

 

* the VOHC is an organization that evaluates pet products to see if they meet standards for reducing plaque or tartar. Approved foods, treats, and chews must reduce plaque or tartar by at least 10% to achieve the VOHC seal of approval

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Make Your Own Cat Hideout! http://www.noahsarkpets.net/make-your-own-cat-hideout/ http://www.noahsarkpets.net/make-your-own-cat-hideout/#comments Thu, 01 Aug 2013 07:44:09 +0000 Noah Admin http://www.noahsarkpets.net/?p=748 I ran across this awesome idea today – I thought it looked pretty fun!  It may the perfect time of year for this while the kids are out of school – with their “help”, you could be pretty booked up for most of an afternoon.  Thanks to Martha Stuart for the directions. Clicking the photo will take you to  instructions Read full Article ...

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I ran across this awesome idea today – I thought it looked pretty fun!  2 story cat house

It may the perfect time of year for this while the kids are out of school – with their “help”, you could be pretty booked up for most of an afternoon.  Thanks to Martha Stuart for the directions.

Clicking the photo will take you to  instructions about how to make your very own two-story cat playhouse – you could even glam it up with paint, textures or scrapbook paper.  You only need very basic materials that you probably have laying around the house.

How long do you think this cardboard house would last with your cat?

Have you ever made your cat their own playhouse or cat tree?  How did it go?

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Family Photos with Pets http://www.noahsarkpets.net/family-photos-with-pets/ http://www.noahsarkpets.net/family-photos-with-pets/#comments Wed, 31 Jul 2013 07:00:15 +0000 Noah Admin http://www.noahsarkpets.net/?p=718 I saw one of the most adorable family photo shoots with a pet the other day – it is a little toddler dressed up in a fox costume playing with his Basset Hound Puppy! (You can see it below)  I love the one where the hound looks like he’s “tracking” the fox, and then of course, the ones where they Read full Article ...

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I saw one of the most adorable family photo shoots with a pet the other day – it is a little toddler dressed up in a fox costume playing with his Basset Hound Puppy! (You can see it below)  I love the one where the hound looks like he’s “tracking” the fox, and then of course, the ones where they are cuddling at the end are absolutely precious.  Thanks to Jinky Art for the warm fuzzies of the day!

Fox and the Hound

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OAARS Adoption Event Aug 3! http://www.noahsarkpets.net/oaars-adoption-event-aug-3/ http://www.noahsarkpets.net/oaars-adoption-event-aug-3/#comments Mon, 29 Jul 2013 06:41:03 +0000 Noah Admin http://www.noahsarkpets.net/?p=703 It’s time for another OAARS Adoption Event when you can meet the great pets the rescue group is offering for adoption!  Are you the forever family that one of their babies has been waiting for?  When: Saturday, Aug 3 Time: 10 am – 1:30pm Location: In front of the Kadena BX See the adorable pets that OAARS has available now Read full Article ...

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It’s time for another OAARS Adoption Event when you can meet the great pets the rescue group is offering for adoption!  Are you the forever family that one of their babies has been waiting for? 

When: Saturday, Aug 3
Time: 10 am – 1:30pm
Location: In front of the Kadena BX

See the adorable pets that OAARS has available now at their website:

www.OAARS.org

OAARS

OAARS is always looking for more foster families!  If you’d love to care for a pet in your home, but can’t commit to be a forever family, send an email to one of the addresses below – I’m sure they’d be thrilled to have you! 

Dogs: oaarsfoster@gmail.com
Cats: oaarscats@gmail.com

Finally, OAARS LOVES volunteers!  If you have extra time on your hands to give puppies and kitties some love or to help them find new homes, contact OAARS at this address:

Volunteers: oaarsvolunteers@gmail.com
Events & Fundraising: oaarsevents@gmail.com (if you want to set up a fundraiser benefiting OAARS)

Helping OAARS will definitely make you feel that you have done something important with your time here in Okinawa!  OAARS does wonderful work here and we hope you have the time to stop by at the adoption event and let them know that they’re appreciated!  They do a great job in helping SO many of the homeless dogs and cats here find loving families! 

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Does Your Dog have Allergies? http://www.noahsarkpets.net/does-your-dog-have-allergies/ http://www.noahsarkpets.net/does-your-dog-have-allergies/#comments Tue, 16 Jul 2013 07:35:05 +0000 Noah Admin http://www.noahsarkpets.net/?p=668 Many people don’t realize that their dogs can suffer from allergies in the same way we can.  About twenty percent of the dogs in the United States suffer from allergies of one sort or another, with flea allergy dermatitis being the most common condition.  Other types of allergies include atopic dermatitis, food allergies, and allergies to inhalants   Sign and Read full Article ...

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Many people don’t realize that their dogs can suffer from allergies in the same way we can.  About twenty percent of the dogs in the United States suffer from allergies of one sort or another, with flea allergy dermatitis being the most common condition.  Other types of allergies include atopic dermatitis, food allergies, and allergies to inhalants

 

Sign and Symptoms of Dog Allergies

Signs and symptoms of dog allergies may vary but are often marked by persistent itching and discoloration of the skin (most common in skin allergies), coughing, sneezing, wheezing, and mucus discharge (most common in inhalant allergies), and nausea, lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea (common to food allergies and other ailments.)

 

 Dog Allergy Treatments

Over-the-counter preparations and treatments for common dog allergies exist and may be purchased at any quality pet supply store, but care should be taken when choosing such treatments.  Consultation with a vet is the best first course of action for several reasons.

First, often what dog owners think is an allergic reaction is actually a sign of a more serious condition and a vet should make that determination.  Second, if the dog does have an allergy, it may be severe enough that a prescription strength treatment may be required  as over-the-counter treatments may not be sufficient.  Lastly, it’s possible that the dog does not have an allergy at all and having a vet check your dog makes sure you do not unnecessarily medicate your pet.

 

Your Vet can Help

If you do think your dog has some type of allergy, consult your vet.  The vet will be able to determine whether an allergic condition exists, how severe the condition is, and explain appropriate treatment options.  If the dog has a food allergy, it will be imperative to restrict the animal’s diet to eliminate those items that cause a reaction.  If the dog has flea allergy dermatitis (an allergic reaction to the saliva of fleas, rather than to the insects themselves, as outlined below), an flea prevention regimen will likely be recommended.

Just like humans, dogs that suffer from various allergies can live comfortably when they are detected and treated properly.  Keep in mind that the best way to ensure your dog can live comfortably with allergies is to have their condition evaluated by a vet.

 

 Flea Allergy Dermatitis

Flea allergy dermatitis is the most common allergic conditions in dogs – it occurs in dogs that have a hypersensitivity to flea saliva.  When the dog is bitten by a flea and exposed the allergens in the saliva, it leads to the dog scratching, biting, and licking its itchy skin.  Once the dog has damaged its skin due to excessive grooming, bacteria typically set in and infect the small open wounds.

Owners usually do not notice their dog has a problem until the dog’s excessive grooming become so severe that the damage to the dog’s skin is obvious.  The dog’s skin will be red, bumpy, possibly with pustules, crusty scabs, or show areas of hair loss.  If you notice these symptoms in your dog, it is important to make a trip to vet.

 

Flea Allergy Dermatitis Treatment

While some vets will recommend allergy shots, all vets do not currently agree with this approach.  The best treatment for a dog with flea allergy dermatitis definitely includes keeping the dog as flea free as possible through the use of topical treatments, medicated shampoos, and using monthly preventative.  The vet may also prescribe additional medications to alleviate symptoms, including steroids, antihistamines, antibiotics or fatty acid supplements in skin oils.

 

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OAARS Adoption Event June 15! http://www.noahsarkpets.net/oaars-adoption-event-june-15/ http://www.noahsarkpets.net/oaars-adoption-event-june-15/#comments Tue, 11 Jun 2013 06:00:35 +0000 Noah Admin http://www.noahsarkpets.net/?p=611 OAARS is holding an adoption event on Foster in front of the Marine Gift Shop on Saturday, June 15 – if you’re looking for a new family member, or for a shorter-term foster pet, come take a look!  You could be surprised at the awesome babies they have available!

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OAARS is holding an adoption event on Foster in front of the Marine Gift Shop on Saturday, June 15 – if you’re looking for a new family member, or for a shorter-term foster pet, come take a look!  You could be surprised at the awesome babies they have available!

OAARS

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Dog Dehydration http://www.noahsarkpets.net/lorem-ipsum-2/ http://www.noahsarkpets.net/lorem-ipsum-2/#comments Thu, 25 Apr 2013 12:28:24 +0000 Noah Admin http://localhost/noha_park/?p=76 Dog dehydration is a very real threat in Okinawa and it can be a serious matter. Whether caused by illness, exposure to heat, or just a simple lack of fluid intake, dehydration must be addressed immediately and, left untreated, can cause multiple health problems including organ failure and death.

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Dog Dehydration post image

Dog dehydration is a very real threat in Okinawa and it can be a serious matter. Whether caused by illness, exposure to heat, or just a simple lack of fluid intake, dehydration must be addressed immediately and, left untreated, can cause multiple health problems including organ failure and death. It is very easy for a dog to become dehydrated; easier than many pet owners realize. Fortunately it is also easy to prevent dehydration in dogs and it is very important to do so.

Dehydration is an excess loss of bodily fluids. It most often involves the loss of water and electrolytes such as sodium, chloride, and potassium. Dehydration in dogs can be caused by illness (especially if the dog has a fever), exposure to extreme heat, strenuous exercise in Oki’s heat & humidity, or a number of other factors. Dog’s constantly loose fluids by panting and this natural act can result in dehydration if the fluids are not replaced. Remember that a panting dog is a hot dog because they lack sweat glands on most of their body (they only have them on their noses and between their toes). They pant in an effort to regulate their body temperature.

Preventing Dog Dehydration

The best way to prevent dehydration is to make sure your dog has plenty of fresh water available both outside & inside. The dog should always have at least one full bowl of water available at all times and, if the dog has the run of the house, bowls in various locations may be appropriate.

Dogs in Oki should be kept indoors as much as possible, especially during the hot summer months. It is imperative that dogs have shade when they are outdoors because shade drops the temperature by 15-20 degrees. This makes a huge difference when your dog is wearing a fur coat & is unable to sweat! Do not rely on a dog house for shade – the temperature inside is usually hotter than sitting outside in the sun!

Treating a Dehydrated Dog

If you suspect that your dog is dehydrated, get it some water immediately and then get it to the vet. Signs of dehydration can include a lack of elasticity to the skin, dry and sunken eyes, and a dry mouth and nose. Dehydrated dogs will also experience a delay in capillary refill time. To test for this, pull the dog’s lip away from its gum (gently) and press a finger against the gum until the area whitens. Release your finger and the color should return to the area almost immediately. A delay could be an indication of dehydration.

Lots of water is the best way to replace fluids, but a severely dehydrated dog should not be allowed to take in large amounts at once. This will result in vomiting and a further loss of fluids. Instead let the dog drink small amounts over a period of time. Electrolytes can be replaced with a hydrating solution like Pedialyte or Gatorade. Do not give ice water to a dehydrated dog. When given ice water, the dogs body will stop the natural cooling process and making the situation worse.

Rinsing your dog off to aid in the cooling process is also helpful.

Any dog that seems dehydrated or refuses to drink should be seen by a vet to determine appropriate treatment and whether the dehydration is a symptom of some other ailment.

Enjoy safe, fun summer adventures in Oki with your dog this year by taking water everywhere!

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