The dog days of summer are a good time to train your dog for the fall hunting season. However, working your dog hard in the hot sun can lead to heat exhaustion or, worse, heatstroke.
To avoid that, give it plenty of water during and after any vigorous outdoor outing to help cool it down and speed its recovery. Here’s how to make sure your pooch stays well hydrated.
#1 KEEP IT CLEAN
Bringing water from home is a safer option than allowing your dog to drink stagnant water. Blue-green algae show up in late summer, and that can be bad news for a thirsty dog. Regularly providing dogs with fresh, cool water lowers the chances they’ll slurp from a scummy pond.
#2 MAKE IT EASY
There are many ways to give dogs water in the field. If I’m at my truck with ample water, I’ll fill a regular dog bowl as needed. Avoid collapsible bowls, as they’re too tippy. In the field, a sports bottle with a pull-up spout works well, though some spillage is inevitable. To avoid that, I recently got Vapur’s Ez Lick portable dog bottle, which features a lick-ball water dispenser. With this clever system, dogs can drink all they want and hardly waste a drop.
#3 GO SLOWLY
Some hot and thirsty dogs are water gulpers, but if they drink too fast, the water may come back up as quickly as it went down. Start the rehydration process slowly, adding a little water to their bowl at a time or allowing small sips from a water bottle. After quenching their initial thirst and cooling them down a bit, dogs are less likely to drink too fast.
#4 PROVIDE OPTIONS
Some dogs will refuse water when offered, even when they need it. To entice a picky drinker, try adding water to their food or sprinkling the water with bouillon flavouring. Some dog owners add a probiotic to the water, which makes it taste better and promotes good gut health. Finally, another option is to let dogs munch on ice cubes.