How To Help Your Dog Stay Hydrated

By: Champion Senior Veterinarian, Dr. Darcia Kostiuk, DVM

When you’re out walking or going on adventures with your dog, it’s important to ensure they’re well hydrated to help keep them healthy, happy, and safe, especially if they’re being active.

Note that dogs do not have the ability to sweat like humans do (except for a small amount from their paw pads), so they pant to expel excess heat from their body. Panting is a very good indication of whether a dog may need to have water provided to them.

Don’t fear though, because in general, dogs are often easier to keep hydrated than their feline friends!  Just in case, here are some warning signs that your dog might be dehydrated to look out for so you can ensure they stay safe:

  1. While they’re panting, check to see if their tongue is getting swollen or starting to get a darker color. This may indicate dehydration and heat stress that needs to be addressed immediately by providing water, a cool environment and a trip to the vet hospital to check on them.
  2. If you notice that they are no longer drooling/slobbering with their panting – that is because they do not have any excess water to do so. If you try to give them water at this point and they do not or cannot drink it, immediate veterinary attention is warranted.
  3. If a dog becomes very lethargic and even stops panting, immediate veterinary attention is necessary.

To help prevent your dog from becoming dehydrated, here are some handy tips:

  • To help prevent dehydration in the first place, it’s a very good idea to carry a pup-friendly water bottle or collapsible bowl with you whenever you are out and about with your dog, and to encourage them to drink from it often.
  • To help encourage your dog to drink water, simply carry some kibble or treats for snacks in addition to cool clean water. We recommend ORIJENTM Freeze-Dried Treats.
  • Feed your dog wet dog food like ORIJENTM Wet Dog Food to help keep them hydrated every meal.
  • Carry a container of ice cubes (especially when it’s hot) because some dogs prefer to crunch on them. 
  • Try not to let your dog drink from puddles. This is not recommended because of potential contamination of that water with parasites that can cause gastrointestinal upset, so try to discourage this behavior.

I hope these tips will help you keep your dog hydrated, happy and safe on all your upcoming adventures together!

Dr. Darcia Kostiuk is the senior veterinarian behind ORIJENTM pet foods. She has over 20 years of veterinary experience and is the proud pet parent of Max, Ruby, and Ember.