How to Make the Most of National Pet Hydration Awareness Month

National Pet Hydration Awareness Month - A dog Trying to drink Water

Summers can be harsh on humans as well as on pets! As we know, 55-60% of a human’s body, whereas, 80% of a dog’s and cat’s body is made up of water. Hence, the water intake of canines and felines is crucial to be taken care of. Well, you must be wondering- Why and when do we celebrate National Pet Hydration Awareness Month?

As the name suggests, it is a month to increase awareness regarding the importance of hydration for pets. This event is celebrated every year in July.

Brief History

PetSafe, an organization, introduced National Pet Hydration Awareness Month in 2018. As per the organization, pet parents should be better informed about the significance of keeping their animals hydrated.

The awareness campaign also urged pet parents to minimize their pets’ exposure to extreme temperatures and value their pets’ hydration.

Symptoms of Dehydration in Pets

There are some signs and symptoms signifying that pets are dehydrated. To boot, there are more ways to check the hydration levels of pets.

So, let’s move on to the list of symptoms of dehydration in pets:

Loss of appetite:

A dull and unhappy digestive system leads to a loss of appetite.


Lack of water leads to a pathological state of unresponsiveness and sleepiness.

Excessive Panting:

A pet’s body drains energy due to insufficient water, leading to panting even after limited physical activity.

Sunken, dry-looking eyes:

This happens because the body loses its essential fluids.

Dry nose and gums:

Dehydration negatively affects the natural behavior of consistent salivation.

Loss of skin elasticity:

Skin becomes less elastic when moisture levels are low.

Here are a couple of other ways to check the dehydration level of your pet at home:

Skin Test:

Gently, pinch your pet’s skin between the thumb and forefinger. If the skin takes longer to spring back into its actual position then your pet is dehydrated.

Gum Test:

If your pet’s gums look dry, and pale, feel tacky, and take longer to refill their capillaries, this indicates water intoxication in pets.

Ways to Observe National Pet Hydration Awareness Month

Pet parents can help keep their fur buddies safe, healthy, and hydrated during the hot months with these listed tips:

  • Always make sure to stock a fresh and clean water bowl supply in all the respective corners your pet accesses.
  • For more water intake, add wet food and supplements along with regular food, fresh fruits, and vegetables.
  • Keep a check on your pet’s dehydration level even if you don’t see any potential symptoms on their skin and gums.
  • Add broth or ice cubes to the water bowl for more water intake and ensure to provide a separate bowl of water during meals.

Also Read: Fresh Water – Essential for Hydration and Hygiene in Pets

What is Water Intoxication?

Also known as water poisoning, hyperhydration, and water toxemia, water intoxication can occur suddenly and can get fatal. The body experiences hyperhydration when it becomes overloaded with water.

Hyponatremia, the first sign, occurs when the sodium levels outside the cells are low. Within a few moments, to combat such a condition, some organs become rigid to accommodate the increased volume of swelling cells. That further leads to adversely affecting the organs of cats and dogs.

When pets drink large amounts of water at once, they risk water intoxication due to the resulting imbalance of electrolytes within their cells.

Additionally, small-sized, highly active, and obese pets are more prone to gulp excess amounts of water. Therefore, it is crucial to watch over your pets when they play in watery locations since it is extremely harmful to neglect water intoxication.

Signs of Water Intoxication

A few visible symptoms indicate water intoxication, as mentioned below:

Mild Indicators:

Loss of coordination, lethargy, nausea, bloating, dilated pupils, glazed eyes, pale gums, and immoderate salivation

Critical Indicators:

Difficulties while breathing, unconsciousness, seizures, coma, and collapse

Water Intoxication Prevention

There are safe and effective ways to help protect a furry friend from water intoxication.

  • Supervise your companion animal while playing in or around the water.
  • Limit the playtime in or around large water areas.
  • Keep your pooch hydrated to minimize their urge to drink more liquid.
  • Make sure your pet goes for a kidney functioning test once a year to avoid any hazards.

Final Thoughts:

National Pet Hydration Awareness Month aims to highlight the ease with which our pets, especially cats, can become dehydrated. If you have any animals in your home during summertime, watch out for the above-mentioned symptoms of dehydration. Along with that, make sure there is plenty of water in your home to help prevent dehydration in pets. On the other hand, excessive water consumption can also lead to health hazards like water intoxication. However, by following the correct measures, you can help prevent such water hazards and keep your furry friend healthy, happy, and safe.