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During those long, hot, lazy days of summer when we all enjoy popping to a local park to exercise our pooches and take in some of that hot summer sunshine, we are led to believe our canine friends and companions are enjoying it as much as we are. The fact is, they’re not!

Even the most athletic, young and healthy dog will dehydrate at such an alarming rate that vigorous outdoor exercise, leaving in a car or shutting them out in the back yard with little shade will cause your dog to pant and overheat so quickly that irreversible liver damage can set in within just 75 seconds.

There are no figures or statistics as to how many dogs died last summer in America because they were left for a few minutes inside a car while the owner “popped into a local store to grab a few groceries” and made sure “all the windows were left open just a little.” However, canine groups estimate that the figure is disturbingly just over 1,000.

If you think your dog might be dehydrated then a quick check of its neck will tell whether it needs water. Ideally after lifting this skin gently, it should ping back to normal right away; if it does not, and remains in that pinched position, your beloved dog has problems.

Just like humans, some dogs will suffer from diabetes and it’s this condition that accelerates dehydration in dogs. Also, if your dog is elderly or pregnant, then make sure the water bowl is accessible and constantly filled up. If you notice sunken eyes, a listless manner, a mouth than is very dry and a dog that has gone right of its food, you can be sure dehydration is either set in or is about to set in.

The problem is that dogs cannot tell us verbally when they need water and because all dogs pant in hot weather or when they are excited, we dismiss this behaviour as just being a bit warm. You also need to change the water in your dog bowl regularly to keep it fresh – just like us humans, when we get real thirsty, the last thing we need is lukewarm water that looks like it has been spat out by another. Dogs are a little fussy in this way too, so change the bowl regularly and be sure it’s slightly chilled so the dog feels the refreshing liquid going down its dehydrated body with every slurp!