SAN DIEGO, Sept. 8, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Balboa Veterinary Hospital in San Diego is warning pet owners about the dangers of animal dehydration during the warm summer months. According to the San Diego veterinarians, higher summer temperatures and extended outdoor playtime increases the risk for dehydration in dogs and cats. Dehydrated pets are at greater risk for heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Without veterinary intervention, heat stroke can be fatal for pets. The animal hospital is urging pet owners to keep pets hydrated, learn the warning signs of heat stroke, and to be vigilant about pets' overall health during the summer months.
Warmer summer temperatures and increased outdoor activities raises the risk for dehydration and heat stroke in pets, says the veterinary team at Balboa Veterinary Hospital. The veterinarians are urging pet owners to be vigilant this summer and keep pets hydrated.
"Dehydration is common among pets during the summer months," said veterinarian Dr. Juan Pablo Romero. "Animals, just like humans, require additional water intake during warmer weather in order to stay hydrated. Additionally, due to increased outdoor activities, pets are at a greater risk for over-exertion, which elevates the risk for dehydration."
Water is essential to all living beings, including dogs. Water makes up 80% of a dog's body, says, Dr. Romero, and a drop in fluid levels can have a significant impact on an animal's overall health. Dehydration occurs when fluid levels drop below normal due to decreased water intake or increased fluid loss. Symptoms of dehydration include sunken eyes, lethargy, dry mouth, loss of appetite, and depression.
"During the summer, dehydration can occur after outdoor activities, such as an afternoon playing on the beach in Coronado, a long run, or even a vigorous game of fetch," said Dr. Romero. "Pet owners need to be vigilant about not only providing water after outdoor activities, but managing their pet's level of exertion."
Dr. Romero says pet owners should provide pets with constant access to fresh water and change it regularly. If pets will be outside for extended periods, the veterinarian recommends partially freezing a pet's water bowl. As the day progresses, the water will melt, giving pets constant access to fresh water.
During the summer months, Balboa Veterinary Hospital reports an increase in the number of pets who are dehydrated or suffering from heat exhaustion.
"Many of these cases could be prevented through vigilance and reduced outdoor activity," said Dr. Romero. "Pets can become dehydrated even on overcast days that are not 'hot'. Vigilance and early intervention are key to preventing more serious health problems."
Pet owners who suspect their pets are dehydrated should contact their veterinarian, says Dr. Romero.
Balboa Veterinary Hospital is accredited by the American Animal Hospital Associations (AAHA). The vet hospital provides comprehensive wellness care services, including vaccinations, annual exams, pet surgery, and dog grooming. To learn more please visit their website at http://mybalboavet.com/.
Balboa Veterinary Hospital 888-667-5235