Proper hydration is the foundation for a number of essential physiological processes such as temperature and heart rate regulation, joint lubrication, nutrition absorption, and more. This is true for both humans and animals, and is a constant requirement all year round.
That said, staying hydrated is particularly important in summer when sizzling temperatures and the scorching sun combine to quickly deplete the body of water and electrolytes. Add in some moderate to strenuous outdoor activities like hiking, biking, or playing sports, and it’s not long before dehydration (along with its accompanying symptoms of dizziness, headache, confusion, and excessive thirst) can set in.
Fortunately, keeping your family and pets hydrated is easy—especially when you follow these tips.
- Bring plenty of bottled water for outdoor activities and sip liberally for the duration of the session. A general guideline to follow for adults is to drink approximately seven to 10 ounces of water for every 15 minutes of exertion. Children may have lower requirements depending on relative size.
- Even when staying at home or in the office, strive to consume at least 64 ounces of water daily.
- Although water is the best for replenishing lost fluids and maintaining hydration, juice, coffee, tea, milk, and even soft drinks can also be helpful in this regard.
- Don’t forget that certain foods, including broth, citrus fruits, yogurt, and many vegetables are high in water content and thus contribute to overall hydration.
- Monitor hydration level by keeping an eye on your urine. A pale yellow color is most desirable, while dark yellow urine or significantly lower output could indicate dehydration.
- Cats subsisting on a diet of canned food should drink an additional two to four ounces of water per day. Cats on a diet of dry food need approximately two to three times the amount they eat (e.g. five ounces of dry food would translate to about 10 to 15 ounces of water).
- The widely accepted rule of thumb for dogs is 8.5 to 17 ounces of water per 10 pounds of bodyweight, meaning a 25-pound dog needs anywhere from 21 to 42 ounces per day.
- Provide pets with constant access to clean water. A product such as the CleanFlow Filtered Water Bowl at CozyWinters helps remove impurities and promote consumption.
- When taking pets on extended car trips and outings, be sure to bring a portable water bowl and provide frequent opportunities for drinking.
Now that we’re edging into summer, the dangers of family members and pets becoming dehydrated are ever increasing. But you can keep your outings safe and fun for all involved by using our ideas to stay cool and hydrated.