Dog blog Musher: #9
Whether you run hounds, hunting dogs, cow dogs, or huskies, you have to keep your canine athlete hydrated. I like to keep clean water available to the dog all day and night. During the winter with water bowls freezing, that can be more difficult. If the dog is working a full day’s work, (5 miles or more) you may want to try some of these hydration tips.
- Ask you local meat market to freeze their over dated fish (fish is over 90% water) and snack your dog with it especially during the work day. You may have to offer around 30 cents a pound for their time and freezer space.
- Add water to their kibble.
- Ice treats,…. Take a sandwich bag and fill it about half full of water and add flavors to it (chopped liver, or chicken fat, etc.) I like to offer the ice treats, after they have already drank their water so they top off their tank.
- Add canine electrolytes to their water. Hyrolyte is a proven brand.
- I like to sprinkle a food additive over their water, called Super Fuel (over 32% protein and 25% fat) from Animal Naturals. The dogs may not be drinking their water and when I add Super Fuel, they will start to drink, and most often, finish the whole bowl!
- Hot dogs are full of water!
You can water your dog throughout the workout, but if your dog should begin vomiting from whatever reason, then you need to stop the dog from running until it stops. If you don’t the may inhale some of the moisture in the vomit and catch pneumonia, or worse yet an infection in the lungs from bacteria in the vomit.
If you suspect the dog is dehydrated, then here are two simple ways to check.
- Lift up the hide from the back of the neck or top of the head and release. The hide should snap back into position. Test you dog when it is fully hydrated to know its natural return time. If the dog is dehydrated then the hide won’t return to its natural laying state, or it will go back into position very slowly.
- Lift the dog’s lip on the side of the mouth and press on the upper gum. There will be a white spot created when you release your finger in the pink of the gum. The white spot should be quickly replaced by the natural color of the pink gum. If it doesn’t then your dog has hydration problems.
If your dog has become dehydrated then immediately stop the dog’s activity until proper hydration has returned.
One of the keys to a healthy dog is a well hydrated dog. GOOD LUCK.