Helen Says, “It’s National Pet Hydration Awareness Month!”


Minnesota pups drink, swim, and play around water all summer long. As July comes to an end, these friendly safety tips can help keep hydration and water-related issues at the forefront of our minds for the rest of the sunny season.

Keeping pups hydrated is hugely important during summertime, as dogs can develop heatstroke, kidney issues, and other serious health problems from lack of hydration. Make sure your dog always has access to fresh, cold water. Plan to bring an extra water bottle for them on walks, and consider placing an additional bowl of fresh water in your yard for when they’re outside for longer periods of time. Always check and change their water source often, especially on hotter days. If you’re thirsty, they probably are too!

Those new to dog parenting may incorrectly assume every dog is born a water-loving swimmer like the labs and retrievers we see playing in the lakes. While some pups do have a natural affinity for swimming, many are unsure of themselves in the water and need to be slowly introduced and accompanied, like a child learning to swim. The sooner you are able to introduce your puppy to water, the better. And while there are many, good dog flotation vests on the market to carefully consider, it is best to always keep a close watch on your dog, regardless of their age, near water — and never leave them unaccompanied near big bodies of water, especially pools where they could fall in accidentally!

Minnesota’s 10,000+ lakes are perfect for summertime fun in the water. Whether you take your dog to play fetch at the beach, bring them on a paddle board or kayak, or take them swimming, a day at the lake is dog heaven. Remember, however, that lake water can contain many harmful toxins, like the notoriously dangerous blue-green algae which is poisonous for dogs. Don’t let your pup drink lake water, or groom themselves after a swim. Avoid murky or algae-covered lakes and puddles altogether, and keep an eye out for signage warning of blue-green algae infestations in your local lakes and ponds. Let them swim only at designated swimming areas, which are frequently tested for bacterial and algae outbreaks.

It’s important to bathe your dog after all the fun in the lakes to wash away any contaminants from their fur. Stop by Dog’s Day Out anytime for DIY self-service baths from Thursday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. — no reservations needed! Or contact us at 612.255.3425 or info@dogsdaympls.com to schedule a full-service bath or professional groom. Keeping your pup safe and hydrated all summer is a team effort and we got your back to help clean up the mess. Plus, we serve all the fresh water your dog can drink!

The advice provided is based on many years of experience as dog parents and operators of one of the largest and longest established dog daycare and boarding facilities in the Twin Cities. Always consult your veterinarian before changing or adding to your dog’s health routines.

 — When not sharing advice, our dog bloggers — Frannie, Lyle, and Helen — share a space with their people, Ralph and Abbe Bernstein.