By. Dr. Rachel Walsh, ReplenishDog.com
- With two more months of potentially hot days, tell us the biggest dangers pets face with the Texas heat?
The Texas heat is wonderful for so many fun outdoor activities, however we do have to be mindful of our dog’s health just as much as our own when they are outside in the heat! It’s important to be aware that if a dog is either overactive in hot and humid weather or is left in a hot car too long, they are very likely to become overheated. If they cannot adequately cool down and are dehydrated, they run a high risk of developing a heat stroke which can cause life-threatening biological changes such as organ damage and even death. Obese dogs or dog breeds with short noses (Pugs, Shih Tzu’s, Bulldogs) are much more prone to heat stroke than those with longer noses. Heat stroke is an emergency that needs to be addressed by a veterinarian. However, heat stroke can be prevented by avoiding excessive heat and by enticing frequent water consumption with non-electrolyte containing products such as Replenish Dog Water Supplement. In addition to heat stroke, you should pay attention to the hot temperature of the pavement when walking your dog. Dogs do have protective pads on their feet, but they can still get significant paw pad burns from hot concrete. Skin sunburns can also occur, especially on light and thin coated dogs. Paw pad burns and sun burns can be avoided by walking and running during the cooler times of the day.
- What are the biggest myths or misunderstandings about heat related safety with pets?
We all know that it is important to drink fluids when exercising in hot weather to help stay hydrated and cool your core body temperature down. However, one important misconception is that dogs can drink the same type of sports drinks as we can. In fact, electrolyte drinks have been proven to inhibit rehydration in dogs. I’ll explain why. Dog’s do not sweat to cool down like we do (besides a very tiny amount from their paw pads). Dogs use panting to cool their core body temperature down by the following process: They inhale cool air, which then extracts heat from the blood vessels in their nose and mouth, and then they exhale the body heat. Since dogs do not sweat, they also do not lose electrolytes in their sweat like we do. Therefore, if you add electrolytes to their water, you are in fact giving them unnecessary salts which then dehydrate their body. If they are dehydrated, then there is less blood in the vessels to pull heat from and the panting process is not very effective. In summary, giving dogs electrolytes drinks after exercise is not actually helpful for recovery.
- What prompted you to create a hydration product for dogs in the hot months?
I was inspired to create Replenish Dog Water Supplement after my own dog Sammy almost had a heat stroke at the dog park. After much experience with treating heat stroke in the vet clinic and the scary experience of my own, I decided to create a water supplement to help prevent dehydration and overheating. Following a year of research, I developed a formula designed to be added to dog’s water to entice them to drink water when they are hot and panting and replenish their core nutrients needed for recovery. With my background as an All-American Track and Field Athlete, I also tailored Replenish to be a canine sports drink to help keep our K9 athletes at the top of their game! Replenish can also be used by dogs that are recovering from illness to help them stay hydrated and consume nutrients to support a faster recovery.
- What are the ingredients and tell us why each one matters from a nutrient standpoint?
Replenish is formulated with only 5 key ingredients that have been proven to be beneficial to active dogs and recovery. The first ingredient is a powdered chicken bone broth that quickly dissolves in your dog’s water bowl and entices them to drink water. Multiple studies in working dogs showed that the most important ingredient in recovery was water consumption. But how can you force a dog to drink water if they are panting heavily? You make it extremely tasty! 9/10 dogs can’t resist the taste of the Replenish chicken broth once you splash it on their lips. The second ingredient is a simple carbohydrate. Studies have shown that consumption of a simple carbohydrate within 1 hour of exercise will replenish the energy storage in the cells almost back to 100% by the next day. If a dog eats a regular meal hours after exercise, their cellular energy storage only returns to about 75% the next day. This cellular energy is needed for overall healing and subsequent activities. The last 3 ingredients are key antioxidants which include blueberry powder, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin B6. Antioxidants are helpful for eliminating waste and promoting overall recovery at the cellular level. All these ingredients are combined into a “hypotonic” solution which is a fancy way of saying it is absorbed just as quickly as water. Therefore, there is no quicker way to get hydration and key nutrients into your dog’s body other than placing an intravenous catheter in a veterinary clinic. There are no electrolytes in Replenish for the reasons mentioned above. Replenish is made in Texas with all human grade ingredients and was created by a veterinarian. Visit www.replenishdog.com to learn more!