Keeping Hydrated While Hiking is so Important
My sister hikes a lot and reminded me of how important it is to take plenty of water for yourself and your dog when you go hiking. She said on the trail passing other hikers she came across hikers that brought no water at all, hikers that don’t bring enough water to keep themselves hydrated for the length of their hike or brought water for themselves and not their dogs (our animals need to keep hydrated too).
Just like you, a dog’s body is around 80 percent water. Water is essential to help dissolve and carry substances throughout his body. It’s also the basis for most processes and chemical reactions that keep him healthy. Digestion, circulation, waste filtering, and body temperature regulation are just a few of the internal processes driven by water. If your dog is dehydrated, he can suffer kidney and heart damage, as well as other problems.
Why is dehydration bad? It causes impaired heat dissipation, which causes a rise in body temperature and increased strain on the cardiovascular system. Your heart beats faster, you use up glycogen faster, your brain function becomes impaired. It can also cause overall fatigue and lethargy.
It’s tough to state an actual number or amount of fluid that is recommended since it varies person to person. Essentially, the volume of fluid consumed should be based on sweat lost. Some people sweat a TON and some not at all. The amount of fluid these two types of people need would be different. Fluid should be replaced at a rate close to or equal to sweat loss. Learning how much you sweat can help prevent dehydration.
Signs of some dehydration are: restless and irritable, eyes sunken, mouth and tongue dry, thirsty drinks eagerly, when skin is pinched it goes back slowly. Signs of severe dehydration are: Lethargic or unconscious, eyes very sunken and dry, mouth and tongue very dry, drinks poorly or unable to drink, when skin is pinched it goes back very slowly.
Just remember when hiking or doing any other outdoor activities with a lot of exercising, bring plenty of water, stay hydrated; if you are thirsty you are already dehydrated. There are choices for carrying water with you. There are single bottle waist packs, dual bottle waste packs, hydration packs that carry larger amounts of water.