Due to an increase in activity and a slight decrease in food, coupled with rising temperatures, your Boxer is going to need more water in the summer than during the cooler and colder months.
In regard to the increased activity; and this is not just one burst of running or an extra 10 minutes added to a walk. We need to consider that in general there is extra bits of motion all throughout the day and this adds up. Even if a Boxer is not being given purposeful exercise in hot weather, just due to the nicer temps, there is more movement.
The second issue that causes a Boxer dog to need more water is that in general dogs eat 20% less calories in the summer than compared to the winter. For most owners, this will not be exceedingly noticeable; most Boxer will not flat out refuse to eat, it is more of a slight decrease spread out over the course of the entire day. This does however add up and since all food (even dry kibble) holds some water, this means he will need to drink that water instead of eating it.
The third factor is of course rising temperatures. As you probably know, canines sweat from the paws pads; but they also pant when it's hotter out. When panting, this not only allows moisture on the tongue to evaporate, heavy breathing draws moisture from the lining of the lungs and that moisture evaporates as well. And it needs to be replaced.
So, the #1 tip for summer care for Boxers is to take note of how much your Boxer is drinking and to purposefully encourage more drinking if he/she is not hitting the mark.
How much water a Boxer dog needs
will be based on the weight of your dog. We are going to look at what is generally needed and then show the 10% increase that is expected due to the factors listed above.
10 lbs. (4.53 kg) = 1.62 cups (.38 liters) per day. Summer time: up to 1.78 cups (.42 liters)
20 lbs. (9.07 kg) = 3.24 cups (.76 liters) per day. Summer time: 3.56 cups (.84 liters)
30 lbs. (13.6 kg) = 4.86 cups (1.14 liters) per day. Summer time max high end: 5.34 cups (1.26 liters)
40 lbs. (18.1 kg) = 6.48 cups (1.53 liters) per day. Summer time max high end: 7.12 cups (1.68 liters)
50 lbs. (22.7 kg) = 8.1 cups (1.91 liters) per day. Summer time max high end 8.91 cups (2.1 liters)
60 lbs. (27.2 kg) = 9.72 cups (2.29 liters) per day. Summer time max high end: 10.6 cups (2.5 liters)
Your Boxer can be dehydrated without you knowing. Severe signs of dehydration are quite obvious: The gums become dry and sticky, saliva becomes thick, eyes are super sunken and there is severe weakness.
However, a Boxer dog can have minor dehydration, particularly in the summer that will cause:
• Decreased appetite - While dogs do eat a bit less during hot months, if your Boxer is also not drinking enough, than really cause him to not want to eat and that will lead to weight loss.
• Lethargy - While not splayed out, dangerously unable to move as in severe cases, a slight dehydration may take away your Boxer dog's 'pep' and he just won't be his usually self.
• Depression - This may seem a little 'out there' but studies have proven this. Just a small 1.5 percent loss in normal water volume in the body can affect ability to concentrate and cause mood changes (this is true for both humans and canines)
Make a purposeful effort to 1) Take note of how much water your Boxer is drinking and 2) If he/she is not drinking close to the amounts shown above, work to encourage your dog to drink more. To increase water consumption in the summer you can:
1) Offer filtered water. This should be done year-round, but we want to take this time to note that unfiltered tap water is horrible for both human and canine consumption. In the US, it can LEGALLY contains cancer causing agents and other contaminants that can cause all sorts of health issues including skin
lesions, intestinal polyps, allergic dermatitis, stomach distress and much more. Just the legal limits of copper are proven to cause liver and kidney damage long-term.
How can this be? Because the laws say it is safe in small amounts and many people drink a lot of other things beside the water from their kitchen tap (if they dare do so at all). But your Boxer dog's only liquid to drink is water. And he'll be drinking even more in the summer. So, please connect a quality filter to your kitchen sink.
2) Bring water with you in a canine travel container whenever you leave the house with your Boxer dog. Take a break at the 1/2 point in your walk and let him drink. Bring some when you're out driving around and give him some when you park the car. Visiting friends with your Boxer? Bring his water.
3) Have some fun with it and let your Boxer have fun chasing his water! Make a bunch of flavored ice cube treats. You can use low-salt chicken or beef broth or juice; try apple, cranberry or orange ( make sure to get real juice and not the fake flavored kind).
4) If your Boxer's a bit stubborn about drink water, many do better with canine water fountains; it makes it more tempting.