It is normal for a dog’s body to gain and lose water throughout the day. Panting, breathing, urinating, defecating, and evaporation through the paws all contribute to normal water loss, which your dog compensates for by eating and drinking.
Like in human beings, dehydration is also a serious condition in dogs and it may be due to heat or sickness.
Once not treated easily, dehydration may result to organ failure and even death. Pet owners may try some remedies for treating dehydration, yet should be careful to not wait for too long to ask for professional help in case of serious dehydration.
Know the extent of the dehydration of your dog. The dehydrated dogs will lose the elasticity of the skin. Pull up on skin at scuff of the neck. Then, take note of how fast it returns to its normal area. If it’s longer, it just means that the dog is more dehydrated.
Also, capillary recovery is reduced in dogs that are dehydrated. Push on the gums of the dog with just 1 finger and release.
What Are the Symptoms of Canine Dehydration?
So, how can you tell if your dog is dehydrated? Unfortunately, our dogs can’t tell us they’re thirsty, but knowing the signs of dehydration can help dog owners respond quickly and also catch potential serious medical conditions before they become life-and-death emergencies. According to Dr. Jerry Klein, the AKC’s chief veterinary officer and an expert in veterinary emergency and critical care, symptoms of canine dehydration include:
- Loss of skin elasticity.
- Loss of appetite.
- Vomiting with or without diarrhea.
- Reduced energy levels and lethargy.
- Sunken, dry-looking eyes.
- Dry nose.
- Dry, sticky gums.
- Thick saliva.
How do you prevent dehydration in dogs?
- Ensure your dog has plenty of access to fresh, clean water.
- Check the bowl every few hours.
- Clean your dog’s water bowl daily to prevent bacteria.
- Take bottles of water with you on a walk or when travelling.
- Avoid exercising your dog in hot weather.
- Never leave your dog in a car.
How to Keep Your Dog Hydrated
The body of a dog is around eighty percent water, which is crucial to dissolve and carry the substances throughout his body. It is also the basis for many chemical reactions and processes that would keep him healthy.
Circulation, digestion, regulation of body temperature, and waste filtering are just some of the internal processes that are driven by water.
When your dog is dehydrated, she or he could suffer from heart and kidney damage and some problems. Make sure that your dog can access clean drinking water.
Possible Problems You Should Avoid When Rehydrating Your Dog
Giving your dog with some water might seem easy, yet there are some possible problems that you should avoid no matter what happens and these include the following:
- Purchase your dog water bowls that your dog can’t knock over. A weighted, wide underside is best. If the dog runs the house, place the water bowls in 2 or 3 plates.
- Water bowls require cleaning daily. The bacteria may form on the sides and rims of the bowl, which may made the water dirty easily. The dog might not like to drink from it or would drink soap. If the dog uses hanging water bottle on the kennel or crate, purchase bottle brush to give its inside a better scrub.
- Never purchase water bowls that are too large for your pet. Your dog might only drink water part way down. Properly sized bowls are crucial. Narrow, tall bowls are great for some dogs with long ears like Spaniels and Bassets. Keeping the ears out of water could help prevent any infection. Once you leave the dog a bucket of water, see to it that he could still drink once it gets low. Smaller dogs might fail into the buckets trying to get water.
- Dogs must not be tied or chained and left alone. These could wrap such wires and chains around posts or trees, which shorten the chain.
Dogs that are severely dehydrated will require immediate veterinary care. Most dog owners won’t have either the experience or equipment to rehydrate a dog.
So, it is important that you take your dog to your vet immediately once you suspect he’s very dehydrated.