Dehydration - Dogs>
How Can I Tell If My Dog Dehydrated?
Dehydration is caused whenever your dog does not have enough water in their system. This can occur in hot weather or after your dog has spent a lot of time playing. It can also be a side effect of untreated medical conditions. Proper hydration is necessary for most bodily functions, from circulation to digestion. You may notice your dog panting, unable to eat, or with sunken eyes when dehydrated. Without treatment, dehydration can be fatal.
Skin tenting is one method of measuring your dog’s hydration level. Gently grasp some skin between your fingers and raise it up, like a tent. Let it go and see how long it takes for the skin to snap back. In a hydrated dog, it should be less than a second. Any longer is a sign of some dehydration, with longer amounts of time a sign of severe dehydration.
Prevent Dehydration in Your Pets
Dogs can’t tell you when they’re thirsty, so it’s up to you to ensure they have regular access to clean, fresh water. You should have at least 2 water dishes your dog can reach at all times when you are not home. A weighted water dish may also be necessary to prevent spills if your dog is energetic and plays with their bowl.
NOTE: Small dogs and puppies have a greater risk of dehydration simply because they can only consume so much water at a time. If they go without, they have less reserves to rely on.
If you enjoy going on outings with your dog, make sure to bring water just for them. Bring a separate water bottle and dish with you so they can drink wherever you go. Rivers and lakes are not always safe to drink, so clean water is necessary even on a nature hike.
How to Treat Dog Dehydration
If you believe your dog if dehydrated, you should exercise caution before taking them to our clinics. Reintroduce water slowly – too much water at once can cause your dog to vomit, making them more dehydrated. Consider using ice cubes to control how much water they consume.
There are times when at-home treatment isn’t enough. The vets of Animal Wellness Center can provide an IV with fluid to help hydrate your dog faster and safely. We will also give a thorough exam to determine the source of their dehydration.