Signs Your Dog Is Dehydrated
Knowing the signs of dehydration will help you keep your pet safe from a potentially fatal condition. With the summer months upon us, dogs are more susceptible to dehydrate though dehydration can occur at any time throughout the year.
Dehydration is no laughing matter - it's a serious condition that can rapidly become a life or death situation for a dog. Understanding the signs will help you take action quickly.
What are the symptoms of a dehydrated dog?
- Loss of elasticity in the skin: You can test this symptom by gently pulling on your dog's skin - if the skin takes longer than two seconds to return to its original position, the dog may be dehydrated
- Loss of moisture in the dog's gums: This symptom presents itself through dry and sticky gums accompanied by thick and pasty saliva.
- Loss of appetite
- Dry nose
- In severe cases, a dog's eyes can be sunken or they may collapse from shock.
What causes dogs to become dehydrated?
Dogs can become dehydrated several ways:
- Continual vomiting
- Continual diarrhea
- Lack of fluid intake
- Excessive urinating
How to prevent dehydration in your dog:
1. Provide plenty of access to water
Providing your dog with a sufficient supply of clean water to drink helps prevent dehydration much like how humans drink water to maintain hydration. However, if your dog is outside often in hot weather or exercises a lot, they'll require additional fluids to keep their hydration levels stable.
2. Avoid exercise in hot temperatures
Exercise leads to loss of fluids in dogs the same way it does in humans. As they regulate their body temperature through panting, exercising in hotter weather can lead to dehydration more quickly.
It's advised to wait until the cooler evenings set in - this will help keep your dog from overheating and experiencing other issues such as heat stroke or burnt paws from the ground.
3. Keep a bottle of water and a bowl on hand
When you pack a bottle of water for yourself when you're out and about, it's helpful to also pack one and a small bowl for your dog as well. By doing so, you can ensure they're keeping their fluids up, especially if they're going to be walking around or exercising.
4. Don't leave your dog in the car
Leaving your dog in the car is extremely dangerous - as mentioned previously, they regulate their body temperature through panting. This can exacerbate dehydration, as well as lead to heat stroke and sudden death.
How to treat dehydration in dogs:
The treatment for dehydration depends on the severity of the case. Like humans, dogs lose minerals as they dehydrate and IV fluids can often be a necessity to restore their hydration levels. More mild cases usually are treated by providing access to fresh, clean water. Dehydration can be debilitating and require your pet to be monitored by a veterinarian.
If you're concerned about your pet, it's best to get in contact with a veterinarian as soon as possible to prevent the issue from worsening or to diagnose the underlying cause of dehydration. Book an appointment or call us on (07) 4630 8399 - we're here to keep your pet as happy and healthy as possible.