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Can My Dog Be Dehydrated?

We all know that water is important. When we lack water, our mouth is dry, our head hurts, and we often find ourselves irritable. That’s how it goes for us humans, but what about our dogs? Did you know that your dog can get just as easily dehydrated as we can? All mammals need water to function. It plays a huge role in all of our bodies; helping lubricate joints, regulating body temperature, transporting nutrients, flushing waste, and more. We naturally gain and lose water every day, but sometimes we lose more than we take in. And that’s when any mammal can become dehydrated.

Signs of dehydration in your dog:

It can be harder to determine if your dog is dehydrated because they can’t exactly tell us how they are feeling. But if you know what to look for then it can be easy to help get them rehydrated and back feeling their best.

  • Reduced energy levels and/or lethargy
  • Dry nose and gums
  • Loss of skin elasticity
  • Panting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sunken, dry-looking eyes
  • Loss of balance
  • Wobbly walk
  • Sticky mucous membranes
  • Decrease in urine output
  • Dulled mental activity

Prevention Tips!

  • Make sure your pup has access to clean water at all times. They like the taste of fresh water just like we do so be sure to clean it and change it frequently!
  • Did you know that dogs should drink roughly one ounce of water per pound of body weight per day? Make sure they are drinking enough! Encourage them to do so if they are not!
  • To minimize spillage, make sure that there is rubber on the bottom of the water bowl so it doesn’t slip and spill.
  • Always bring extra water or a water bottle especially for your pup when you walk or hike. Always offer them some!

If you notice your pet is drinking less than usual, check his mouth for sores or other foreign objects, such as burrs or sticks. If there are none and your dog is still not drinking an adequate amount of water, seek veterinary advice. Monitoring water intake is especially important if he’s recovering from diarrhea, vomiting or other illnesses.

How to treat dehydration in your dog:

Slight dehydration can be treated with access to clean water. Usually, your dog will often drink on their own if they have a fresh bowl of clean water. But moderate to severe dehydration can debilitate your dog and need veterinary attention. They may not be able to easily drink on their own. Your vet may need to administer fluid therapy is generally administered slowly through an IV. Fluid taken in too quickly can have negative results, so make sure to seek professional help. Dehydration left untreated can cause shock, illness, and can even result in death.

If you’ve been out in the heat or your dog is recovering from an illness they are more likely to suffer from dehydration. Make sure to be on the lookout for the hallmark signs to keep them safe. After all, we don’t want our pets to be sick from something that can usually be easily treated.

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