How to Know if Your Dog Is Dehydrated

February 10, 2023

Caring for your furry friend is a top priority for responsible and loving pet owners. Dehydration is a serious concern for dogs, just like humans. It can affect dogs of all ages, particularly those living in warm climates or undergoing strenuous activity.

When dogs are dehydrated, it leads to significant health issues like –

  • kidney damage
  • electrolyte imbalance
  • heat exhaustion
  • increased thirst
  • shock
  • digestive tract issues
  • lower energy levels
  • constipation
  • And even death in severe cases

These problems can be life-threatening if not quickly addressed with proper treatment. That’s why it’s crucial to recognize the signs of dehydration in your dog so that you can seek medical help as soon as possible. Let’s see how to tell if a dog is dehydrated.

How to Check if a Dog is Dehydrated?

As a responsible pet parent, caring for your dog goes beyond giving them enough food and water. It’s equally important to check their hydration status to maintain health regularly. Don’t underestimate the danger of dehydration in your pet. Early detection is crucial in avoiding severe consequences, starting with understanding the warning signs.

  • If you suspect your dog is dehydrated, look for the classic symptom of sunken eyes. This is often one of the earliest symptoms, but it can be easily overlooked. Other indications include a dry nose and mouth and decreased skin elasticity when pinched on the back of the neck or shoulder
  • A telltale sign is dehydrated gums in dogs. An adequately hydrated dog’s gums must be soft, salmon-colored, or pink bubble gum. Dogs dehydrated gums appear dry and pale in color. Check your dog’s gums by pressing a finger on the gum line. Healthy gums will turn white briefly and then return to normal color. If they don’t, your dog may need hydration
  • A decreased skin elasticity is a common indicator of dehydration in dogs. To check for dehydration in dogs, pinch the skin. If the skin returns to its normal position quickly, your dog is fine and hydrated. But if it takes longer, your friend is dehydrated
  • A dried-out snout is also a sign of dehydration in dogs. But remember that a dry nose is not always a sign of dehydration, as it could be due to other factors such as a cold or the dog licking its nose frequently
  • It’s also essential to monitor your dog’s urine output. A dehydrated dog may produce less or have difficulty producing urine, and their urine will be dark yellow or brown. But if your dog is well hydrated, their urine will be light yellow and produced in more significant amounts
  • Another obvious dehydration symptom in dogs is increased panting and thirst, accompanied by decreased energy levels
  • A dehydrated dog may experience constipation due to reduced fluid levels in the body
  • Drinking habits reflect your pet’s hydration levels. A decrease in water intake or disinterest indicates dehydration and calls for veterinary attention

How to Rehydrate Your Dog Fast?

An effective way to rehydrate your friend is to give them an electrolyte solution, either through a syringe or a teaspoon of glucose syrup mixed in warm water, given every 15 minutes for 2 hours. Use a low-sodium electrolyte solution, as excessive salt can harm your puppy.

Try feeding them wet or canned food instead of dry food to help them stay hydrated, as wet food is more hydrating and provides valuable nutrients and liquid. If your dog is uninterested in eating, try offering them small amounts of chicken or other meats to encourage them to drink.

Monitor your dog closely and ensure they are drinking enough. You can also place the bowl on the ground and let them drink from your hand for safety. If your pet is still dehydrated after 24 hours, take them to an emergency vet for further evaluation and treatment. In severe cases of dehydration, vets may need to rehydrate them using intravenous fluids.

How to Prevent Dehydration in Dogs?

Preventing dehydration in dogs involves providing access to clean water, offering water frequently, providing wet food, avoiding over-exertion, offering electrolyte supplements, monitoring health, and taking breaks during long car rides. These simple steps can help maintain your dog’s hydration levels and prevent dehydration from becoming a severe issue.

At Oklahoma Veterinary Specialists, we know how important it is to get prompt treatment for dehydrated dogs. Our vets have the knowledge and expertise to diagnose and treat dehydrated dogs, providing the necessary care to restore their hydration levels and improve their overall health. Your dehydrated dog can fully recover and return to their usual, energetic self with prompt treatment.

Oklahoma Vets provide the best services for your beloved dog. Don’t let your dog suffer from dehydration any longer. Contact us now for an appointment before it’s too late!

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