Dehydration in Dogs: What You Should Know

We all need water, and your dog needs just as much of it as well! Water is even more crucial compared to protein, carbs, fat, vitamins, minerals, and the like. After all, it’s an absolute necessity in all body functioning, from lubricating joints down to helping with digestion and regulating the body temperature.

Your dog’s body will lose water naturally daily, as they sweat and pant. They will also lose water when doing their potty business. However, dogs that lose too much water, about 10-15% of the water from their body, will suffer from dehydration, which may result in death.

This is why it’s important to learn more about dehydration, its causes, and how to prevent it from happening.

What is Dehydration in Dogs?

Canine dehydration occurs when your dog’s body loses more fluid than it consumes. The blood flow and fluid volume will reduce, which will then reduce oxygen delivery to the tissue and organs. It also results in electrolyte and mineral loss, which can lead to organ failure and death.

Causes and Symptoms of Dehydration

The main cause of canine dehydration is the lack of water intake. This can come from dogs who have no access to clean water or don’t drink enough of it. It may also happen when walking your dog (whether with a no pull dog harness or normal leash) and they have over-exhausted themselves without getting enough water.

If your dog is sick and has been suffering from vomiting, diarrhea, a heat stroke, among other illnesses, it can cause dehydration as well. The symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Loss of appetite and skin elasticity
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy and/or reduced energy
  • Panting
  • Dry nose and sticky gums
  • Thick saliva
  • Dry-looking and sunken eyes

Treating Dehydration in Dogs

If you think that your dog is dehydrated and shows signs of it, have him drink a lot of fresh and cool water, especially if you are facing hot weather. You may also give your dog electrolyte-enhanced fluids, but talk with your doctor to know how much of this you can give to your dog.

And of course, do take him to the vet, especially when he is suffering from serious symptoms. They will administer the appropriate fluids to replace fluids quickly, preventing further loss.

You can prevent dehydration by always bringing a pet water bottle when walking or exercising with your pet outdoors (you can get these from PetSwag), and always provide him clean water everywhere he goes.

The rule of thumb is that dogs need at least an ounce of water daily for every pound they weigh. Their vet can determine how much fluids your dog needs, depending on your dog’s age, weight, and current condition.

Furthermore, keep them updated with their vaccines and keep them healthy to prevent any illnesses with symptoms that can cause dehydration.

Wrapping It Up

Canin dehydration is a very serious issue that needs to be prevented as much as possible. Be sure to keep your dog in a cool area with access to a lot of clean drinking water daily to keep it from happening.