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Dehydration in Dogs

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Janet Johns
Dehydration in Dogs

How do I know if my dog is dehydrated?

In reality, telling if your dog is dehydrated depends on a few things. The most common pet in the majority of households are dogs and there are different ways of telling if they are suffering from dehydration. Most importantly in dogs, if they are breathing heavily and their saliva is stringy, they are likely to be dehydrated.

What causes dehydration in dogs?

A lack of water, of course! No, in all seriousness, there are plenty of reasons for dehydration in pets and animals, just as there are with humans. Heat can be a huge factor, and dehydration is more common in summer, so think about that before you make your dog chase a stick at the height of June! Illness such as vomiting and diarrhoea are also big issues, because a dog’s body is not ideal for keeping hold of the water, and that can lead to more serious issues, just like passing urine more frequently, which is a very similar issue. Be careful when you see early signs of pet dehydration.

Signs of dehydration in dogs

As mentioned above, there are different ways of understanding pet dehydration. Find below six ways you can tell that your dog is suffering from dehydration so that you can avoid your dog overhearing, but of course, there are many others as well.

  • Panting
  • Lethargy
  • Dry mouth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sunken eyes
  • Elevated heart rate

Puppy dehydration symptoms

When it comes to dehydration in dogs, it’s especially dangerous with puppies. Symptoms of dehydration in dogs include a dry nose, sunken dry-looking eyes, loss of appetite and also sudden vomiting.

If any of these symptoms appear to be relevant to your puppy’s condition then it’s a good idea to alert your veterinarian to find out his opinion on the matter. A dehydrated puppy can be a very serious condition indeed so it’s always best to err on the side of caution.

How can I treat dog dehydration?

In serious cases, you may need to go to the vets, but before that there are things you can do. The most obvious are to feed your dog water as early as you can, as well as taking them out of the heat if they are beginning to lose energy. You should always start by giving them a full head to toe examination if you suspect dehydration, but if you must go to the vet that is where the more detailed diagnosis will take place. 

This comes from a lot of tests, which can include x-rays, blood tests and ultrasound scans which can help detect dehydration in dogs . According to various websites, blood is often taken from the jugular vein in the neck, but the most effective way to deal with serious dehydration is by putting your dog on a drip. 

But this is only a very late resort undertaken by a vet in bad cases. Remember, though, most pets, especially dogs, can only go without water for a few days, so it won’t take long for early signs of dehydration in your pet to appear. It’s always handy when you get dog insurance to make sure all these tests and procedures are covered when dealing with your dog dehydration treatment.

How do I prevent dog dehydration?

Many of these steps just involve common sense, but here goes:

  • Don’t leave your dog in a car - 
  • Avoid exposing your dog to too much hot weather - using energy in the sun will put their bodies under pressure much quicker.
  • Clean your dog’s water bowl, and don’t forget to keep an eye on it. Fill it regularly.
  • Keep dogs away from old food or water, or any source of potentially harmful bacteria. This is a key cause of diarrhoea, which can result in dehydration in your dog and all these prevention methods will help to extend your dog’s life expectancy.