Tips for Dogs that are Dehydrated
5 September, 2012

As the summer months are upon us, it is inevitable that when dog owners take their “kids” out or to the dog park, they will become dehydrated.  As in humans, dehydration in dogs can be serious.  And our dogs obviously can’t tell us when they are dehydrated so we need to look for the symptoms which are generally sunken eyes, lethargy, loss of appetite, dry mouth and depression.

If your dog seems to be dehydrated, take him or her to your Vet

If you think that your dog is dehydrated, try to gently lift the skin on the back of your dog’s neck or between his or her shoulder blades and his skin should immediately return to its normal position. If your dog is dehydrated, his or her skin will remain wrinkled.   If it isn’t obvious to you, then your veterinarian will be able to tell whether or not your pup is dehydrated.

If you dog is dehydrated, your veterinarian will give your pup intravenous fluids, and run additional tests, if necessary, to determine the underlying cause of the condition.

Below are some tips to help you prevent your dog from being dehydrated:

1.         Make sure to provide clean water for your dog at all times to ensure its freshness. Also, don’t forget to wash your pet’s water bowl every day to prevent bacteria from forming.

2.         Watch your dog’s water intake (especially in the summer months). Generally, a dog needs at least one ounce of water for each pound of your dog’s body weight per day. It is especially important to monitor your dog’s water intake if he or she is recovering from diarrhea, vomiting or any other illnesses.

3.         Purchase a water bowl with a weighted bottom to prevent your dog from knocking it over.

4.         Bring extra water when you’re traveling or exercising with your dog.  Make sure your dog drinks it as often as you do.  You both need to keep hydrated!

5.         If you notice your pet is drinking less than usual, check his mouth for sores or other foreign objects, such as burrs or sticks that might be caught inside.

6.         At home, try to keep your toilet lid closed at all times to make sure your dog doesn’t drink from it as it can be a source of bacteria.

Dehydration in dogs is similar to humans

Dehydration occurs when your dog’s fluid levels drop to less than normal. This can be caused by  reduced water intake or increased fluid loss. Fluid loss can be due to overheating in hot weather or if your dog is vomiting or has diarrhea.  When your dog does become ill and doesn’t want to eat, make sure that he or she remains hydrated.

I hope these tips help and as always, if you are unsure if your dog is dehydrated, the first place to call is your veterinarian.

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