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Dog Dehydration


What causes dehydration in dogs?

Dehydration happens when moisture disappears from the dog’s body. Usually this happens because of excessive urination, and in extreme cases due to diarrhea and/or vomiting.

However, it can also happen when the dog doesn’t consume enough water or when he’s exposed to excessive heat.

Most dog owners want to give more water and/or food to their pet when it has been vomiting.

That’s a bad idea!

In fact, it can make things a lot worse. The dog’s system needs to rest a while to recover. Giving more water or food increases the likelihood of more vomiting, thus losing more moisture from the body.

Dehydration can lead to severe kidney problems, as well as the failure of other organs! Often times, severe dehydration goes hand in hand with other clinical conditions such as vomiting, diarrhea and fever.

Signs of dog dehydration

In order to determine whether your dog is dehydrated, you should follow these 3 steps:

Step 1: Lift up the skin - Dog dehydration skin test

Lift the skin in the dog’s neck and see how long it takes for it to return to its normal position. If it takes longer than a few seconds to fully return, your dog may have mild to severe dehydration. If the skin doesn’t return at all, your dog may be in a critical condition and needs immediate veterinary attention!

Please note that this is indicative and is not a 100% accurate test. The flexibility of the dog’s skin depends on age, size, breed, weight and skin condition.

Step 2: Check the eyes

If the eyes look dry and it seems like they are sunken into the eye sockets, your dog is severely dehydrated and in a critical condition.

Step 3: Check inside the mouth - Dog dehydration gums

Is there a lot of saliva present? Is the mouth dry? Excessive, thick saliva is an indication of dehydration. Saliva should be watery and not very sticky. A dry mouth is an obvious sign of dehydration!

How to prevent dehydration?

Make sure your dog has enough fresh water available at all times, especially in a warm environment and after exercise. If your dog is a bad drinker, you can add a generous amount of water to his food.

Additionally, you can give your dog wet food. Wet food contains a lot of water!

Always make sure that your dog drank enough water. If you notice that your dog is not drinking enough, there may be an underlaying problem. 

Dog Dehydration Treatment & First Aid

Mild dehydration

Mild dehydration is when the dog is not vomiting, having diarrhea or other severe clinical signs. Always have fresh water available and make sure your dog drinks small amounts of water every couple of hours.

Moderate to severe dehydration

Your dog needs immediate veterinary help! If the dog is in pain or hasn’t eaten in 24 hours, veterinary help is needed! In extreme cases, your dog may need IV fluids and needs to stay at the hospital

That was it for today! 

Thank you for staying with me, I hope you've learned some useful information. 

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