Signs and Symptoms of Dog Dehydration

Learn About Dog Dehydration Causes, Treatment and Prevention

Is Your Dog Dehydrated?

Dog Dehydration is an excess loss of water in the dog's body and can be extremely dangerous. Water is essential to animals and adequate intake of daily fluids is needed for properly maintaining your dog's health. If dehydration is left untreated can lead to dangerous complications such as organ failure and death.

Canine owners should learn to recognize the symptoms of dog dehydration so that they can respond with the proper first aid for the dog or take them in for veterinarian treatment if needed.

About Dehydration in Dogs

Dehydration occurs when a dog does not have enough water in it's body. Water makes up about 90 percent of the dogs weight and a dog can become seriously dehydrated from 10 percent fluid loss in the body. Dehydration is not just a loss of water but also a loss of minerals such as sodium, chloride and potassium.

Causes of Dog Dehydration

As described above dog dehydration happens when there is a reduction of fluid intake or an excessive amount of fluid loss. An excessive amount of fluid loss can be caused by a number of health problems such as: not drinking enough water, sickness, recuperation from surgery, overexposure to heat, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, overexertion, stress, excessive panting, excessive drooling, dry mouth and tremors.

Dog Dehydration Symptoms

Learning to recognize dog dehydration symptoms and taking quick action is important for the health of a dog that may be dehydrated. By knowing the symptoms of dog dehydration you can help the dog avoid complications. Dog dehydration symptoms vary widely but can include the flowing:

Lack of Skin Elasticity: a dog owner can perform this test at home. Pick up the skin of the dog's neck into a fold, release the skin and watch what it does. It should spring back into place. If the dog is dehydrated, the skin will stay up in a ridge. The longer it takes for the skin to return to normal the more severe the dehydration.

Dry Gums: which is known as a delay in capillary refill time. A healthy dog will have wet, slippery, reflective gums. A dehydrated dog will have gums that are dull and sticky.

Other Dog Dehydration Symptoms: sunken eyes, too much or too little urination and depression.

Treatment of Dog Dehydration

Dog dehydration treatment is directed at replacing fluids and preventing loss of additional fluids. This can be done by the owner or by a veterinarian depending on the level of dehydration.

Treatment for Severe Dehydration: is an emergency for a dog. If you think that your dog is excessively dehydrated call your veterinarian right away.

Treatment for Mild Dehydration: does not require a trip to the vet is to try and keep your dog as comfortable as possible and add a little liquid to the dog food. You can also offer you dog pedialyte with it's normal water to help your dog retain fluids.

Prevention of Dog Dehydration

You can help prevent dog dehydration by doing the following: encourage your dog to drink plenty of fresh water, place more bowls of water around the house, monitor the dog’s intake of water and food, bring extra water for your dog when walking or playing with your dog.

Additional Dehydration Resources

There are many other resources on the web where you can find information about dehydration in dogs. Please visit as many as you can and expand you knowledge about the symptoms of canine dehydration.


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