Dog Dehydration (Dehydration in Dogs)
Dehydration in dogs is a serious condition and without prompt Veterinarian treatment, your dog could die within 18-24 hours after dehydration occurs and faster if your dog is experiencing Dog Vomiting or has Dog Diarrhea. Fluid is essential to every organ and muscle in your dog’s body. In fact 90% of your dog’s weight is water and losing even 10% of that fluid causes severe dehydration. It is therefore, important for you to know what causes dehydration, how to prevent it and the best way to treat it. Having this knowledge may save your pet’s life.
Causes of Dehydration
While most recorded cases of severe dehydration in dogs occurs mostly during the summer months, the fact is that your dog can become dehydrated at any time of the year. The main cause of dehydration is that your dog is taking in less fluid than he is losing.
This occurs when:
- Your dog takes in less liquid than he loses during panting or urinating.
- He has diarrhea
- Bacterial infections
Under the right conditions even the most well cared for dog can become dehydrated. Dehydration can occur so quickly that the owner may not even realize what is happening until the dog is in serious trouble. Being aware of the signs of dehydration in your pet may help you to counteract it before it is too late and your dog is in serious trouble.
Signs of Dehydration:
Loss of skin elasticity. When your dog loses some of the fluid necessary to his health his skin becomes less elastic. One way to check your dog’s skin elasticity is to gently lift the skin near his shoulders and pull it up as far as it will go and then release it. If it does not immediately snap back into place then he is dehydrated and you need to take steps to give him the fluid he needs.
Check your dog’s gums. Checking your dog’s gums is another way to ensure that your dog is hydrated. Gently push on your dogs gum until it turns white and then release it, if the gum takes a long time to become red again or if his gums feel sticky then dehydration is taking place.
As dehydration progresses you may see signs of lethargy, depression, and sunken eyes. If you see any of these last three signs and a check on your dogs gums or skin elasticity does indicate dehydration seek veterinarian care immediately.
Prevention and Treatment
The best treatment for dehydration in dogs is prevention. Make sure that there is always plenty of fresh water available for your dog to drink and that he is indeed drinking it. If your dog seems reluctant to drink water or seems to drink too little, then mix unflavored Pedialyte into your dog’s drinking water to help replace the nutrients.
Keep in mind however, that any dehydration is serious for your dog and you must seek professional medical treatment for your dog in order to determine and treat the cause of the dehydration as well as the dehydration itself.