Water is an integral part of body functioning, especially for all mammals. Your pets are no exception. So, the proper intake of water is not only necessary but mandatory to every significant structural and anatomical function of a dog’s body.
Dehydration in dogs takes place when the body discharges more fluid than it is consuming. It is very common in every mammal including dogs.
Dehydration problems in your pet should not be a nightmare for you, nevertheless, if, in case of a serious condition, left unheeded and untreated it can lead to severe shocks, internal organ damage, if not death.
With dehydration in your dog, some important bodily functions starting from digestion, body temperature, lubrication of joints to proper functioning of internal organs are hampered.
As your dogs are not being able to communicate with you in words, the question that arises is quite obvious. How to understand that my dog is sick and dehydrated? There are warning signs which indicate that your dog is dehydrated and needs treatment.
As an owner, it is your responsibility to pay heed to those warning signs, and if it is crossing the limits, an immediate appointment of a veterinarian should be done.
This article will help you not only to comprehend those warning signs in a better way but also how to prevent your dogs from being dehydrated.
7 Signs That Your Dog Is Dehydrated
There are several modalities to check whether your dog is dehydrated or not. There are some symptoms that you would notice automatically in your dog if he is dehydrated.
But, if you feel that your dog is showing signs of dehydration, you can check it by yourself with a simple trick.
With the help of your forefinger and thumb, just squeeze its skin tenderly either on their back or head. If the skin of your dog is moisturized, the skin will snap back to its place when you release it, thus indicating optimum hydration level in your dog.
If it is not properly hydrated, the skin will revert slowly, and in case of hyper dehydration, the skin may lose its elasticity and thus may not revert at all.
This phenomenon is known as a skin tent. If the structure of your dog is bony or corpulent, a mild skin tent is natural, and it should not be misunderstood as dehydration.
Dogs breed that have long-hair and a lot of skinfolds, this technique may not function properly.
2. Sunken Eyes
The second thing you must notice as a warning sign of dehydration in your dog is his or her eyes.
Have you ever noticed before anything abnormal in your dog’s eyes?
Did they drop in the sockets?
Probably, you did not know then that it was the time when your dog was dehydrated. The sunken eyes are, among other symptoms, significant that indicate the low level of water in your dog’s body.
The next time your dog is dehydrated you will notice that the eyes of your dog will look deprived, and the sparkle and the glow will be lost as dehydration causes a lot of fluids to be drained out of tissues.
3. Excessive Panting
Do you know why do dogs pant? It is their bodily mechanism to keep their body cool by removing excess heat from the body through evaporation. A moderate panting is usual for any dog.
But, if you notice that after a walk or exercise, the panting of your dog becomes frequent, heavy, and continuous, it is the sign that your dog is dehydrated.
Excessive breathlessness is caused by severe dehydration and should attract your immediate attention.
4. Dry Nose
Do you know that the nose of your dog can tell a lot of things about your dog’s health?
A wet nose is considered to be healthy for your dog. As the secretion of sweat is done through their nose, a dry nose indicates dehydration and requires your scrutiny.
5. Dry Gums
Have you heard about the occurrence ‘delayed capillary refill time’? It is a technique to realize whether your dog is dehydrated or not. You just have to do a simple thing.
First, place your index finger on the gum of your dog and exert light pressure, and you would notice that the pressure point will turn white.
And then when you decamp your finger, if the color returns to its original one, which is pink, your dog is fine. The sign of dehydration is that it will take more time to recover its pink color.
6. Weak Hind Legs
If your dog suffers from severe dehydration, weakness in hind legs will be another sign to watch for.
If you observe that it is becoming difficult for your dog to walk, and even to stand for that matter, be sure that the dehydration has been aggravated into an advanced stage.
7. Change in Behavior
How do you feel when you are suffering from extreme distress and anguish? The first thing that any kind of pain strikes is our energy level. The dogs feel well-nigh in the same manner.
As dogs do love their owner like anything and you may have noticed how your adorable pet rushes to you when you are back at home.
So, a lack of excitement and tardiness in everyday activity may be a prior sign that something is wrong with your pet, and dehydration can be one of the causes of your dog’s lack of alacrity.
Some other symptoms indicate that your dog is dehydrated. The signs are as follows.
● Appetite loss
● Thick saliva
● Dark urine
How to Prevent the Problem of Dehydration
As you have already familiar with the warning signs it should not be a matter of concern to identify this condition in your dog.
What matters is the immediate step, and the next part of the article will help you to get an idea about how to react and what to do when your dog is dehydrated. Moreover, You can take precautionary steps to prevent such conditions.
1. Keep Sufficient Water Available
The root cause of dehydration is the lack of water. So, the primary step to prevent dehydration is to supply plenty of water to your dog as needed. Let me remind you of the fact that it is a precautionary measure.
If the condition of your dog is severe due to dehydration, you should consult a vet immediately.
Now, if you live in a tropical or sub-tropical region, the temperature there naturally makes your dog lose more water. So, if you are playing with your dog on the premises of your house, or in the park after arduous exercises, make sure that you carry water with you to rejuvenate your dog.
When you are at home, always remember to refill the bowl of water that helps your dog to keep hydrated throughout the day. If you do not stay at home all day, an automatic refill water bowl is your savior.
2. Prevent Your Dog From Diarrhoea
Another way that your dog may lose plenty of water is through diarrhea. Diarrhea can happen due to various health problems. It could happen from the presence of worms, viruses, and bacteria.
A disease called parvovirus, often seen in dogs, is a highly infectious disease that can lead to excessive vomiting and diarrhea.
As diarrhea is directly linked to loss of water, it can surely trigger dehydration. Severe dehydration can cause a life-threatening condition.
However, you have to be cautious about the food that you are providing to your dog. The chances of getting a viral or bacterial infection can mostly be attributed to foods.
Furthermore, at the time of providing water in a bowl make sure the side of the bowl is elevated so that water does not spill. Your dog may catch the infection if it licks the floor.
Some other steps to prevent your dog from this type of illness are as follows –
● Regular vaccination
● To keep old food and garbage away from your dog
● Consult with your vet to take necessary steps to prevent parasite infection in your dog
Ways to Treat Dehydration in Your Dog
1. Slowly Rehydrate
If you are sanguine that your dog is dehydrated, contact your vet immediately, and he may ask you to come over to his chamber that he may arrange some intravenous fluid to keep your dog on the drip.
It will not take much time. But if he thinks that the level of dehydration is aggravated, he may ask you for a simple blood test along with an X-ray or ultrasound, if needed, and treat accordingly.
Oral Rehydration solution can be used if the symptoms are mild and your pet can drink. Depending on symptoms that your dog is having, the vet may prescribe some anti-sickness and antibiotic medicines.
So, the thumb rule to prevent dehydration is that when you are drinking water to quench your thirst, get your dog his proportion or water too at that time.
We can’t avert our dogs from getting sick. What you can do is to keep them up-to-date with time to time vaccination and to maintain a proper healthy and balanced diet, along with some preventive measures like putting away socks, garbage and inedible items that may trigger harm in your dog.
Being more sensitive to them and understanding the importance of keeping them hydrated will prevent them from getting sick