Dehydration in dogs happens when there is fluid in the body than it needs to function. Dehydration also causes a deficiency of essential electrolytes from the dog’s body. Fluid and electrolytes are essential for waste elimination, and circulation, digestion and are the basis of all of the activities of the body. When there is not enough fluid in your dog’s body, these acts aren’t able to be performed correctly, and he can get sick.
What Causes Dehydration in Dogs?
Dehydration can be caused a decreased intake of fluids or by an increased reduction.
Ways a Dog May Lose Too Many Fluids
Overheating on a hot day can result in dehydration through fluid loss.
A bout of nausea and/or diarrhea causes a loss of fluids within the body.
A metabolic disease like diabetes mellitus or kidney disease can cause increased fluid loss.
A fever may lead to dehydration.
Blood loss can cause a dog to lose fluids quickly.
Reasons Why a Dog May Not Take in Enough Fluids
Dogs which are sick may not take in enough water because they feel nauseous or too ill to move around.
Dogs that are missing might not be able to get an adequate water source.
Dogs that are left outside without fresh, unfrozen water can quickly become dehydrated.
Indoor dogs that aren’t left with enough water while owners are away or with water in bowls which tip over easily can be chronically dehydrated.
Why Is It Important to Know If Your Dog Is Dehydrated?
Dehydration causes your dog. Go to his water bowl to drink or he may not want to move around. This way, dehydration from any cause can begin a vicious cycle that leads to dehydration. If it’s left untreated long enough, dehydration will cause organ failure and death. If your dog is dehydrated because of an illness, it is necessary to have it diagnosed and treated before it gets worse.
How to Tell If Your Dog Is Dehydrated
Look at his eyes: If your dog’s eyes look dull and sunken in the sockets, he is probably dehydrated.
Do a skin tent evaluation: The skin of a dog that’s well-hydrated has elasticity. When you pull on it up and then let it drop, it will bounce back to its original place quickly and completely. A dog that is dehydrated loses some skin. Then drop it, watch to see how fast it bounces back, when you get a piece of his skin between your thumb and first two fingers. This evaluation can be a little tricky to interpret and relies on you knowing what the normal skin reply looks like, so don’t trust it entirely. You suspect it for any reason or if your dog is showing any other signs of dehydration, go to your veterinarian.
Look at his mouth:
Your dog’s gums should be pink and glistening. If they look dry and feel once you touch them, your dog is dehydrated.
When you push gently on your dog’s gums, a blanched area will appear. The lighter area should return to its normal pink color within two seconds, when you let go. If it takes your dog may be dehydrated.
Your dog’s saliva ought to be thin and mostly unnoticeable. If it looks thick and ropey, dehydration may be present.
Animals that are sick may not accept managing as well. When looking in your dog’s mouth, take care, if he acts upset, and stop.
When dehydration is not, these signs of dehydration are more non-specific and may be present:
Lack of desire
Increased heart rate
Treatment of Dehydration in Dogs
The first goal in the treatment of dehydration in dogs is fluid replacement. If the dog isn’t vomiting and does not have any underlying condition that is complicating the dehydration issue, fluid replacement can be accomplished orally. Giving small quantities of fluid frequently until the dehydration is resolved is the best way.
If your dog won’t accept fluids or can not keep them down due to vomiting, they will have to be replaced. This means that the fluids will need to be supplied in a way other than through the GI tract. The two most common ways of accomplishing this are:
Subcutaneously: This method of delivering fluids residue them underneath the skin by means of a needle. They are then absorbed into the dog’s system during the next few hours. This might be inadequate if the dog is severely dehydrated or if he is unable to drink and keep the fluids necessary to maintain his hydration following his physique has used up the fluids down.
Intravenously: Dogs can be given fluids intravenously through a catheter that is placed into a vein. While the dog is hospitalized in a veterinary clinic, this is usually performed.
The second goal in the treatment of dehydration in dogs is reversing or treating the underlying cause. The treatment may be ensuring that your pet always has access to fresh, clean water if the cause was overheating or increased exercise. Your veterinarian may treat your dog with medications, if the issue was caused by a bout of vomiting.
Unless the disease is managed if the issue was caused by an underlying condition such as kidney disease, your dog will be at risk for dehydration that is constant. There are specific treatments for all these conditions, so it’s necessary to have it diagnosed.
Preventing Dehydration in Dogs
Provide plenty of fresh, clean water. Change the water in your dog’s bowl many times a day so that it is always clean and fresh. Remember to clean your dog’s water bowl once a day to prevent bacterial growth.
Pay attention to your dog’s water consumption. In general, a dog needs about 1 ounce of water per pound of the body weight every day. If your dog is drinking even more, or much less than that, see your vet right away. Remember, just because your dog is drinking lots of water does not mean he can’t be suffering from dehydration if he’s an illness that impacts the way his body employs the fluid (such as kidney disease).
If you are often away from home, get a weighted water bowl. These types of bowls are heavy on the bottom so they can’t be tipped over. This is important.
Whilst playing outside or hiking with your dog, bring a portable water resource. Remember that your dog will have to replenish his fluids when he’s exercising, and a water source might not be readily available as you are out and about. Your dog needs water in addition to when it’s hot. There are mild, simple traveling water options for hiking and playing with your dog.
If you absolutely must leave your dog outdoors alone, provide fresh water in an un-tippable bowl. Your dog must have access to clean, unfrozen water at all times. Leaving him tied up outside is dangerous because many things might happen that would keep him from having this access. Your dog must be provided from sunlight, wind, and cold if he is outdoors alone.
If your dog has a bout of nausea: Do not allow your dog free access to unlimited water shortly after vomiting. Dogs sometimes drink in this instance, than they would have otherwise experienced, triggering more vomiting and leading to more dehydration. Provide your dog with small amounts of water often for the first few hours following a vomiting episode. If the vomiting continues, see your veterinarian.
Dehydration can be serious in dogs. It might indicate a underlying condition that is life threatening. Simple instances may lead to illness quickly. Visiting your vet immediately and knowing the symptoms of dehydration can prevent problems.