Did you know that, throughout the day, there are many ways that your dog can lose water from its body? Urinating, defecating, and panting are all considered ordinary and necessary. These excretions don’t usually become a problem, so long as your dog replaces this water loss with sufficient fluid intake. However, when your dog starts losing more fluid than it’s consuming, dehydration can occur.
Your dog can’t tell you if it’s thirsty. But, learning the signs of dehydration can help you respond quickly to this potentially life-threatening condition. Here are the warning signs of dehydration you should watch out for:
Dry, sticky gums.
Loss of appetite.
Loss of skin elasticity.
Sunken, dry-looking eyes.
Vomiting with or without diarrhea.
Lethargy or reduced energy levels.
There are many possible causes of dehydration in dogs. One of the most common triggers is overheating or excessive perspiration, mainly through its paws. This often happens when your furry friend does not receive adequate hydration during hot summer days when your dog is exposed to dry weather or participates in any strenuous activity. Dehydration under these conditions can happen even to perfectly health dogs.
Illnesses that also result in vomiting and bouts of diarrhea can cause immediate loss of fluid in your pooch’s body. Any condition that results in fever, lack of appetite, excessive urination, or excessive panting can further contribute to water loss. Other severe health problems, such as certain cancers, diabetes, and kidney disease, also cause dehydration.
Mild cases of dehydration in dogs, especially those that were due to overheating or exercise, can be treated by encouraging your pet to drink. If you suspect that your pooch is dehydrated, just provide access to fresh, clean drinking water. Offer small sips of water every few minutes or pieces of ice to lick. It might help to flavor their water with chicken broth. Additionally, ensure that you let your pet rest inside a cool place to help it recover faster. If it’s not vomiting, you may rehydrate your dog by administering an electrolyte solution. Just check with your vet for dosage and additional recommendations.
As previously mentioned, dehydration is a potentially severe condition. So, it’s safer to notify your veterinarian and discuss the signs and symptoms should they arise. If your dog is suffering from a severe case of dehydration, such as when your pet vomits, has diarrhea, or seems lethargic, you should seek immediate medical attention. Your veterinarian might have to administer intravenous fluids to prevent further water loss.
Like humans, your four-legged best friend also needs to maintain its fluid levels to support bodily functions properly. Are you worried that your dog could be dehydrated? If you are not sure about what steps to take, contact 4 Paws Veterinary Hospital in Duffield, Virginia, immediately. Call us now at (276) 431-4838, so we can assess your pet, rehydrate it, and determine underlying issues if there are any.