Dog Days and Dehydration
Causes and symptoms of dehydration in dogs
July and August are often called the “dog days of summer”. That got us thinking about our pets and dehydration. At Aquasana, we are hyper-focused on hydration. When we are thirsty, we know it’s time to filter another glass of water. But what about our furry friends? They can whine and look longingly at the water bowl, but that’s about the only way they can tell us they’re dehydrated. Dehydration, or a lack of water in the body, can cause serious problems for pets and people. Water is essential to all living beings, including dogs, who depend on the right fluid level to maintain good health. Water makes up 80 percent of your dog’s body, and dissolves natural and unnatural substances as well as serves as the root of all his biological processes, including circulation, digestion and waste removal.
What Causes Dehydration in Dogs?
Dehydration occurs when fluid levels drop lower than normal. This happens typically during hot summer days or due to illness.
What Are the General Symptoms of Dehydration in Dogs?
- Sunken eyes
- Loss of appetite
- Dry mouth
What Should I Do If I Think My Dog Is Dehydrated?
A veterinarian will administer intravenous or subcutaneous fluids, and run additional tests, if necessary, to determine the underlying cause of the condition.
Are Certain Dogs Prone to Dehydration?
Dogs most at risk for dehydration are those who suffer from various illnesses such as kidney disorders, cancer and infectious disease. Elderly dogs and pregnant or nursing dogs may be prone to dehydration, as well as dogs with medical conditions such as diabetes.
How Is Dehydration Treated?
Dehydration may indicate a serious problem, so it’s best to take your dog to the vet immediately. One way to detect dehydration is by gently lifting the skin on the back of your dog’s neck or between the shoulder blades—unless your dog is seriously overweight or very thin, it should immediately return to a normal position. If he is lacking in fluids, the lifted skin may not quickly return to normal. But signs of dehydrations aren’t always obvious.
How Can I Prevent Dehydration?
Provide clean water at all times, and change it frequently to ensure freshness. We recommend giving your pets filtered water. Chlorine and contaminants aren’t good for anything living. Also, don’t forget to wash your pet’s water bowl every day to prevent bacteria from forming. Monitor your dog’s water intake. Generally, a dog needs at least one ounce of water for each pound of body weight per day. If your dog is not drinking an adequate amount of water, seek veterinary advice. Monitoring water intake is especially important if he’s recovering from diarrhea, vomiting or other illnesses. Purchase a water bowl with a weighted bottom to prevent your dog from knocking it over. Bring extra water when you’re traveling or exercising with your dog. If you notice your pet is drinking less than usual, check his mouth for sores or other foreign objects, such as burrs or sticks. Avoid chaining a dog outside, since he may get tangled up, preventing him from accessing his water bowl.Keep your toilet lid closed to keep your dog out. Toilet water can be a source of bacteria.