Dog dehydration can happen easily, particularly in puppies. A dog’s age, energy levels and outside temperature can all affect their hydration levels. An adult dog’s body is made up of up to 80% water, so it’s vital they have plenty to drink.
It’s important to know the signs of dehydration and how to prevent it in order to keep your dog happy and healthy.
What Causes Dehydration?
Dogs, especially puppies, love to be on the move. They’re constantly running, playing and exploring. If they don’t have access to clean, fresh water, they can easily become dehydrated. Dogs lose moisture just by panting (they can’t sweat), so if your dog is panting heavily they may need a drink.
Overheating in hot temperatures can also cause dehydration in dogs just as it can in humans. Make sure to provide your furry friend with plenty of water and make sure they have access to a cool, shaded spot.
Illness can make a dog’s body too hot. If your dog is poorly, they may lose vital hydration from vomiting/diarrhoea. Stop your dog from picking up a bacterial infection by cleaning their food and water bowls thoroughly and stopping them from drinking out of the toilet.
Ingesting a toxic substance can also lead to dehydration. If you think your dog may have ingested something bad, it’s important to take them to the vets immediately (make sure to call ahead).
An ongoing illness, such as kidney failure, could be the cause for your dog’s lack of hydration. If you’re concerned your dog may have an ongoing illness, take them to the vet as soon as possible to properly identify (and hopefully sort) the issue.
Symptoms of Dog Dehydration
Dogs are very good at hiding discomfort, however there are some tell-tale signs of dehydration you can look out for:
- Loss of appetite
- Skin that doesn’t “snap back” if you pull it
- Sunken eyes
- Excessive panting
How to Help a Dehydrated Dog
Give them plenty of fresh, clean water to drink. They should dehydrate themselves and be ok shortly. If, however, they’re severely dehydrated, they will need to be taken to a vet immediately.
The most important thing to remember is to keep a fresh bowl of water available to your dog at all times.