How to Tell if Your Dog is Dehydrated

June 06, 2019

Playing with your dog on a warm sunny day is one of the most enjoyable ways to spend time with your family. Going for a hike, taking a walk or a spirited game of fetch is fun for you and your furry friend. As a cautious pet owner, you have to balance fun with responsibility and make sure your dog isn’t suffering from a common condition in warm temperatures-dehydration. 

All mammals rely on water to keep their bodies functioning, and dogs are no exception. A short list of water's functions includes lubricating joints, helping regulate body temperature, transporting nutrients and flushing waste. The long list could fill a medical textbook.

Normally, water is lost and gained throughout the day. Panting, breathing, urinating, defecating and evaporation through the paws, all contribute to normal water loss, which your dog compensates for by eating and drinking.

How can you tell if your dog is dehydrated? Unfortunately, most owners do not know the signs of dehydration in dogs. This is an issue, as knowing the signs of dehydration can help you catch a serious medical condition before it gets out of control.

Here are some of the common symptoms of dehydration in dogs:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Reduced energy levels and/or lethargy
  • Panting
  • Sunken, dry-looking eyes
  • Dry nose and gums
  • Loss of skin elasticity

The first five listed can be detected with the naked eye. Loss of skin elasticity, however, is not as easy for people to spot in their dog. To test their skin, use your thumb and forefinger to pinch a little skin on your dog’s back or top of their head. If they are well hydrated, the skin should spring back when you release it. As the skin loses moisture, it will move back into place more slowly until, in the most severe cases of dehydration, it does not spring back at all.

Any reduction in elasticity of your pet’s skin is known as a ‘skin tent’. Animals which are emaciated or obese often have mild ‘skin tent’. This does not necessarily mean they are dehydrated. This can be difficult to assess in older animals, those with thick or long hair coats or breeds with excessive skin folds.

A Freezable Bowl is the prevention one needs to keep their dog properly hydrated. However, if you lose track of your dog’s water intake, using the tips above will let you know if they’re suffering from dehydration. Lastly, always take precautionary measures such as having a Cooling Vest and Collar, a Pup-Up Shade Oasis, or a Hydro Cooling Mat. Let’s keep our dogs safe from the summer heat!


Author: CoolerDog Team

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