When the total body water is below normal, we can say that we are dehydrated. The same goes for our dogs as well. Along with water loss, the organism loses electrolytes as well. Electrolytes are minerals, like chloride, sodium and potassium.
The main causes of dehydration are lack of the intake of water or increased water loss because of some illness or injury.
Thirst and dehydration should not be confused. While thirst reminds us that we should intake water, dehydration can potentially be life-threatening medical condition that doesn’t always have thirst as a symptom.
When the weather is hot, always make sure that your dog gets a lot of fresh and clean water, and if it’s an outdoor dog, make sure it has a lot of shade where it can cool down 🙂
If you notice any of these symptoms contact your vet ASAP!
Get this Signs of Dehydration in Dogs Poster for your clinic or classroom.
Signs of Dehydration in Dogs
Eyes are sunken and the nose is dry and chapped. The breathing is more like excessive panting and the mouth is dry with thick saliva. There can be diarrhea, vomiting and loss of appetite. The dog may experience loss of balance. The urine would be very dark. There would be no elasticity in the skin and it will appear dry. If you touch the back of your dog it would appear warm to the touch.
Test for checking if the dog is dehydrated
Skin Elasticity Test: Pinch the dogs skin on the back between the shoulders with your thumb and forefinger. Gently lift the skin 2-3 inches from the body. When you release the skin, it should go back immediately. When the dog is dehydrated, the skin slowly returns to the normal position or in some very bad cases, the skin doesn’t go back at all.