Among the life-threatening conditions in dogs, dehydration is of great importance. Dehydration in dogs may occur due to taking in less water and losing to a great extent. If this condition is left undressed, organ damage may occur, thus leading to the dog's death.
Is dehydration a problem for dogs?
Simply speaking, dogs can get dehydrated and it can cause issues if it becomes a chronic problem. Water is one of the major dietary ingredients that aid in nutritional absorbance across the cells of a dog's body. It also performs other indispensable functions like;
- Joints lubrication
- Internal organs cushioning
- Digestion assistance
- Body temperature regulation
Dehydration in dogs results in the decreased fluid volume and blood flow, thus reducing the normal oxygen transport to various tissues and organs. Moreover, electrolyte loss such as potassium, sodium, and chloride is also evident. These minerals perform a key role in
- Maintaining optimum body’s pH
- Transporting nutrients in body’s cell
- Aiding muscle functions
- Regulating nerve impulses
Therefore, in severe cases, dehydration in dogs brings about liver and kidney failure due to the excessive fluid shortage.
How much water does my dog need daily?
In general, dogs need one ounce of water per pound of their body weight daily. If they are not taking much water, especially during a hot season, the chances of dehydration increase. In acute cases of diarrhea, vomiting, and heat stroke, dogs are likely to develop the condition of dehydration.
Which dogs are at risk of dehydration?
Nursing mothers will need more water than an average dog and are at a higher risk of becoming dehydrated. Other groups prone to dehydration are senior dogs and puppies. At times, underlying diseases like diabetes, kidney dysfunctions, gastroenteritis, and some cancer can increase the chance of dehydration in dogs.
Nursing dogs, senior dogs, and puppies are at a higher risk of becoming dehydrated.
Is my dog dehydrated?
Dehydration in dogs can be predicted by having a general examination of your dog. Several symptoms may help to catch the condition on time without imposing serious complications.
- Decreased skin elasticity
- Loss of appetite
- Severe vomiting and diarrhea
- Lethargy with decreased energy levels
- Excessive panting
- Sunken or dry eyes
- Dry muzzle or nose
- Viscous saliva
- Sticky gums
On observing even one of these symptoms, you should call your vet as soon as possible.
How to treat canine dehydration?
Obviously, when you suspect your dog is experiencing a mild condition of dehydration, ensure plenty of fresh water is available. Electrolyte replacement may be necessary when there is massive fluid loss by cells. Pedialyte is an electrolyte-rich fluid that you can offer to your dog according to the vet's instructions.
Further, good gut balance can enhance your dog’s ability to retain vital moisture. As a preventive measure, provide probiotics to your dog's food daily. Probiotic Miracle has had positive effects in aiding dehydration cases resulting from vomiting and diarrhea due to gastroenteritis. Probiotics supplements are best to combat severe gastroenteritis cases that increase the risk of severe dehydration.
The normal intake of water by dogs is necessary to maintain their state of homeostasis at an optimal level. Therefore, you need to provide extra care to your dogs in hot weather, especially to ensure the normal hydration state of the body. Don't waste time after observing any dehydration symptom; rather, you need to visit your pet vet as soon as possible.