Causes, Symptoms and Prevention of Dehydration in DogsWater is essential for all living beings. It serves as the most basic need of our body and contributes to the proper functioning of all biological processes and bodily systems.Watermakes up about 80% of dog's body composition. It helps in the digestion of food, circulation of blood, normalizing the body temperature as well as dissolving natural and unnatural substances.Dehydrationor the lack of adequate water required by the body may causeillnessand give rise to various diseases.
Causes of Dehydration in Dogs
Dehydrationoccurs as a result of fast loss of fluids due to which they drop down below the safe level. This may be due to:
Â·Reduced water intake
Fluidsdischarge quickly in hot weather or due to vomiting, diarrhea and other conditions in dogs.
Symptoms/Signs of Dehydration in Dogs
At start the signs or symptoms ofdehydrationmay include: tiredness and lethargy, lack of animation and energy, excessive panting, eyes start appearing sunken, dry mouth, nose and gums. With continued dehydration, the dog will lose its skin elasticity after some time. You can check this out by pinching its skin between your fingers. Under normalhydration, it should get back to its initial position immediately. Finally after continueddehydrationfor a long time, the dog will start to wobble and become unsteady on feet. It will become weak from the rear part.
Another means of checkingdehydrationin yourdogsis by pressing its gums. They should turn white when you press them, and upon releasing they should immediately return to their initial pink colour. If they take time in turning back to pink, the dog may bedehydrated. This is because the dehydration increases the capillary refill time. Although these are some obvious signs, it may be difficult to identify dehydration in some dogs. In such case you shall consult with your veterinarian who will provide the proper diagnosis and treatment to your beloved dog.
How to Prevent Dehydration in Your Dog?
Â·Ensure there is lots of clean andfresh wateravailable at your home for yourdogat all the times.
Â·Regularly clean the water and the container, so that it stays fresh and your dog happily drinks from the tank/bowl.
Â·Watch your dog when it'sdrinking water. Some dogs spill over the water which prevents proper water intake.
Â·Monitor your dog's water consumption.Dogsusually need about an ounce of water for each pound of body weight per day. This is particularly important when your dog is recovering from a disease like diarrhea or some other illness.
Â·Provide plenty of water to your dog after it has been trained or when it returns home after lots of running. However it's better to start re-hydration slowly giving small amounts of water after every few minutes instead of a quick dry spell of lots of water which may lead to vomiting.
Â·Occasionally let your dog lick ice.
Â·Check your dog for signs of weaknesses and dehydration. If some signs are present, provide the dog an electrolyte mixed in water. Electrolytes in water can do the job of replenishing the nutrients very quickly.
Â·If your dog still refuses to drink, consult your vet immediately.