Dehydration in Dogs – Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments


Dehydration in dogs is a common emergency – especially during the heat of summer. When a dog’s body loses more water and electrolytes than they are consuming, they will suffer from dehydration. Furthermore, they are put in danger of developing serious issues with their internal organs, body temperature, joints, and digestion.

Dogs, just like people, require access to fresh water to ensure their bodies work properly. Water is so vital, in fact, that all bodily functions require it to remain healthy and operative. If your dog loses more water and electrolytes than they are taking in, they will begin to dehydrate and their health will deteriorate. It’s important to understand that dehydration in your pet may lead to kidney failure, unconsciousness, and even death in extreme cases.

Warning Signs of Dehydration

Symptoms of dehydration may be seen with as little as a 5% loss of body fluid. If your dog is dehydrated, you might notice some of the following signs:

  • Decreased activity, weakness, difficulty standing
  • Eyes appear sunken
  • Dry nose
  • Dry, sticky gums
  • Thick saliva
  • Panting
  • Decreased elasticity of the skin
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Decreased energy
  • Shaking
  • Unconsciousness

Dehydration in Dogs Causes

Dogs may quickly suffer from dehydration from cases of vomiting and/or diarrhea, being active in extremely hot weather, or being sick with a fever. Dogs with diabetes can become dehydrated when they have too much sugar in their blood, causing them to urinate frequently. Increased panting, which is how dogs manage their body temperature when they get too hot, can also lead to dehydration.

If a dog becomes severely dehydrated, drinking water may not be enough to rehydrate and stabilize their condition. Often, if they have signs of vomiting or diarrhea, continuing to offer water will stimulate them to continue to vomit which further dehydrates them, making their condition worse. Your vet may need to determine what’s causing dehydration and give any necessary medication along with IV fluid therapy to relieve your dog’s symptoms and help them recover.

If you believe your pet is severely dehydrated seek veterinary help immediately.

Preventing Dehydration in Your Dog

Make sure your dog always has access to clean, fresh water in multiple places around the house. If you will be gone from home for 8 plus hours, consider an automatic water bowl or pet fountain. And, always offer your dog clean, fresh water with every meal.

As a rule, dogs generally need an ounce of water per pound of body weight every single day. If you have questions about how much water your dog is drinking, ask your vet for advice on how you can be sure they are consuming enough fluids.

If you are going to the dog park or for a long ride bring a portable bowl and bottled water with you. After active play or exercise, offer small amounts of water to your dog. Allow him/her to drink a small amount then offer it again in a few minutes. Remember that if you’re outside in warm or hot weather and you get thirsty, your dog is probably thirsty too.

Flexpet Joint Supplements for Dogs

At Flexpet, we care about you and your pets. We want to help you keep them as healthy as possible. We have a fantastic and knowledgeable customer care team available to answer any of your questions about our joint supplement products and how they may help your dog or cat. If your dog has joint pain issues, we invite you to try Flexpet today and start your dog on the journey to playing like a pup again. Flexpet is so confident it is the best joint supplement for dogs and cats it comes with a 90-day satisfaction guarantee. Our Flexpet joint care supplements have excellent reviews on social media. You can follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, email, or by phone at 1-800-505-0575.

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