One of the questions we get asked all the time is “How do I know if my dog is dehydrated?”
There are many possible symptoms of dehydration, and it’s not always obvious that they’re happening as a result of dehydration, so it’s expected that this would be a source of confusion for many concerned pet parents.
Prolonged dehydration can have really harmful - sometimes irreversible - effects on a dog’s health. To help avoid it, we’ve put together a quick guide on what to look out for, what to do if you think your pup might be dehydrated, and how to take proactive steps to make sure your furry friend stays as healthy as possible.
Signs that your dog may be dehydrated
It’s not always easy to tell if a dog is dehydrated, and as much as we’d like them to, they can’t tell us!
You could also have a scenario where another condition is exacerbated by dehydration, or vice versa - symptoms of dehydration are made worse by another condition.
Here are some signs of dehydration that all pet parents should look out for:
- heavy panting, which occurs without too much exercise
- less urine than normal, which is darker in color and stronger in smell
- a dry nose
- less energy than usual
There are also more long-term conditions that may be the result of a lack of hydration, however, it would be difficult to attribute them specifically to dehydration without further investigation. For example, inadequate hydration could cause problems with a dog’s teeth, bones, skin or fur.
What to do if your dog is dehydrated
If a dog appears unwell, we always recommend that pet parents play it safe and consult a vet.
Some of the symptoms of dehydration could be entirely - or partially - related to another condition, so it’s important to have these symptoms assessed by an expert regardless of the underlying cause.
If you suspect that your dog is dehydrated, try to get them to have a good drink and monitor them for a few hours. If there is no improvement, consider seeing a vet.
How to prevent dehydration
Dog hydration is something that should be thought about in the same way as dog nutrition - something that requires daily attention and plenty of forward planning. In fact, hydration is a big part of a dog’s nutrition and its digestive health.
This means that, just like with your pup’s food, you should monitor the amount of water they drink each day to ensure that they are consistently getting the fluids they need.
You can also seek to maximize the benefits of the water your dog drinks. To proactively prevent dehydration, PupWater has essential nutrients, minerals and prebiotics with all-natural flavors to encourage your dog to hydrate effectively.
For some practical tips on how to keep your pooch hydrated, see our Top hydration tips for happy, healthy hounds.