Dehydration in Dogs
Dehydration is a problem facing dogs often ignored or forgotten until it occurs. People overlook this simple fact. The bodies of dogs, like those of humans consist primarily of water. In fact, 2/3rds of a dog’s body is composed of water. Water is an essential part of their nature. A dog can survive far longer without food than water. A dehydrated dog slips quickly towards serious physical problems, including organ failure and death.
Causal factors of dehydration vary. While it all boils down to a lack of water, with its electrolytes, within the system, the problem may be direct or indirect. You may forget to fill the water bowl. On a hot day, this can prove uncomfortable or fatal. Dehydration can result in death. A solution may be to use a water bowl capable of dispensing water regularly. Also, be sure the dog is not able to knock it over easily. Consider heavier ceramic bowls. Check regularly and maintain more than one bowl if your dog is particularly clumsy.
Fever is also the cause of dehydration in your pet. If your dog is sick, it may require more water. Like people, animals with a fever need more fluids. Increase the fluid content and cool the animal down with damp or wet cloths – perhaps even a cool bath. Concentrate on the head and underbelly areas. Pay heed to signs of dehydration and note what your Vet has to say about a dog with a fever.
If you give the dog water, be careful. A dehydrated dog, or one moving in that direction, should not have too much to drink. While the distressed canine needs water and electrolytes quickly, if you give too much, too soon, your dog will vomit. This increases the process of dehydration. Instead, give it small amounts over a period of time. If possible, provide it with a form of electrolytes. Some stores have a form for babies. This is a feasible substitute.
If your dog has severe diarrhea or urinates excessively, it may become dehydrated. Dogs can get “the runs” without it being necessary to take to the vet. An upset stomach, eating something new or different or gas can cause the animal to excrete more than usual. This purges their system of the problem. It also removes water from the body. The dog needs to replace it. If this situation occurs, make sure there is sufficient water available.
Vomiting also can reduce the amount of bodily fluids necessary to keep the body running smoothly. The dog in up chucking his meal once is not at risk. If this happens repeatedly, call your vet. Make sure the dog has access to water. He or she will need it to prevent dehydration setting in. A vet can and will put him on a drip if and when necessary.
The signs of dehydration are obvious ones. They include sunken eyes and a loss of appetite. Your dog is listless. He or she suffers from exhaustion. The pet looks depressed. She or he has a dry mouth and nose. What clearly indicates dehydration is the condition of the skin. When you pull it away from the body, it takes longer to flatten back into place – more than 3 seconds.
If your dog suffers from dehydration, do not monkey around. Contact the vet while making getting him or her to drink small amounts of water. Cool your dog down with wet cloths. Make him or her comfortable then rush to the vet. Better still, avoid this scenario. Make sure your animal always has enough clear, clean, fresh cold water to drink.
Content written by Rebecca Garcia – for more dog information by Rebecca, check out additional topics on dog carriers & dog training information.