How To Handle Dehydration In Dogs? Signs, Causes & Treatment

How To Handle Dehydration In Dogs? Signs, Causes & Treatment -

Similar to people, dogs also need sufficient amounts

of water for their bodies to work efficiently.

Water is an essential that is required for all

bodily functions and to maintain

proper health and operation of various organs.

Dehydration causes the body to lose

excess amounts of water and electrolytes.

This imbalance of electrolytes in the body can cause

multiple symptoms and serious side effects such

as lethargy, changes in blood pressure, etc.

It is important to understand dehydration in dogs as

it can lead to organ failure and cause

unconsciousness or, even worse,

death in extreme cases.

What is dehydration in dogs?

A dog’s normal activities throughout the day such as

breathing, panting, urinating, etc. can cause the

body to lose fluids.

A dog’s body can lose water even from simple

evaporation from the paws.

It is especially significant in summer. So when a

dog drinks or eats, their body recuperates

the lost fluids and electrolytes.

If the water or fluid intake becomes less than the

amount lost, it leads to dehydration.

When the total body fluids lower, this in turn,

leads to low blood flow, which results in reduced

oxygen delivery to all parts of the dog’s body.

Electrolytes such as sodium, chloride, potassium, etc.

are minerals that are important for various

functions in the body.

They regulate the movement of muscles,

nerve cell activity, balancing pH of the body,

transfer of multiple nutrients to the cells, etc.

Hence, dehydration and imbalance of electrolytes

can cause problems with all these functions.

Signs of dehydration in dogs

How can you tell if your dog is dehydrated?

Here are a few signs and symptoms

that your dog may exhibit, that can help to

understand what is happening and respond quickly

before any serious medical issues occur.

Some of the signs of dehydration in pets are:

-Loss of appetite

-Lethargy or reduced energy levels

-Excessive panting

-Loss of skin elasticity

-Dry or cracked nose

-Excessive vomiting


-Thick saliva

-Reduced urination

-Dry mouth and dry or sticky gums

-Sunken or dry eyes


If you notice any of the above signs in your dog,

please consult a veterinarian


It is important to look out for signs of dehydration

in dogs to avoid severe health issues 


Causes of dehydration in dogs


There are many reasons why dehydration can

occur in dogs. A few of them are:

-Reduced consumption of food

-Reduced or limited intake of water or any fluids

-Excessive breathing and panting

-Excessive vomiting with or without diarrhea

-High temperature or fever

-Any chronic illness such as kidney problems

-Injuries that can lead to blood loss

-A sudden increase in temperature or weather change





Dehydration in dogs can occur

due to several reasons


It is important to remember that some dogs

such as younger dogs, older dogs,or even nursing dogs, are more prone to dehydration. Certain types of

small dog breeds, such as Chihuahuas,

can experience dehydration quickly and severely.


Treatment for dehydration in dogs


If you start noticing any signs or symptoms

of dehydration, immediately give fluids or

water to your dog. Ask your veterinarian first

if you are confused about how much water to give. 


If the symptoms of dehydration are mild,

then providing access to freshwater to your dogs

is often enough. If the dog has any previous illness

or chronic conditions such as kidney problems,

consult your vet before giving any fluids.


But, if the symptoms are more acute or moderate

to severe, or if the dog is debilitated and is unable 

to drink or eat anything by themselves - administering

fluid therapy is required. Your vet will give the

treatment through injections directly into the 

vein by a slow IV infusion in a clinical setting.

Most times, this IV infusion is enough to rehydrate.


It is important to remember that fast infusion

or rehydrating quickly can lead to adverse

side effects such as high blood pressure,

fluid retention, heart failure, kidney damage, etc.

Hence, it is important to rehydrate slowly.


If dehydration is occurring due to any underlying 

conditions such as diarrhea, vomiting, kidney problems,

etc. then your vet will first address these concerns

along with correcting the fluid levels


Things you can do at home to avoid dehydration in dogs: -Ensure you keep a clean and fresh bowl of water

at all times, vets recommend keeping a water

bowl next to their food bowl ---In summers,

it is recommended to increase the quantity of wet

food as wet food helps avoid dehydration and

keeps their gut happy. Do speak to a 

canine nutritionist before doing so 



Wiggles Wet Food 


          -Avoid taking your dog out for a walk during

the afternoons or when the temperature
is comparatively higher. Early mornings or
late evenings are a good time to take

your dog out for a walk. It is also

recommended to carry a bottle of water

and a bowl on your walks

-To increase your pets' water intake, our vets

 recommend giving them refreshing drinks like

 Cocotail™ which is infused with coconut

 water, prebiotics and healthy ingredients

  •  to maintain vital electrolytes

    Cocotail™ Healthy Drink for Dogs & Cats 

    Cases of upset stomach increase in summers, 

    hence it is important to maintain good

    gut health. Use probiotics like Stripzy™ to

    maintain good gut bacteria and avoid

    gut-related problems 


    Stripzy™ Immunity Booster and Probiotic Pet Strips

    Check out our vet-approved summer care tips 

    to help your pet stay fit and healthy even

  • during the harshest months 

    It is important to act as soon as possible to correct

    the dehydration and electrolyte imbalance in dogs.

    In some cases, dogs may not show obvious

    symptoms of dehydration and they can be subtle.

    So, try to observe and notice any changes

    in behavior, especially if your dog is more prone

    to dehydration or has any underlying illnesses.

    In such cases, consult your vet for a treatment plan

    even before dehydration occurs. It is a

    time-sensitive condition; if left untreated for more time,

    the symptoms can become more severe. 


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    *Disclaimer: This blog is vet-approved and 

    includes original content which is compiled 

    after thorough research and authenticity by our

     in-house team of vets and content experts.

     It is always advisable to consult a veterinarian

     before you try any products, pet food or any

     kind of treatment/medicines on your pets,

     as each pet is unique and will respond differently.