How do you know when your dog is dehydrated and what to do?

One thing is the most important for your dog’s good health is not proteins, not carbohydrates or vitamins but water.

Dogs can live for days without food, but a lack of water can cause severe dehydration, organ failure or worse.

Water aids in the digestion of food and helps the body absorb the nutrients.

Water also cools the body and works to maintain a normal body temperature. It lubricates and cushions joints and makes movement easier.

Basically, every important body organ requires water and without adequate supply, your pet can become ill and dehydrated.

Organs will eventually suffer damage with sustained water deficiency. If the deficiency lasts long enough, organs such as kidneys, liver, etc will begin to shut down.

A dog’s water requirement is determined by what the body needs to maintain water balance.

Like us, dogs lose water daily, mostly through urine. Small amounts are also lost through stools and  must be replaced daily to avoid dehydration.

To check your pet for dehydration, pick up loose skin over the top of the shoulder blades, pull it up gently and release it. Watch for the skin to fall back into place. Under normal circumstances, the skin should quickly return to place.

If dehydration is present, the skin will slowly return or may even stay up for a bit before falling back into place.

Another place to look for dehydration is in the mouth.

If the gums appear dry, sticky or pale, then it is a sign of the dehydration.

Dehydrated pets will also have dry eyeballs, a dry nose and mouth. A pet that drinks the right amount of water is typically healthy.

However, if a pets’s drinking habits change, it may be an important sign that something is not right. Watch if your pet starts drinking an excessive amount of water, or if he/she stops drinking water altogether.

If your pets’s drinking habits change, take him/her to the vet. Your vet can determine what is causing the problem and prescribe the necessary treatment.

Make sure your pet drinks enough water to meet their daily requirement to stay well hydrated.

The daily need will depend on their size, diet, age, activity level and weather conditions. To make sure your pet always has enough to keep him/her healthy, you must provide clean water daily that is easily accessible to your pet.

Keep your dog’s bowl filled at all times and refill daily.

Maintaining proper hydration is the key for your furry friend’s health.