How to Tell if Your Dog is Dehydrated in Santa Clarita, CA and How to Help Them

dog dehydration in santa clarita, ca

If you have a dog, you know just how much they love to go on adventures with you. The better the weather, the more tempting it is to take your dog outside with you to have fun. Many dog owners are not aware that their dog can become dehydrated very easily. Even if your dog is not exerting in hot weather, they can still become dehydrated just because of being deprived of access to enough water to stay cool.

Dog owners need to know how to tell if their dog is hydrated, and they need to know what to do if their pet has become dehydrated. Recognizing the signs of dehydration is important, and every dog owner should know about this critical aspect of caring for their pet.


How to Tell if Your Dog is Dehydrated

The early stages of dog dehydration often are not that remarkable, particularly if you are not paying close attention to your pet. The dog might just seem a little tired, or they might be panting slightly more than usual. Maybe their eyes will seem a little dull or sunken in, or they might not be that excited about taking treats from your hand.

As the condition progresses, your dog might start vomiting, or they might have diarrhea. They might also lay down and be unwilling to get up. Pets with this level of dehydration will also have dry skin that stays tented when you pinch the skin and lift it up. Your dog’s gums might be pale, and they might not become pink again very rapidly when a finger is pressed into them.

Advanced dehydration can cause collapse, seizures, or a wobbly and disoriented gait. Dogs that have reached this stage of dehydration might also be panting very heavily, and their nose and mouth might be very dry to the touch.

What to do to Help Your Dehydrated Dog

Dog owners should know what to do if their dog has become dehydrated. You might want to panic, but there are some key steps that you need to take care of instead. If your dog is only mildly dehydrated, you can offer them water and get them into the shade. If you can pour water over them to cool down their body, this should also be done.

Dogs that you are trying to rehydrate with the simple intake of fluids will need to be watched carefully to see if they are improving. Many dogs do not improve from this stage of dehydration without a visit to the vet. However, you might be able to stabilize your dog so that they can more easily make the trip to the vet.

If your dog is not recovering and seems to be getting worse, you will need to call your vet. You will only have about half an hour to get your dog medical attention before their condition might be too serious to save their life. The vet will need to give your dog intravenous fluids, and they will also probably need to keep your pet for a few days for observation. Dogs that are severely dehydrated might require lots of supportive care to help prevent organ damage.

Pets with dehydration can occasionally get back on track just by drinking and cooling off, but you should not count on this being possible for your pet. It is always better to be safe rather than sorry and to call a vet to see your dehydrated dog.

How to Prevent Dog Dehydration

If you are worried about preventing dehydration, there are some things that you can do when you have your dog with you away from home or when the weather is hot. Make sure that your dog always has access to water and that they are allowed to drink as much as they want. You should bring a travel bowl with you for your dog to drink out of as well since dogs struggle to drink from a faucet or a hose.

Make sure that you keep your dog home or inside when the weather is hotter than 80 degrees. The ambient temperature can have a lot to do with your dog being able to stay cool, and exerting in hot weather or being in the sun can prevent your dog from cooling off efficiently. Dogs that live outside will need to be given a shady place to get out of the sun and access to as much water as they want or need in order to stay cool.

Be sure never to leave your dog in an enclosed space that is hot, as this can lead to heatstroke within about 20 minutes. Cars or small rooms are common locations where dogs can get overheated and can lead to a medical emergency. Always be sure that you think about the fact that your dog might not be able to get cooled off once they are too hot. This will impact your choices as far as keeping them indoors and making sure not to leave them in small or enclosed spaces for too long.

Dog Dehydration is a Serious Medical Emergency

Even if your pet is not severely dehydrated, you need to take their condition seriously. Dogs that are dehydrated can become very sick very fast. Nearly every case of dog dehydration requires a trip to the emergency vet clinic for the dog to get fluids and be cooled down to a safe body temperature. During the summer months, dogs need to be taken for walks early in the morning and later in the evening so that they do not become overheated. You should also be sure that your dog always has access to enough water to stay cool.

By being aware of the signs of dehydration in dogs and taking care to avoid situations that could lead to this life-threatening condition, pet owners can protect their animals from getting sick or needing to stay in the vet hospital. 

Is your dog showing signs of being dehydrated? Call Stevenson Ranch Veterinary Center at (661) 799-0655 or book an appointment online!

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