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Ways to Tell a Dog Is Dehydrated

Parched Pup? Two Tricks to Tell If Your Dog Is Dehydrated

We all know that it's important to keep our dogs happily hydrated when they're out and about in hot weather. If left untreated, dehydration can lead to organ failure and even death, so it's best to give your pooch access to plenty of water when the mercury rises. Of course, dehydration can also be caused by vomiting or diarrhea, so even in cooler weather, pup parents should be wary if dogs exhibit these symptoms.

So if you're concerned that your pooch hasn't had enough to drink, there are a couple quick ways to tell if your doggie is dehydrated before bringing him to a doctor:

  • Snap back. Take the collar off the dog and gently pinch a small bit of skin at the scruff of his neck and pull up so it looks like a tent. Then let it go and see how quickly it flattens back out. As with the test for cats, doggies should also show less elasticity if they're lacking in fluids, making skin slower to return to its natural state.
  • Open wide. Another telltale dehydration spot on a dog's body is inside his mouth! Gently lift up his lips and take a look at his gums before doing a quick swab with your index finger. A dehydrated dog will have dry, slightly sticky or gummy gums, while a healthy pooch will have wet and smooth ones instead.

Source: Flickr User Stewart Black

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shepptacular shepptacular 6 years
this was useful because I started walking my dog to day care from my house (Queens to Manhattan - 5miles). I leave early in the morning before the sun is up but I worry about her when we go home. I offer her water every 10-15 blocks but she doesn't always take it
fuzzles fuzzles 6 years
Try offering her a bit of chilled, *salt-free* chicken or beef broth in a bowl. (Throw away any portion that she doesn't drink immediately after she finishes.) If it becomes an area of concern, speak to your vet and ask to be shown how to administer bagged fluids with a beveled needle. It's a little intimidating at first, but in all honesty is much less painful for the animal than the owner! ;)
secondstar secondstar 6 years
My dog is napping on the couch in my air conditioned apartment, but according to these tests she's a bit dehydrated. She's never been one to drink a lot of water, but I want her to stay healthy. Is there any way to encourage her to drink something when she's ignoring her water bowl?
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