Dehydration is caused by the lack of fluids to the body. Animals (like humans) can replenish their fluids by means of food or water. Once the body is dehydrated it will start to slow down to try and make up for the loss in body fluids.
Signs of a dehydrated dog are dry gums / skin, excessive panting and lethargy.
To test if your dog is dehydrated, you can do one of the following two things:
- Softly pinch the skin between your two fingers and see how it returns to its normal state. If it does not return back to its natural state immediately, you need to get your dog to the vet.
- The other option is to place your finger on the dogs gums and remove it. If the white takes long to return to its natural pink colour, then your dog is also dehydrated.
There are many reasons why animals can become dehydrated, and your vet is the one that can help you find a solution to the problem.
Tips to help keep your fur friend well hydrated:
- Provide plenty of water for your pets by leaving many water bowls around your home and garden and remove any unsafe or unsanitary water so that they only drink clean water.
- Keep the water bowls in a shaded area so that it doesn’t evaporate too quickly.
- Cool the dogs water by placing ice blocks in their bowls.
- Senior pets are at a higher risk to dehydration so you may need to encourage and remind them to drink water by bringing the bowl to them.
Dehydration is the body’s inability to replace lost fluids comprised of electrolytes and water. If you notice the early symptoms such as dry mouth, sunken eyes and loss of elasticity in skin, take your pet straight to the vet because severe dehydration can lead to organ failure and death.
Source: Dr Roxanne Jones / Zuki