Problem: Dog is dehydrated.
Solution: Dog needs water.
Hmmm, well, apparently, it's not so simple.
I read online two different stories, this week, where people left their dog in a hot car only to come back to the car and find the dog immobile and eventually, after full organ failure, gone. One couple, left the car running with the AC on and decided to dine in a restaurant for three hours only to come back to a very, very sad ending.
"Three hours??? Really???"
Well, after reading these stories, I felt compelled to take a moment and find the time to write something that may truly save our furry friends.
Basically every important bodily function requires water and without adequate supply, your dog can become ill quickly and become dehydrated. Organs will eventually become damaged with sustained water deficiency. If the deficiency lasts long enough, organs (kidneys, liver, etc.) will shut down and death will follow.
Bottom line: A dog needs lots of water, and he will get quickly dehydrated if he (or she) doesn't drink enough.
I realize that our four-legged friends come in both genders, but for the sake of this blog-post, I am going to use the male gender going forward for simplicity in this explanation. Certainly, what I am about to tell you can happen to both male and female dogs. Please take heed.
Dehydration is very common in dogs, and it can have severe consequences if not caught in time. Here is a list of the signs to be aware of:
Early Stage Signs
1. Your dog seems tired and has sunken eyes.
2. He seems nervous.
3. He licks his lips frequently.
4. He is breathing quickly and loudly.
5. His back is warmer than usual; hot even.
6. Another place to look for dehydration is in an dog’s mouth. If the gums appear dry, sticky or pale, this is a sign of illness and dehydration. Dehydrated pets may also have a dry nose (which we all know is uncommon since our little buddies most always have a moist, even cold, nose.)
Severe Stage Signs
7. His skin has lost its elasticity
To check your dog for dehydration, pick up a fold of 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 without any hesitation. If dehydration is present, the skin will slowly return or may even stay up for a time before falling back into place.
8. His urine is very concentrated, or he is not going to the toilet.
Just like humans, when an animal doesn't take in enough water, his urine will be a very dark yellow color and if his bladder is completely empty, he will not urinate at all.
9. He has diarrhea.
This sign should be taken very seriously, because diarrhea will only make dehydration worse.
10. He is vomiting.
Again, this creates a dangerous vicious circle, because your dog will lose even more fluids by vomiting.
If you notice that your pup has one of these symptoms, the first step is to give him clean, fresh water right away, and make sure he drinks it -but- be careful that you don't force your pet to take in large volumes of water when he is dehydrated. Make sure he drinks slowly and gradually.
If his symptoms don't go away soon,
take him to the Veterinarian.
Remember, we're not talking about a Pawberry Daiquiri here, people . . .
It's just water!
Tips To Avoid Dehydration In The First Place
Never leave your dog in a hot car and never leave your dog without access to water - this is one of the biggest risks to their life.
Provide your dog with clean water regularly throughout the day and remember as a rule of thumb, dogs should drink approximately one ounce of water per pound of body weight each day.
Overall, dogs are fairly good at self-regulating their water consumption and will not over-drink if water is left out all day. Again, never leave your dog without access to water.
In addition, make sure to carefully wash your pet's bowl every day to stop bacteria from forming. A simple thing to do.
Lastly, dogs that are fed a canned food diet will receive quite a bit more moisture as canned food is about 70-80% water. These dogs may drink less water than dogs that eat food that is mostly dry.
Hydrated dogs have flawless
skin and may make the cover of Dogue Magazine one day.
Take care of all our fur babies out there!