How To Tell If Your Dog Is Dehydrated?

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Once in a while, every dog refuses to drink water. Whether he’s recovering from surgery or just not feeling well, you need to know how to tell if your dog is dehydrated in order to prevent more serious health issues. Dehydration can set in quickly, so it’s imperative that every pet owner know the signs to look for, what to do and when it’s time to seek veterinary care.

Typically, it’s a health issue that will cause a dog to refrain from drinking water. This is a major problem, because not drinking will quickly lead to dehydration. If you’ve noticed a sudden change in your dog’s water intake (whether he’s drinking more or less) that lasts for more than 24 hours, it’s best to seek the advice of your veterinarian.

If you already know the reason for the aversion to drinking water, you can try getting your dog to drink more even when he doesn’t want to. In such situations, it is best to only offer small amounts of water at one time. You can increase the quantity as your dog begins to feel better. Drinking too much too quickly could cause your dog to vomit, which will make him even more dehydrated.

How To Tell If Your Dog Is Dehydrated?

how to tell if your dog is dehydrated

Before you learn how to tell if your dog is dehydrated, you should also be aware of some of the potential reasons that your dog has stopped drinking water. The following are among the most common causes:

  • unfamiliar surroundings
  • aging
  • illness or disease
  • negative experiences or fear

You should always be monitoring your dog’s behavior to look for anything out of the ordinary. If you notice a change in his drinking habits, it’s best to try getting him to drink water as soon as possible in order to prevent dehydration. If you’re not sure whether or not your dog is already dehydrated, follow these steps to learn how to tell if your dog is dehydrated.

Check for Dehydration

If you notice that your dog isn’t drinking as much water as he normally does, you need to check for dehydration immediately. There are a couple of ways to do this that are simple and quick.

  • (A) Skin pinching. As I demonstrate in my video above, the first thing to do is pinch the skin on the back of your dog’s neck, then let it go. If the skin doesn’t return to normal immediately, this could be a sign that the dog is dehydrated.

Check a dog for signs of dehydration

  • (B) Check gums. You can also check your dog’s gums to see if your pet is dehydrated. I also demonstrate this procedure in my video above. To do this, gently press your finger on the dog’s gums until the pink color fades. If the gum doesn’t pink up immediately, it could be a sign that your dog is dehydrated.

On top of these two checks, there are also other signs of dehydration in dogs, including:

  • loss of appetite
  • lethargy
  • decrease in urine output
  • darker color urine
  • urine with a noticeably strong odor

If your dog is showing signs of dehydration, seek veterinary care immediately. Do NOT wait. If your dog is dehydrated, waiting just a few hours could be the difference between a quick treatment with IV fluids and a much more serious health problem, and sometimes even death.

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