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  • Thirsty Dog

    Tips to Treat Dehydration in Dogs From the Expert Vet in Simi Valley

    Loving, loyal, and goofy, there’s a lot of reasons why we love our dogs. Sometimes, our pooches simply don’t know what’s best for them. With boundless energy and hot weather, our pups can get quickly dehydrated. Pets may turn up their nose at water and end up in a dangerous predicament. No one wants your old faithful companion to have health troubles that can be easily prevented by avoiding dehydration. In this article, we’ll give you some expert tips for how you can treat dehydration in your dog, keeping them happy, healthy, and hydrated.

    What are the symptoms of a dehydrated dog?

    There are many symptoms of dehydration that many dog owners will quickly be able to spot. As a rule of thumb, the 6 signs listed below are the most common you should watch for

    • Sunken eyes
    • Lethargy (excessive tiredness)
    • Weakness
    • Dry gums
    • Collapse (fainting)
    • Poor skin elasticity
    • Excessive panting

    How to Test for Dehydration

    There are 2 tests you can do at home to check if your dog is dehydrated:

    1. Skin Elasticity Test

    Gently pinch your dogs skin at their scruff (between their shoulders), gently pull this an inch or two from their body. When the skin is released it should immediately retract. If your dog is dehydrated this retraction will happen slowly or not at all due to moisture loss in the skin.

    2. Capillary Refill Test

    You can check your dogs gums for capillary refill time. Lift your dogs lips and inspect the color of their gums. Gently press the gum with your index finger so it leaves white blanching. Release your finger and see how long it takes for the color to return. A healthy dogs gums will return immediately, where as a dehydrated dog’s gums will take a few seconds to return to a pink color.

    Treating your Dog at Home

    If the dehydration is minor, such as after vomiting or diarrhea, or at your vets instruction, you can treat mild dehydration at home. Listed below are some top tips to get your pooch back on their feet.

    1. Electrolyte Supplements

    Electrolyte supplements are a great way to rehydrate you dog after a tummy bug, as they are filled with sodium chloride and potassium that is often lost through sickness. They also have beneficial nutrients as well as aid digestion and muscle function. Electrolytes will also help your pup intake minerals allowing them to regain any lost weight as well as giving their immune system a boost.

    2. Broth

    Beef or chicken broth can be excellent for rehydrating a dog which has been ill. This is a great option for pets which are dehydrated but won’t drink water, as the broth is simply too tempting. Not only will your pet be rehydrating, but they’ll also be getting some extra nutrients too. Broth can also be paired with electrolytes too, if your dog is needing some extra hydration.

    3. Frozen Treats

    Great for dogs that have overheated when playing or in summer, “pupsicles,” as they have become fondly known, can be a great choice to help your pooch cool down as well as hydrate. There are a wealth of different ingredients you can experiment with such as coconut milk, banana, peanut butter, watermelon, bacon, and more. Just make sure that your ingredients are dog friendly first. A quick internet search on a reputable site or veterinarian blog will usually help rule out unsafe foods. You can even add a supplement into the pupsicle to give your pet a hydration boost.

    4. Wet Food

    Another great option for a picky pet who is refusing water, wet food can give hydration to dehydrated pets. While this is likely not enough moisture to keep your dog fully hydrated, it is certainly a great way increase the fluids your pet is consuming.

    Visit Your Vet!

    If at any time you become worried about your pet or your home methods aren’t working, you should take your pet to an experienced vet ASAP. This will ensure your pet gets the right help they need, as more severe cases of dehydration will likely need more intensive measures to cure, such as IV fluids and overnight stays which are costly financially and emotionally.

    Dr. Ron’s Animal Hospital

    Dr. Ron’s Animal Hospital of Simi Valley Dog Drinking Wateris perfectly placed to help the pooches of Moorpark, Thousand Oaks, Chatsworth, and areas nearby Ventura County. Call today or come in for more information or to schedule an appointment.

    posted on December 6, 2019 at 6:00 am by Doctor Ron