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  • Dog Dehydration

    Warning Signs of Dehydration in Your Dog

    Just like people, our four-legged friends can suffer from dehydration, and it is just as dangerous for them as it is for us. Unlike humans, our dogs cannot tell us if there is a problem, so as their caretakers it is up to us to watch for the warning signs.

    Dehydration is caused when your dog is losing more fluid than they are taking in. Water is critical in allowing your furry friend’s cells to absorb all the nutrients needed to maintain their bodily functions, to include joint lubrication, digestion, body temperature regulation, and cushioning internal organs.

    Dogs will lose and gain water as the day goes by as they pant, use the bathroom, eat, and drink. However, if your dog fails to make up for the water loss of the day, it can result in a reduction of oxygen delivery to tissues and organs. Kidney and organ failure and death can be the results of serious cases of dehydration in your dog. There are some signs to watch for to keep your dog in the best of health. Let’s take a closer look.

    Loss of Skin Elasticity

    This is the most common sign of dehydration in a dog. If you believe your dog may be dehydrated, lift a small area of skin on the dog’s back. If the skin does not snap back into place after a second or two, your dog may be suffering from dehydration.

    White Gums

    When you press your finger against your dog’s gums, they should appear white for just a second, and then return to the regular pink color right away. If your dog is dehydrated, the capillaries will take time to refill. If your dog’s gums stay white when you press them, take your dog to the vet to be checked for dehydration.


    We know our dogs pant when they are tired out from playing or running. However, if your pooch is panting and they have not participated in any strenuous exercise, they may be dehydrated, especially if their nose is dry. Call your vet for an appointment.

    Vomiting and/or Diarrhea

    Not only can vomiting and diarrhea cause dehydration, they can be a symptom. Because vomiting and diarrhea result in a loss of fluids and electrolytes, dogs who have problems with this can end up being dehydrated. When dogs become dehydrated, they can suffer from vomiting and diarrhea. If your furry friend suffers from either of these symptoms, contact your vet immediately to get a diagnosis and create a treatment plan.


    We should know the difference between when our companions are sleepy and when they are feeling bad. If your pup is feeling lethargic, dehydration could be the cause. Check your dog’s eyes. If they appear sunken in, your dog might be suffering from dehydration, and you need to get to the vet’s office right away.

    Dullness or Lack of Mental Awareness

    Unless deeply sleeping, dogs are quick to see and hear everything going on around them. If suddenly your furry companion seems dull, starts to miss or is not attentive to what is happening around them or becomes confused, dehydration could be the culprit. Check with your vet about treatment.

    Shock or Collapse

    If your dog goes into shock or collapses, go to your vet immediately. These could be signs of severe dehydration and your companion needs emergency support.

    Prevention of Dehydration

    The best way to protect your dog from dehydration is to prevent it. Be mindful of your dog’s water bowl and keep it filled with clean, fresh water. Do not forget to keep the water bowl filled in the fall and winter. Dogs can become dehydrated at any time of the year, even when it is not hot.

    Avoid strenuous physical activities during the hottest time of the day and limit the time you spend outside with your dog in warm weather. Always monitor your pooch for signs of dehydration and if you see any concerning signs, be sure to offer them water immediately.

    Dr. Ron’s Animal Hospital & Emergency

    Dr. Ron’s Animal Hospital & Emergency takes great care of pets in the Simi Valley, Moorpark, Thousand Oaks, Chatsworth, and other areas in nearby Ventura County, CA stay Dog Drinking Water healthy throughout the year. We are a full care facility that focuses on preventative exams, affordable vaccinations, spay and neuter, dental care, and emergency care.

    Dr. Ron’s Animal Hospital & Emergency takes appointments, walk-ins, drop-off exams, and makes house calls. Our staff are pet people and we show it in everything we do.

    If you have a furry companion and are in Simi Valley, Moorpark, Thousand Oaks, Chatsworth, and other areas in nearby Ventura County, CA, come see why Dr. Ron’s Animal Hospital & Emergency has been voted the #1 animal hospital for over 19 years. Let us take care of you and your pet.

    posted on October 5, 2020 at 6:42 am by Doctor Ron