4 Warning Signs of Dehydration in Your Dog to Look Out For

Just as we can become dehydrated, so can dogs. If your pup is not getting enough fluid, it will negatively affect their health. Keep a watch over your pet, and call your vet if your dog is showing signs of dehydration.


One of the biggest signs of dehydration in dogs is Xerostomia, which is when your pet's gums and lips lose moisture. This generally leads to sticky, dry gums with thick, pasty saliva. If your dog's dehydration reaches this extent, you may also notice heavy panting and a loss of appetite.

Dry Nose

Did you know that your dog's nose is supposed to be wet? You may hate it when their wet nose touches your face, but it's an important feature for their health. If you notice your pup has a dry nose or sunken in eyes, this could be a sign of dehydration or other illnesses.

Skin Elasticity

Have you ever had an older person tell you that if you pinch your skin and it stays that way, it means you are dehydrated? Well, the same is true for dogs. When animals are dehydrated, their skin loses elasticity, which is what causes skin to go back into place when pulled or pinched. You can test your pet's hydration in the same way by pulling a small portion of skin and releasing it.

When to See a Veterinarian

Dehydration is not something that should be taken lightly. If your dog is showing signs of heat stroke, shock or dehydration, you should transport them to a veterinarian right away. Try to give your pup a small amount of water on the way to the clinic. If your dog is not severely dehydrated, however, you can nurse them back to health by offering small amounts of fresh water. Make sure not to give them too much at once to avoid making them sick.

Tips for Avoiding Dehydration

There are multiple causes of dehydration. The most obvious reason is the lack of availability of water. You should always make sure your pup has plenty of clean, fresh water. This is especially true during summer months. However, your dog may still become dehydrated even if you keep plenty of water available for them. If your pet experiences excessive vomiting and diarrhea, this can cause dehydration as well. If this is the case, call your vet, and offer your dog an electrolyte supplement such as Pedialyte.

Dogs rely on water just as much as we do. Without it, they will become dehydrated. Make sure you always supply them with fresh, clean water, and call your vet if you notice any signs of dehydration.

About the Author: 

Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn't writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.

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