Canines need water in order to survive and thrive, just like humans need water. Proper hydration is critical—but do you know how to tell if your dog is dehydrated? Let's look at some signs of dehydration in dogs.
How to Check for Dehydration in a Dog
According to PETMD, “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.”
Another area to examine is the mouth. If the gums are dry or pale looking, this could be a sign of dehydration or another illness. Furthermore, PETMD states, “Dehydrated pets will also have sunken eyes and dry nose and mouth.”
How Much Water Should Your Dog be Drinking?
To avoid dehydration in your pet, you'll need to know how much water your dog should be drinking. There are a variety of things you need to take into account, such as age, size, diet, activity level, and what season of the year it is.
And as a Colorado-based company, we know firsthand that altitude comes into play for dogs as well. They need serious hydration at altitude, just like we do.
According to Dr. Karen Becker, “As a general rule, healthy dogs need from ½ to one ounce of water per pound of body weight each day.”
Other Reasons Your Dog May be Dehydrated
Take note if your pooch seems to be drinking TOO MUCH water. This can be a signal that something is amiss. According to Pet Health Network, if your dog is drinking excessively (polydipsia) it is possibly because he is losing excess amounts of water for any of a number of reasons (though dogs do not sweat and do not lose water that way).
Does Your Pup Need Treatment for Dehydration?
Take time this summer to observe your dog’s water behavior and be cognizant of any unusual behavior. If you have any concerns about your dog's hydration, be sure to contact your veterinarian to determine what the underlying cause may be.