8 Signs Of Dehydration In Dogs You Should Know

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Early signs of dehydration include sunken eyes, looking lethargic, moving around slowly, dry nose, and excessive panting. Any change in behavior is also a red flag. If not treated, dehydration becomes more severe, resulting in weak hind legs and unable to stand on their own feet.

Just like humans, dehydration in dogs can cause severe health issues. Dogs can lose a lot of water even though they don’t sweat. They lose water from several causes, including panting, diarrhea, and vomiting.

We know how much you love your furry, four-legged friends. So, here are the signs of dehydration you need to look for.

1. Sunken Eyes

symptoms of dehydration in dogs Sunken Eyes

Take a look at your dog’s eyes. Notice anything different? The initial signs of dehydration are sunken eyes. The eyes look deprived of moisture and you sense they have lost their usual sparkle. This is because dehydration causes a lot of tissues to be drained out of fluids, including the water in and around the eyes.1

2. Lethargic And Slow Paced

symptoms of dehydration in dogs Lethargy Slow Pace

A huge indicator of any sort of distress in your dog is their energy level. By now, you must be aware of their energy levels, like how excited they get to see you after work, or if you bring out food. If you see a dip in their excitement, it probably means something isn’t right. Also, another huge red flag is when your dog has suddenly started to move around at a much slower pace.

3. Change In Behavior

symptoms of dehydration in dogs Behavior changes

It’s not just about their energy; even a sudden change in their overall mood and behavior could be signs of dehydration. If they seem apprehensive, restless, anxious, or uninterested in typical activities, you might want to keep a close eye on your dog.

4. Excessive Panting

symptoms of dehydration in dogs Excessive Panting

You take your dog for a usual morning run. But after the run, you notice they are panting heavier than usual. Dehydration can leave them breathless and tired even after a short walk, or any activity for that matter.

5. Dry Nose

symptoms of dehydration in dogs Dry Nose

People say you can tell a lot about a dog’s health by touching their nose. It’s true. A wet nose is healthy for a dog. Dogs release sweat through their nose and when they are dehydrated, their noses become dry.

6. Loss Of Skin Elasticity

symptoms of dehydration in dogs Loss Of Skin Elasticity

If you think your dog is dehydrated, here’s a simple test. Pinch a little of your dog’s skin on the back. The skin should go back down immediately. But, if your dog is dehydrated, the skin will take a few more seconds to settle back. In extreme dehydrated cases, the skin would not go back. This is because the lack of water in the body leads to the skin losing elasticity.2

7. Dry Gums

symptoms of dehydration in dogs Dry Gums

Another test you could do is to press your index finger firmly on your dog’s gums. This would make the region under your finger turn white. Once you take off the finger, if everything is normal, the gum should turn back into pink instantly. A dehydrated dog’s gums would take a little more time to get back to its pink color. This is known as “delayed capillary refill time” test.3

8. Weak Hind Legs

symptoms of dehydration in dogs Weak Hind Legs

Severe dehydration can cause dogs to develop weak hind legs. It becomes difficult for them to stand on their feet. This is an advanced state of dehydration.

We know how it hurts to see your furry pals in any sort of discomfort or pain. Try to pay attention to minor things like if they are eating their food completely or if they are frequently drinking water. Catching the early signs of dehydration can help to avoid serious health issues.

If you think your dog has any of the above symptoms, mix a little electrolyte in the water and give it to them, or let them lick ice. But, if they refuse to drink water and aren’t getting better, it’s time to visit a vet. We hope your dog gets better soon!

References   [ + ]

1, 2.Signs of Dehydration in Dogs. The Humane Society
3.Small Animal Physical Exams. International Veterinary Student Association

Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

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