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5 Dog dehydration signs for pet owners

Taking good care of your pooch requires a complete balance of mental and physical wellbeing. It is important to keep them protected and healthy. With the rise in mercury day after day, you must ensure your pet is well hydrated. Dehydration in pets is a common threat.

YES! Pets do get dehydrated like humans. But the difference is we can speak of our troubles and pets will show signs to their owners and ask for help. In this blog, I will walk you through 5 basic signs your pet might show when dehydrated.

Did you know, kidney failure in dogs can be caused by dehydration?

As a pet owner, you must know your pet’s water intake habits, the minimum required amount of water per day to keep them hydrated.

How do you calculate water consumption for pets?

Water intake amount will vary from pet to pet. Factors that contribute to the calculation are the pet’s weight, size, and physical activity. A general recommendation is 50 ml of water times the bodyweight of your dog. For example, a 10 kg dog will require about half a Liter of water a day. However, with the rise in temperature and increased physical activity or for a highly active dog, thrice the amount of water per day will be required.

Watch out for the following symptoms that occur a dog is dehydrated.

1. Lethargic

Is the floor or dog bed your pooch’s new addiction? It’s not gravity holding it down but in fact a symptom of feeling lethargic. The first reaction caused due to reduced water level in the body is a drop in energy levels. Hence the demotivation to move around, getting tired sooner than usual, and reduced playtime are symptoms of dehydration that have caused reduced energy levels.

2. Skin and coat flexibility

Here’s how you can check your pet’s skin elasticity. Gently pinch and hold the skin (not fur) for a few seconds. After releasing, the skin should relax back to its original shape. If the skin stays in the grabbed shape, then that is an indication of a lack of water in the dog’s body. Water not only hydrates the body but also helps maintain the elasticity and quality of the pet’s skin.

3. Oral health check

A pet’s health can be examined by its oral health. Dry, pale, and sticky gums are a few indicators of dehydration. You will notice pink and moist gums in a healthy dog. Hence maintaining oral hygiene is as important as monitoring oral health.

4. Nose and eyes check

A few dog breeds suffer from natural dry noses. For example, Bulldogs, and Pugs due to short snouts and Lhasa and Spaniels because of blocked tear ducts. All other breeds usually have wet noses due to their ability to naturally lick their nose. However, if your pooch is one of the other breeds and still has a dry nose, then that is a sign of reduced water levels in the body. You may notice similar dryness around the eyes of the pet. If you do notice dryness around your pet’s nose and eyes, that’s your cue to act fast and get professional advice on pet dehydration.

5. Is your pet panting more than usual?

A dog can lose three to five percent of its body water level, which can cause dehydration. This drop-in body water level may occur due to external factors like an increase in temperature or aggressive physical activity. Hence, it is important to maintain the hydration level with changes in external factors. If you fail to do so, you will notice heavy panting as a sign of the early stage of dehydration.


Monitor your dog’s daily water consumption. Use the following tips to keep your dog hydrated.

  1. Get a bigger water bowl. Big bowls can hold enough water for a day as per your dog’s requirement. This will ensure that the water bowl is never left empty when required.

  2. Use clean bowls. Wash the water bowl daily and refill with fresh water. This will not allow biofilm to settle on your dog’s bowl which can cause other health diseases.

  3. Add water additive. Water additives help maintain the pet’s oral hygiene. They help prevent tartar formation on dogs’ teeth and gums. A pet’s overall health can be examined by its oral health; hence it is important to keep that in check.

  4. Drinking fountain. Readily available at pet shops is a dog water fountain. If you have that extra space in your house, then you can always install one.

  5. Offer water from your hand. Every pet is hungry for its owner’s attention. We do not recommend you make this a habit, but you can use this as a remedy for an extreme case.

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