Topics: Health & Wellness

Every living thing needs water, from the smallest insect to the biggest tree. Most creatures can get fluid from their environment without help — but your dog relies on you to be in charge of their hydration needs.

Of course, that’s easier said than done, especially if your furry friend sometimes forgets to visit the water bowl. Luckily, hydration for dogs doesn’t have to be a challenge — as long as you have a few helpful tips up your sleeve, that is. Here’s what you need to know!

What is Dehydration in Dogs?

According to Mayo Clinic, dehydration is what happens when the body loses more fluid than it takes in. As the American Kennel Club (AKC) explains, dehydration in dogs results in a loss of electrolytes, which can impact nerve and muscle function, pH balance and more. This medical condition can affect humans and animals alike, which means you may have experienced it yourself.

Let’s take a closer look:

What Causes Dehydration?

Every day, your dog loses fluid by panting, sweating and even drooling. They replace this fluid by eating their food or drinking water. If something happens to interrupt this cycle, dehydration may occur.

Dehydration in dogs can be caused by a variety of factors, according to Memphis Veterinary Specialists and Emergency. Here are a few examples:

  • Decreased food or water intake.
  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Certain illnesses.
  • Overheating.

In some cases, dehydration is a symptom of a more serious medical problem; in other cases, it’s just a result of your dog not spending enough time at their water bowl.

Is Dehydration Serious?

There are different levels of dehydration severity, depending on how quickly and effectively the condition is addressed. In mild cases, the only necessary treatment for dehydration is increased water intake. Severe dehydration, however, can cause organ failure and may be fatal, according to the AKC.

Some Dogs at Higher Risk for Dehydration?

Some dogs may be more likely to become dehydrated than others. If your dog falls into one of the following categories, they might be at higher risk, according to the AKC:

  • Puppies.
  • Older dogs.
  • Nursing females.
  • Toy dog breeds.

Signs of Dehydration in Dogs

Because dehydration can quickly become serious, it’s important to know what to look for — and when to head to the vet. Here are a few signs your dog isn’t getting enough fluid, according to the AKC:

  • Loss of appetite.
  • Loss of skin elasticity.
  • Dry nose.
  • Dry eyes.
  • Persistent panting.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s smart to give your vet a call. They may recommend that you bring your dog in right away. In cases of more severe dehydration, you might be directed to offer fresh water in small increments; that’s because drinking too much while dehydrated can cause vomiting.

It’s especially important to look out for dehydration symptoms if your dog has underlying health conditions. For example, some illnesses — and even medications — can cause your dog to lose interest in food and water, which may eventually lead to severe dehydration. Work with your vet to monitor fluid intake and help take control of your dog’s hydration.

Of course, even a perfectly healthy dog can become dehydrated. That’s especially true if they’re playing outside in hot weather — so always keep an eye on your furry friend’s water bowl to make sure they’re getting enough to drink.

Tips for Keeping Your Dog Hydrated

Some of us have trouble making sure we’re drinking water, let alone our pets. That’s why it’s helpful to brush up on a few tips for keeping your dog hydrated:

Make Fresh Water a Priority

No matter where you are, you should always have fresh water on hand. That’s because drinking from unsafe sources — like the ocean or a dirty puddle — can cause other health problems for your pooch. Even dehydrated dogs don’t want a drink that might contain parasites or other risks, so make sure you bring safe drinking water on all your adventures.

Choose a Smarter Water Bowl

Automated water fountains are the dog bowls of the future. They don’t just make your life easier — they also encourage your pup to keep drinking, which helps boost fluid intake and reduces the risk of dehydration.

Take Frequent Water Breaks

Whether you’re on a run with your pooch, tossing toys at the dog park or just playing at home, it’s important to take hydration breaks. Unlike people, dogs aren’t likely to stop a game just because they’re thirsty, so it’s your job to encourage visits to the water bowl.

Offer Tasty Snacks

Drinking water isn’t the only way for your furry friend to stay hydrated. Dog treats and wet food are two other options — and they’re sure to get your dog’s tail wagging. Pets still need to drink plenty of water, but treats and wet food snacks can help encourage reluctant pups to visit their bowls more often.

Look Out for Health Problems

Even a seemingly unrelated health issue — like a flea infestation — might make your canine companion less interested in drinking water. (Would you have time to hang around by the dog bowl if you were busy scratching and itching?) That’s why it’s important to stay on top of your dog’s health, including vaccinations, flea and tick treatment, food and water intake and more.

Stock up on Dog Supplies

Hydration for dogs doesn’t have to be a chore. All you need is a few tools — like a convenient water bowl, some tasty snacks and treatments to protect your dog’s health. The truth is that fluid intake alone isn’t enough; to really take control of hydration, you have to be a “water warrior” for your furry friend — and we’re here to help.

Visit your nearest Pet Supermarket to stock up on all the dog supplies you need for a healthy, happy pup!

Shop Hydration Supplies

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