Treating Dehydrated Dogs
Treating dehydrated dogs - exactly how do I do this? What exactly is dehydration in dogs in the first place? Basically, dehydration in any being is the process of excessive loss of bodily fluids. This is the same whether you are a human being or a dog.
Additionally, dehydration includes the loss of essential electrolytes and minerals in addition to the water loss. Collectively, these minerals, such as chloride, sodium and potassium, form something called electrolytes.
It is important to note that dehydration in dogs, or any creature for that matter, is very, very serious. Left untreated, dehydration could lead to a number of serious health problems and eventually organ failure or even death.
How does this happen? There are several ways such as excessive panting, prolonged vomiting or diarrhea, excessive heat, inadequate fluid intake or even fever when sick, etc. If your dog is panting, it is hot, simple enough. Now, if the dog does not drink enough to offset these fluid losses it will become dehydrated eventually.
It is also very important to know that one of the main symptoms of dehydration in dogs is a loss of skin elasticity. This is one of the classic symptoms of dehydration in dogs. What exactly does this mean? If the skin along the back was picked up it would stay up in the ridge shape and not lay down normally on its own.
Dry mouth and nose are other signs of dehydration. You can also test the color of your dogs gums to check for dehydration. If you were to open the dogs mouth and put your finger firmly against the gums (so that they appear white) and then removed your finger you could check to see how quickly the blood returns to the gums. If the gums take more than a few seconds to return to the original pink state then your dog is probably dehydrated.
If you suspect that your dog is dehydrated, you should seek veterinary attention as soon as absolutely possible. Replacing all fluids the dog has lost and keeping it from losing any other fluids is very important - intravenous fluids may be needed depending on the severity of the dogs dehydration. If you can, get some water into your dog in the meantime but don't overdo it. Too much at one time can have just the opposite effect and cause vomiting - let the dog drink small amounts over a period of time and get it to your vet asap.
Best Tips on Preventing Dehydration
Other tips for treating dehydrated dogs:
give your dog ice to lick to rehydrate him/her slowly
don't let your dog drink large amounts of water after heavy exercise (over drinking can quickly lead to vomiting and more fluids loss)
after heavy exercise allow frequent but small amounts of fluids every few minutes
give him an electrolyte supplement (Pedialyte is suitable for dogs) mixed into his water supply - electrolytes help do the job more quickly
if he hasn't had a drink for a while, start re-hydrating the dog slowly
What is the best thing about treating dehydrated dogs? The fact that prevention of dehydration is fairly simple. First, make sure that your dog ALWAYS has plenty of fresh water available to him/her at all times of the day/night. If possible, leave two, three, or more bowls filled with water around the house so that your dog can get a drink anywhere, anytime, no matter where he is be it in your home or outside. Treating dehydrated dogs can be alleviated easily enough by following a few simple preventive methods.
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"What's Santa's Little Helper doing to that dog? Looks like he's trying to jump over, but he can't quite make it." - Bart Simpson