Dogs can get dehydrated just like humans can, and with temperatures set to rise across the UK, it’s important for dog owners to look out for signs of dehydration.
Whilst it’s normal for your dog’s body to gain and lose water throughout the day as panting, breathing, urinating, defecating, and evaporation through the paws all contribute to water loss, the warmer weather makes dogs more susceptible to dehydration.
There are various causes of dehydration, including loss of fluid through vomiting, and diarrhoea, passing urine more frequently – which could be linked to an underlying illness – as well as nauseousness, lethargy and pain.
So, we enlisted the help of Dr Nick Thompson, a vet working with ProDog Raw, to find out how to keep our pets safe.
Dr Thompson urged dog owners to ensure their pets always have access to clean water, and “if you are going to be out for the day, make sure to bring a water supply and bowl with you,” he advises.
If you’re worried your dog could be dehydrated, Dr Thompson has shared a test you can perform at home.
“A quick test you can do to find out if your dog is dehydrated is to simply pinch the skin above their eye or on the scruff of their neck.
“When you let go of the skin it should go back down to normal if they are well hydrated.
“If the skin is tenting (if it stays up and doesn’t return to normal) that is an indicator that your dog is dehydrated.”
Steps to take if your pooch is dehydrated
The first thing you should do is to encourage them to drink an electrolyte solution as this can help to rehydrate them quickly.
To make an electrolyte solution, for every pint of water you give them add a half teaspoon of honey and a quarter teaspoon of salt, Himalayan salt is better, but ordinary salt is fine.
But if it gets to the stage where you are being forced to syringe liquid into your dog’s mouth, this is an indicator that their dehydration is getting worse.
Dr Nick Thompson says if your dog doesn’t want to get up and isn’t eating, the best and safest course of action would be to take them to the vet. The vet may put them on a drip to rehydrate them.
He said: “Puppies and old dogs are much more fragile and can be affected more severely by dehydration than a fully grown adult dog, so in this case, if your elderly dog or puppy is losing lots of fluids, take them to the vet straight away.”