How to know if your dog is dehydrated

By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
How to know if your dog is dehydrated

As with humans, pet dehydration is very dangerous, it risks their health and life if not treated in time. But many people have trouble knowing if their dog is dehydrated, so at we'll explain what the main signs of this condition are and what to do to protect the health of your pet.

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Steps to follow:

Your dog can become dehydrated if they do not drink enough fluids or due to a condition that has made them lose more water than they ingest. Vomiting or diarrhoea often make our dog lose a lot of fluids. During the warmer months, our pets should also increase their intake of water, otherwise they run the risk of getting dehydrated.

How to know if your dog is dehydrated - Step 1

You can test if your dog is dehydrated using their skin. Good water intake makes the skin elastic, so grab a little of your dog's skin near its shoulder or lower part of the neck and fold it. In hydrated pets the skin quickly returns to normal, but if your dog's skin lacks water, it will take a little longer to return to its normal position, indicating that it lacks elasticity and therefore liquid.


If your pet looks sleepy, finds it difficult to run or walk and is not very active, touch its nose. If it's dry you probably have a dehydrated dog on your hands.

How to know if your dog is dehydrated - Step 3

To make sure of this you can check its gums, if they don't look wet but rather dried out and their tongue also lacks wetness, the dog is dehydrated. Dehydrated dogs can also develop bad breath.


When facing dehydration, what's most important is that your dog recovers the liquid and minerals it has lost. Try to give it water, but do this slowly to prevent it from vomiting. Many times after episodes of diarrhoea and vomiting dogs refuse to eat anything. If this is the case, you can insert the liquid with a syringe needle constantly throughout the day.


Another good alternative is to give it a broth of chicken or light meat containing vitamins and minerals that will also help to hydrate it. The smell can make the animal feel encouraged to drink more easily.


Finally there is a simple and safe alternative: liquid whey for babies, which is suitable for dogs. This is especially useful if the animal has experienced a lot of vomiting and diarrhoea. Before using this however, you should consult your veterinarian to recommend the best brand.


If all these alternatives still don't get your dog to consume liquids and it looks increasingly listless and sick, you should urgently take it to the vet. It is very important that the animal recover lost fluids or its health is at risk.

If you want to read similar articles to How to know if your dog is dehydrated, we recommend you visit our Pets category.

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Lora Roberts
I get real scared bc my dog always does this but he has a whole bowl of water.. is there anything I can do to help it and he wont eat properly
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