Some dogs may seem to gulp down bowl after bowl of water each day, whereas others may have barely touch the water bowl when you go to refill it. What are the signs of dehydration and what can you do if your dog is dehydrated?

Typically a healthy dog requires 30-50ml of water per kg of bodyweight but factors like exercise, illness or even a stressed dog can affect their hydration

For the most part, you don’t need to worry too much unless your dog has had sickness or diarrhoea which may make even slight dehydration an issue. Severe dehydration may lead to organ failure so take steps if your dog has been ill, as described above.

Some signs of dehydration include:

Dry mouth – check your pet’s gums and they should feel slippery and moist. If they feel dry, then your dog may be dehydrated

Infrequent urination – not relieving himself often, or having dark, or strong smelling urine, is a sign of dehydration

You can also check your pet’s skin elasticity by using your finger & thumb to lift the loose skin over your dog’s shoulders. How quickly it snaps back will give an indicator of hydration levels. If it snaps right back then your pet is fully hydrated, 1-2 seconds means mild dehydration and longer than 2 seconds, or stays lifted, means your dog is dehydrated.

What steps can you take to ensure your dog stays hydrated?

Make sure you change your dog’s drinking water twice a day so they have access to fresh, cold water. You can even find some ice pop recipes online if your pet isn’t a great lover of water

If your pet has been ill, which is making him very inactive, try using a syringe to put water into his mouth rather than expecting him to walk to the water bowl. It’s safe to use rehydration sachets, such as Dioralyte, mixed in water. Always double check with your vet if your pet is already on medication though or has pre-existing health problems

If you’re concerned about your dog, always ensure you contact your vet; who is aware of your pet’s medical history

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