How to Tell if a Dog Is Dehydrated?

How to Tell if a Dog Is Dehydrated

Our dogs can’t tell us when they are on the verge of dehydration. Sometimes excessive dehydration can be life-threatening for the canine friend, due to which most dog owners look for steps regarding how to tell if a dog is dehydrated.

How to Tell if a Dog Is Dehydrated?- Detecting dehydration in dogs is not as easy as it sounds, as the symptoms are challenging to get caught by ordinary people who don’t have any knowledge about the anatomy of dogs.

To assess if a dog is dehydrated, observe the following signs:

  1. Skin elasticity: Gently pinch the skin between the dog’s shoulder blades and release it. In hydrated dogs, the skin should quickly return to its original position. If it remains tented or returns slowly, dehydration may be present.
  2. Dry gums and nose: Check the dog’s gums and nose. In a hydrated dog, they are typically moist. If they appear dry or sticky, it could indicate dehydration.
  3. Sunken eyes: Dehydration can cause the eyes to appear sunken or lack moisture.
  4. Lethargy and weakness: Dehydrated dogs may show signs of decreased energy levels, lethargy, or weakness.
  5. Decreased urine output: Monitor your dog’s urine output. Dehydration can lead to decreased frequency or volume of urination.
  6. Prolonged skin recoil: Lift the skin at the back of the dog’s neck or between the shoulder blades. In hydrated dogs, the skin quickly returns to its normal position. If it remains elevated or recoils slowly, dehydration may be present.

Now, how to tell if a dog is dehydrated, what are steps to follow, and what preventive measures to take are all jotted down under this article. So please continue to read the article to get the information.

How Do Dogs Get Dehydrated?

The bodily activities of your dog are mainly responsible for the dehydration of your canine friend, the activities include defecating, urinating, panting, and breathing, and even the evaporation of water that occurs through the dog paws due to the excessive heating of the site is responsible for the cause of dehydration.

When a dog regularly drinks water, the electrolytes present in the water that gets lost from the body due to the above bodily activities get replaced.

Instead of the activities mentioned above, the most significant factor responsible for the dehydration of dogs is the lesser amount of fluid intake by the dog.

As we all know that the amount of fluid consumed by the dog is mainly responsible for the smooth blood flow of the dog’s body as it increases the number of body fluids, which promotes the regulation of blood;

when this fluid intake of the dog becomes lesser in an amount the delivery of oxygen to the organs and tissues gets reduced and eventually leads to dehydration.

How Much Water Should a Dog Drink in a Day to Avoid Dehydration?

The requirement of water for dogs to prevent dehydration can differ from breed to breed. In contrast, as per the research done by the cynologists on the fluid condition of dogs, a dog usually needs an ounce of water per pound of the weight of its body to avoid further complications of dehydration in the future.

What are the Symptoms of Dehydration in Dogs?

A dog owner should know about the symptoms that a dog’s body used to give while it lacks the required amount of fluid in its body to promote smooth blood regulation.

It’s also crucial for a dog owner to get aware of the symptoms of dehydration in dogs, provide water in the required time, and take necessary care to prevent the pet from severe complications in the body caused due to dehydration.

The symptoms that a dog owner can follow to detect dehydration in the dog’s body are discussed below.

Sunken Eyes

When a dog suffers from dehydration, the oxygen supply to the organs and tissues gets interrupted.

The oxygen delivery to the muscles supporting various external organs like the eyes reaches sunken.

Muscle contraction around the orbit in the orbital fat and the eyeball is interrupted because of the lower metabolic rate.

Decreased Activity

The less consumption of water by the dog means the electrolytes responsible for facilitating the movements of nutrients into the cell along with promoting the function of muscles and mainly responsible for generating energy to make the dog active gets delivered in less amount, due to which the dog suffering from dehydration gets less busy.

Decreased Elasticity of the Skin

The water level in the body is mainly responsible for keeping the skin hydrated and bouncy. The electrolytes present in water promote the cell to develop and support the epidermal layer of the skin to make it bouncy. That’s why dehydration is responsible for the losing elasticity of the skin.

Loss of Appetite

When the pet’s body gets dehydrated, the contraction of the muscles and the blood flow also get slower. The respiratory and digestive systems begin to act at a slow rate, which makes the dog suffer from loss of appetite.

Tendency to Vomit

It was often noticed that most dogs suffering from dehydration were unable to digest their food and threw it up.

This happens because the decreased level of fluids in dogs interrupts the smooth movement of the food consumed in the digestive tract.

All the above discussed are the significant symptoms noticed in a dog’s body when it suffers from dehydration.

If a dog owner is looking for steps to detect dehydration in dogs, then the owner can entirely rely upon these factors, as mentioned above.

Sometimes it can be pretty difficult for the dog owner to detect the symptoms of dehydration in dogs, due to which the dog can suffer even more.

So, it is suggested that the dog owner goes for an instant visit to the vet center to check the symptoms, get the pet appropriately treated, and avoid any emergency.

How to Tell if a Dog Is Dehydrated?

How to Tell if a Dog Is Dehydrated?

The above discussed are the symptoms of dehydration in dogs, which can help detect if your dog is suffering from dehydration.

Now we will discuss some tricks regarding checking dehydration in dogs that the owner can follow to get the result instantly. The steps to be followed are discussed below.

Check the Behavior of the Dog

The body seeking water can make the dog appear restless and anxious, so if you notice an unwanted behavior of your dog, it can be because of dehydration. The owner is suggested to provide water to the dog at this time.

Consistency of the Urine

When the dog suffers from dehydration, the amount of fluid present in the body decreases. The fluids in the body automatically try to preserve themselves to fulfill the body’s requirements.

In this condition, the dog might stop urinating, or the consistency of the urine may get thicker. So checking the dog’s urine can be very helpful in detecting dehydration in dogs.

Color Change of the Gums

A dog suffering from dehydration often gets color changes in the gums, which is the most significant factor to notice.

An average dog’s gums remain pinkish, red, and moist all the time, but when a dog suffers from dehydration, the gums of the dog get deep red and also get sticky. So checking the appearance of the dog’s gums can effectively prevent dehydration in dogs.

Pinch the Skin

We all know that when the dog is thoroughly hydrated, the dog’s skin possesses elasticity. But when the amount of fluid consumption gets slower, the skin loses its elasticity. So checking the skin’s elasticity is a very effective way to go with it.

All the owner has to do is pinch the dog’s skin. If the skin takes much time to get back into its normal position, then it means that the dog is suffering from dehydration and needs water.

Almost all dog owners prefer these steps as the tricks are based on the research done by cynologists on the behavior of dogs suffering from dehydration. So a dog owner can entirely rely upon these steps to check their dog for dehydration.

What Steps to Follow to Prevent Your Dog from Getting Dehydrated?

As we have already mentioned above, dehydration in dogs can even be life-threatening sometimes. So taking necessary, proper precautions to prevent your dog from getting affected by this life-threatening disease is very important.

Treating a dog from dehydration doesn’t require any critical care. The owner has to follow some simple steps. A dog owner can follow the steps to prevent the dog from dehydration are discussed below.

Provide Easy Access to Water

The dog will not be able to tell you whenever it gets thirsty. So providing easy access to water is the best option to go with. All the owner has to do is keep the dog’s water bowl full every time so that the pet can drink water whenever it gets thirsty.

Provide Fresh Water

It’s essential to provide fresh water to dogs all the time, as dogs find freshwater from wells more tempting than tap water or mineral water bottles. It will eventually increase the interest of dogs in drinking water by preventing dehydration.

Proper Cleaning of the Dog Bowl

Dogs often dislike drinking water from a dirty bowl which is one of the most probable reasons behind your dog getting dehydrated.

So a frequent cleaning of the dog’s water bowl will be beneficial for preventing your dog from dehydration to a greater extent.

All the above-discussed steps are very effective in preventing a dog from dehydration, and a dog owner can entirely rely upon these steps to protect their dog from dehydration and take proper care.

So here we are, done with the entire article, and have discussed all the information regarding how to tell if a dog is dehydrated. We hope the information discussed in the article has helped you and has put your search to an end. Thanks for reading the whole article.

Aapt Dubey
Aapt Dubey

Aapt Dubey, a devoted canine enthusiast and experienced dog Owner, brings boundless passion to our team. With a heart full of love for our four-legged friends, Aapt is dedicated to sharing insights on dog care, behavior, and training to make every pup's life happier and healthier at

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