Is My Dog Dehydrated in Pasadena, CA? 5 Signs to Watch For

Dogs can become dehydrated more easily than many people realize. Dogs that are struggling to stay hydrated can fall prey to heatstroke and lots of other illnesses. You will want to be sure that your dog is staying hydrated every day to make sure that they do not get sick or need emergency vet care.

Dogs can only cool themselves off by sweating through the pads of their feet and panting. This means that when they are dehydrated, they are much less capable of getting cooled down. Even if your dog is not exerting or too hot, being dehydrated can lead to organ failure and other very serious health risks.

If you are ready to learn some more about the signs that you need to look for to recognize dehydration in dogs, keep reading.

dog dehydration in pasadena, ca

How Do I Know My Dog is Dehydrated?

There are a few tests that you can do to check on your dog’s hydration level. These are not always foolproof tests, but they can provide you with some evidence that your dog is not getting enough water. You will first want to check to see if your dog’s nose is hot or dry and if the pads of their feet are hot and dry.

The next test that helps to verify dehydration is to gently pinch the skin between your dog’s shoulder blades and lift up. If the skin does not snap right back into place when it is released, your dog is dehydrated. You should also look for pale or sticky gums as another sign of dehydration. Pale or sticky gums can also indicate the more serious condition of shock.

Signs to Watch for if Your Dog is Dehydrated

If your dog has not yet started to show more serious signs of being dehydrated, there are other symptoms that might be related to their lack of water intake. You will want to have your veterinarian look at your dog if they are showing any of these symptoms that might be linked with dehydration.

1. No Appetite

Dogs are famously always hungry, and if your dog is not at all interested in eating, it might be due to their dehydration. When your dog is not getting enough water, its GI tract might slow down significantly, which can cause them to feel a complete lack of hunger. A lack of hunger might also indicate a GI blockage or other more serious conditions that your vet will need to look into

2. Vomiting and Diarrhea

These symptoms can also be a sign of poisoning or of heatstroke, so you should be very worried if your dog is showing other signs of dehydration along with these symptoms. If it is hot out or your dog has been exerting right before they start vomiting or having diarrhea, you should rush your dog to the veterinarian for emergency care.

3. Collapse

Sometimes you might not notice the other signs of dehydration until your dog’s body gets overwhelmed. When dogs collapse, this can be because of organ failure related to their dehydrated state. This is a very serious symptom and one that you should never ignore.

4. Heavy Panting

While panting in dogs is normal in most cases, heavy panting that is not related to exertion or the outside temperature is not a good sign. Dogs that are in pain, as well as dogs that are dehydrated, can pant harshly, and they might also pace around uncomfortably.

5. Sunken Eyes

Dogs that have been dehydrated for some time might show this symptom. You should be on alert for sunken eyes as well as a sunken or skinny appearance in the rest of your dog’s body at the same time. These symptoms are usually accompanied by a dry coat, lethargy, and a lack of interest in the surroundings. This can also be a set of symptoms associated with organ failure or more serious ailments like cancer, so you should not ignore this set of symptoms.

What Can My Vet Do For My Dog?

If your dog is dehydrated, the first thing that your vet will do is get your dog on an IV drip that includes electrolytes and saline fluids. If your dog has become too dehydrated to get a needle into their veins, this might not be an option, but typically this is the best route to get your dog hydrated again. Your vet will then probably start working on isolating the cause of the dehydration so that they can treat your dog for any underlying causes of the condition.

Dogs that are seriously dehydrated might have to stay in the animal hospital for a few days until they are eating and drinking on their own, like normal. If your dog has a more serious condition, there might be the need to do surgery or other more complex treatment to help your dog to get better. While it might not seem like a big deal that your dog has become a little dehydrated, dogs are usually very good about drinking enough water. When they become dehydrated, it is usually because something serious is going on.

Dog Dehydration Can be Deadly

Make sure that you do not take your dog’s dehydration too lightly. While it might be that your dog has simply gotten a little dehydrated while playing, there are many health conditions that are linked with dehydration that necessitate a visit to the vet. If your dog seems hot, is panting, or is vomiting and having diarrhea, it might have been poisoned, or it might be suffering from heatstroke.

Don’t be afraid to rush your dog to the vet if you think that something serious is wrong with them. If your dog is fine, at least you will have ruled out a more serious health threat that could have been deadly. Taking your dog to the vet for treatment will give you the peace of mind that you have done everything that could be done to keep your dog healthy when they are showing signs of dehydration. You should never leave this set of symptoms up to chance.

If you would like to talk with your Altadena Pet Hospital vet about dog dehydration give us a call at (626) 798-0738 or book an appointment online!