Dehydration in Dogs
During the summer months it is especially important to make sure your dog is getting enogh water. Dehydration in dogs happens when there is less fluid in the body so the functions it is supposed to perform begin to work improperly. Fluids and electrolytes are needed for circulation, digestion, and many other basic body functions.
Dogs can lose fluids by:
1. Overheating from a hot day.
2. Vomiting and diarrhea, which causes loss of body fluids.
3. A disorder such as diabetes or kidney disease which increases the loss of fluids.
Dehydration will cause your dog to be very lethargic, have a lack of appetite, and an increased heart rate. If dehydration is left untreated, it can cause organ failure leading to death.
To check if your dog is dehydrated, look for these signs:
1. The eyes are dull and sunken, almost lifeless.
2. The saliva should be thin and almost unnoticeable, not thick and rope-like.
3. Lack of movement and physical activity.
If your dog is dehyrated, your first goal is to get fluid replacement. Give small amounts of water to your dog until he or she is fully hydrated. If this does not work, your dog will need to be taken to the veterinarian. Always make sure your dog has plenty of fresh, cool water. Pay attention to your dog's water consumption as a dog requires 1 ounce of water per pound of the body weight. Simple cases of dehydration can lead to greater illnesses if not properly handled. Knowing all of the signs of dehydration and seeing a veterinarian immediately will prevent any problems of dehydration in the future.
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