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Dog Dehydration

One Solution: Use A Portable Dog Water Bowl

Dog dehydration is more common (and more serious) than you may know. Understand your dog drinking water needs and make sure you provide it with an automatic dog waterer, or portable dog water bowl, or dog water fountain to supply regular, fresh and daily water.

Dog dehydration can be a very serious situation. You read those stories about someone leaving their pup in a hot car and how devastating the results can be, and you see that dogs, just like people, need hydration. Without treatment, dog dehydration can cause death.

And sadly, without understanding the consequences, some owners limit their dog's water because they are away from home (at work or school or ...) and they think that by giving their canine less water, he or she won’t urinate inside the home. The consequences can be significant to your dog’s health, particularly if this is the day-to-day treatment of your pet.

That may sound dramatic, but the truth is that many pet owners don’t realize how easy it is for their canine to become dehydrated. The good news is that there are some great ways at home and on the road to make sure your pet is healthy and well watered. Products like a dog water fountain, automatic dog waterer, and a portable dog water bowl for people who like to jog with their pets will all do the trick nicely.

Causes of Dehydration in Canines

A common dehydration and over-heating problem occurs by leaving your pet in the car. When shopping or running errands, some owners take their dogs with them and leave them in the car on a hot summer day while they run inside the store to do some shopping - when they come out of the store a couple of hours later, their pet is in serious distress or dead. Temperatures inside cars can become unbearably hot.

When your pet is sick, provide more water. Water not only hydrates but also helps to flush toxins and infections from the canine's body. Fluids are also necessary to prevent dehydration caused by fevers and/or vomiting.

Many pet owners do not realize how much water their pet needs to drink; they think one bowl a day is plenty. Unlike food bowls, water bowls need to be kept full throughout the day. If you are away from home, then buy an automatic dog waterer or water fountain to provide water on-demand.

Fluids are not optional, they are necessary for your canine's health.

Understanding Dog Dehydration

In simplest terms, dehydration occurs when the body loses too much fluid. Along with that, the electrolyte content in the body drops (from minerals like sodium and potassium). One of the most common reasons for dehydration is excessive heat. This is very hard on dogs because they don’t have sweat glands. Instead they pant to try and keep cool. Panting is your dog's signal to tell you 'I'm HOT'.

There are several things other than heat that cause dehydration. These include:

  • throwing up (food allergy or sickness) - dehydration occurs when your pet has untreated and repeated vomiting
  • diarrhea (sickness, reaction to foods, food poisoning or food that's gone bad)
  • infection (which can be a result of sickness and can cause your pet's system to work on protecting itself and increase the need for fluids)
  • fever (also a result of illness and means that more fluids are required to help bring the fever down)
  • Diabetes also has been known to cause this dehydration condition in dogs.

Dog Drinking Water Needs

Fresh water is the best partner you have in preventing dehydration in your canine. Keep fresh water in the house all the time. If your canine is outside a lot, consider a dog water fountain or an automatic dog waterer so that your pet has on-going access to the liquid he or she needs. Obviously, this is most essential during hot months.

The average daily water needs for a canine weighing 20 lbs or less is about 12 ounces (or a cup and a half); for dogs over 20 lbs - somewhere between 3 and 8 cups of water a day is necessary (depends on diet, exercise, weight, etc.). The best approach to dehydration is to also have fresh water put out for your pet and refill as it empties.

Using automatic waterers or water fountains that provide continuous water flows are a good way of supplying your pet's need for fluids.

Dog Dehydration: Treatment

Even the most diligent pet owner may face a moment when they realize their pet has become dehydrated. Here are some signs of dehydration to watch for:

  • skin doesn't 'bounce back' when pulled up
  • dry eyes
  • dry mouth
  • dry nose
  • sunken eyes

If you fear that your canine has not had enough liquids, this is not the time to present TONS of water. The canine will need to take in a little at a time or they’ll get sick. Letting them lick an ice cube is one solution that meters the amount of water they’re getting.

Alternatively, you can give them something like Pedialyte (often found in the baby food section of stores or drug stores) to boost the electrolytes in their system. Again, this has to be provided slowly and given in the right quantity (2-4 cc per body weight).

If your pet refuses to drink, get them to the veterinarian quickly. They may need an IV to re-hydrate and return to health.

Dog dehydration can have serious, deadly, results if undiagnosed and left untreated. Canines need water, and they need water in particular during hot summer days. Make sure that your pet has enough water daily, and particularly that you plan ahead and leave water for your canine while you're off at work or away from your home. Unfortunately dehydration in dogs is an all too common issue.

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