Dehydration is very serious and can happen to dogs as well as humans. Here are some signs to tell if your dog is dehydrated and some tips to get them hydrated and prevent future dehydration.
As a dog owner for many years myself, I know how easily a dog can get dehydrated. If a dog is overdoing it while playing, or even on a walk, heavy panting can occur. This is a sign of dehydration. Heavy panting by a dog will usually consist of the dog breathing heavily with short breaths. My dog commonly will have his tongue out when he starts panting and some dogs will even whine or make noises while panting. This is because they are overheated and are very uncomfortable.
A great way to treat and prevent future dehydration while out on a walk or during playtime is to have a collapsible water bowl handy. You can buy a collapsible for less than $10 and it can be a lifesaver for your dog. Just bring an extra water bottle with you, or bring a large water bottle that you can share with your dog, so you can pour the water directly into the water bowl. Some collapsible water bowls fold up very small and can clip onto your pants which makes this a very easy gadget to bring with.
Lying around and not moving much.
This will tend to happen more so when the weather is warmer. If your dog is not moving at all during the day check their water bowl. If no water is missing they are most likely dehydrated and are too warm to get up and get a drink.
Sometimes you’ll have to bring the water to your dog. I like to give my dog ice cubes, which can be fun for them to play with. Sometimes the water might be too warm for them to drink but adding a couple of ice cubes will cool down the water and make them want to drink it. Also make sure you don’t put the water dish directly into the sun, keep it in the shade so it’s more refreshing to them. If you don’t see any progress and they continue to not move around you should bring them to a veterinarian because your dog might have other issues besides being dehydrated.
Not eating their meals.
If your dog is not eating their meals, or eating less, they may be dehydrated. It’s actually a great idea to have a bigger bowl than the food dish for water. You may even want to have multiple water bowls around the house as well. There are water bowls in the garage and backyard at my house which is great because it makes for easy access to water. Make sure to wash the bowls out periodically as bacteria can build up and never let a dog drink out of the toilet because that’s a place that can be filled with bacteria as well.
If your dog is still not wanting to eat don’t try to offer them treats instead. First give them more access to water and if you don’t see any improvement bring them to a veterinarian. You may limit a dog’s intake of food but never limit their water intake. Let them have as much water as they want.