We are the main line of defense and protection for our pets.  We need to ensure their lines of defense are protected, and their needs are met.  While they are good at telling us when they need some things, they aren’t always the best at communicating when there’s a problem.  An important one that you need to worry about is hydration.  Here are some signs to help you see where your pup’s hydration levels need some TLC.  

How to tell if your pet is properly hydrated

Below are some tips to help you understand whether or not your pet is properly hydrated.  This information is just what you need to know whether your dog needs a fresh batch of water or not.  The more of these signs you see, the more likely that this is the case.  However, even if you only see one or two of these signs, it’s still important to offer them comfort.

Their nose is dry

Dogs can have dry noses for any number of reasons, but one of the most common is dehydration.  If they’ve been playing around outside or otherwise active and then come and bop you with a dry nose, you can bet the cause of the dry nose itself is dehydration!  A dog’s nose should be slightly cool to the touch and moist.  Once they hydrate properly and they are comfortable again, you can check their nose and see!

They are panting excessively

Panting is also a sign of many things, including dehydration.  You can tell that a dog is dehydrated when their panting is excessive, fast-paced, and very obvious.  Their tongue will be entirely lolling, and you’ll probably notice that it appears to be dry, both visually and if you touch it.  They won’t be able to produce saliva as they get dehydrated, so this accounts for the dryness of their tongue.  Regular panting doesn’t usually cause them to stick their tongue out all the way. 

They are searching for water everywhere

When dogs want water, they are going to be looking for it everywhere — in puddles, in pools on leaves, and more.  If your dog seems on a mad hunt for water, it’s because he’s probably very thirsty!  This is an obvious sign of dehydration, of course, so it’s one that many pet parents know to look for and will watch for on those days when they know that dehydration is more likely!

If you can, don’t allow your dog to drink water from pools or puddles since it can often be teeming with bacteria and offer them nothing but trouble when it comes to the effect on their health.  You should bring fresh, clean water to offer them as soon as they start showing this kind of behavior! (When you’re out, carry a pet water bottle with suitable drinking container.)

They are constipated

Just like humans, dogs will get constipated when they don’t have enough water.  This will show in their inability to poop, or difficulty in doing it.  You could end up with nothing but a few brown pebbles even after excessive straining.

As the dehydration gets more severe, you’ll notice that they won’t be able to pee, either.  Just a few dribbles and nothing more.  It’s important to see this as a sign that they need hydration and need it now!  Dogs will become dehydrated much faster than humans will, so factor this in and remember to prioritize their hydration as much as possible.

They are restless and uncomfortable

Both restlessness and obvious discomfort are often how dogs will show that something is wrong.  When you are watching your dog for behavior out of the ordinary, look at these two things and see them as potential danger signs.  Once dehydration gets to this stage, you’ll have to step in quickly and possibly get them emergency care.  

They are woozy or trembling

Humans will feel this in severe signs of dehydration, and dogs will, too!  If your dog is unsteady on their feet and prone to trembling, they’ll need some help and support from a vet as soon as you can get them in.  This means that their body is entirely dehydrated, and they’re going to need emergency care as soon as they can get it.

Protection is key

Dehydration in dogs can be fatal because it can cause organ shutdown and complications very quickly.  Much quicker than most people think.  If you want to protect your dog from a potentially life-changing outcome, then do your part to stay on top of their hydration needs.

Dehydration is more common than you’d think

As mentioned above, a dog can get dehydrated much easier and faster than people think.  This means that they’ll need to be mindful of just how your dog is going to get dehydrated in the first place!  Common causes of it include:

  • Long car rides
  • Playing outside
  • Going for a walk
  • Being home alone
  • Stress

The weather is going to factor in, too.  The hotter it is, the easier and faster your dog will get dehydrated.  This is especially if your dog is still doing a lot of activity outside.  Don’t forget to factor in time spent on the pavement and driveway etc.  When dogs have their paws on hot pavement, it’ll dry them out faster as they sweat, and this will cause dehydration.

While recognizing these signs of dehydration is essential and certainly important, it’s also very important to work on prevention as well.  This includes details such as providing regularly changed bowls of cool, room-temperature water.  It also means binging water for your dog everywhere that you go, just as you would with your own water.  

Your dog relies on you to take perfect care of them, and one of the most important facets of taking proper care of your pooch is hydration!  Your dog will show these signs mentioned above, amongst others, to tell you that he is in need of a good drink of water.  The more you listen and watch for those signs, the better care you can take of their hydration!

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