Dehydration in Dogs: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments in Arab, AL

Dogs are just like people in the sense that they need water to function properly. It is essential that your dog takes in a lot of water just as much as you do, as it plays a significant role in the functioning of almost every, if not all, body part. When your dog does not take as much water as they are supposed to, their body will compensate for this by drawing water out of the body cells, and this will lead to them losing electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and chloride.

A dog can lose water from their body through vomiting, fever, panting, and an underlying illness that can cause a loss of appetite and thirst, eventually leading to dehydration. In this article, you will learn about dehydration in dogs, the causes, the symptoms to look out for, and the treatments your dog will undergo in Arab, AL. So, keep reading for more information.

dehydration in dogs arab al

How Dehydration in Dogs Occurs

Dehydration occurs when a dog does not take as much water as they should, leading to a drop in their water level. Every dog owner should know that their dog will always lose water every day through urinating, panting, and evaporation through their paws. This is a lot to keep up with, but you need to ensure that your dog takes the necessary amount of liquid to compensate for the loss of electrolytes and fluid in their body.

When your dog is dehydrated and losing water, they will eventually get to a point where the fluid they are consuming is less than the amount they are losing. When this happens, their body will try to compensate by drawing water from the cells, and there will also be a decrease in the volume of fluids and their body’s blood flow. Lastly, all of these will reduce oxygen to your dog’s tissues and organs.


As a dog owner, you should be able to identify the symptoms of dehydration in dogs. One significant sign that you can use to tell if your dog is dehydrated is when there is no elasticity in their skin. You can test this by pulling lightly on their skin, and if it does not immediately go back to its original position, there is a chance your furry friend is dehydrated.

Other symptoms include:

  • Dry or sunken eyes
  • Xerostomia: thick and pasty saliva and dry gums
  • Dry mouth and nose
  • Excessive panting
  • Dry or sunken eyes
  • An increase in urine odor and a decrease in urine output
  • A heart rate above 140
  • A loss of balance of wobbly walk
  • Your dog may collapse from hypovolemic shock or shock that occurs from fluid loss
  • Dulled mental activity and apprehensive behavior
  • Weak pulse and rear end


There are many reasons why your dog could become dehydrated, and the main ones are listed below:

  • Persistent diarrhea or vomiting
  • Heat stroke or fever
  • A lack or decrease of food intake
  • Illnesses such as diabetes, kidney disease, and some types of cancer
  • Injuries like burns
  • A lack or decrease of water intake
  • Perspiration through different body areas like the dog’s paws


Apart from looking out for any of the symptoms of dehydration above, you can conduct a skin test. You can use the skin test to confirm if your dog is dehydrated. You will be able to tell if your dog is dehydrated when there is no elasticity in their skin. The reason is that skin is not as elastic as normal when the level of moisture is low. All you need to do is pull your dog’s skin lightly and if it slowly goes back to its original position, your dog likely has dehydration.

Another great way to check if your dog is dehydrated is through their gums. Press your finger on your dog’s gums until the area you are pressing becomes white, then remove your finger. If the area does not turn pink immediately, your dog may be dehydrated.


Once you notice the signs of dehydration in your dog, you should contact your veterinarian immediately, especially when your dog displays heat stroke or shock symptoms. The veterinarian will thoroughly examine if your dog is actually dehydrated or if there is another problem on the ground. This exam will also be able to tell if there is an underlying medical condition that is causing your furry friend to be dehydrated.

The main treatment of dehydration in dogs is giving them the fluid intake they need. You should always tell your veterinarian about every symptom your dog has exhibited. They will probably advise you to start giving your dog small amounts of water to start the rehydration process while you are on your way there.

Dogs are usually administered fluid therapy through injection (intravenously or subcutaneously). It is the most efficient rehydration method, especially for dogs that cannot drink on their own. It is always closely monitored and is extremely safe. Dogs with severe or acute dehydration will find it difficult to drink on their own.

Contact Arab Veterinary Hospital if Your Dog is Dehydrated

Dehydration in dogs is a serious health problem and should not be taken lightly. If you suspect your furry friend has dehydration, look for all the signs above and try out any of the two tests to get a diagnosis. Contact Arab Veterinary Hospital by calling (256) 586-3183. The health of your precious pet is very important to us and we will always be here when you need us.