Dehydration in dogs

Water is an essential element of life. The body of an animal is 67% water. Dehydration is the excessive and abnormal decrease in this amount of water. Dehydration in dogs is also common.

Causes of dehydration

Dehydration can be due to insufficient absorption and / or excessive loss of water.

  • When the dog does not drink enough, the absorption of water is not enough to compensate for the losses of the body. The needs are 25 to 50 mL of water per kilogram per day, or 200 to 400 mL for 24 hours for a dog weighing 8 kg. A healthy dog ​​who has plenty of water will normally drink enough to meet his daily needs. Dehydration therefore generally link to a health problem.
  • Excessive water loss can have a variety of causes. The most common are vomiting, diarrhea, fever and heat stroke. The water drunk may then not be sufficient to compensate for these losses.
  • In some cases, a dog may dehydrate while paradoxically drinking a lot or even more than usual. This can happen, for example, in cases of diabetes or kidney disease, conditions in which the kidneys no longer fulfill their role of keeping water in the body. The drunk water is then not retained by the body and the animal is dehydrated.


The most typical sign of dehydration is the persistence of the skin fold: when the skin is gently lifted, between the thumb and forefinger, it normally returns to its initial state within seconds. When the fold persists, it is a sign of dehydration.

With severe dehydration, the eyes are slightly deeper than usual, the oral mucous membranes are dry and the urine more concentrated.

Very severe dehydration can lead to shock or even coma.

Dehydration in dogs

Treatment of dehydration in dogs

If the dog is not vomiting and the dehydration is mild, your best bet is to give him something to drink and keep him from further dehydrating. Placing the dog in a cool place and avoiding physical activity are basic precautions to apply.

If the dehydration is more severe, the dog is vomiting, or his general condition is worrying, see your veterinarian immediately. The doctor will look for the cause of the dehydration to treat it. He will assess the condition of the animal, decide on the treatment to be given and assess whether rehydration by infusion is necessary.

It is very difficult for a non-professional to assess a dog’s dehydration. If in doubt, the best is to contact a veterinarian.

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Prevention of dehydration

The best way to prevent dehydration is to keep drinking water available to your dog at all times, to always give him access to a cool, shaded place to avoid heatstroke and to have his dog assessed. kidney function by a veterinarian when he gets old

Vomiting diarrhea is not necessarily worrying, but it can if it persists.

Dehydration remains a symptom whose cause should identify and treated. Your veterinarian will be in the best position to diagnose and restore normal hydration to your pet. If in doubt, do not hesitate to consult in order to prevent any complications