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10 Signs of a Dehydrated Puppy

10 Signs of a Dehydrated Puppy

Dehydration can become a serious issue in puppies. In extreme cases, a dehydrated puppy can experience organ failure, which can even lead to death. During the hot summer months, puppies are more susceptible to overheating and dehydration because of increased sweating and panting.

How Dehydration Can Occur

Did you know that puppies lose water throughout the day by urinating, defecating, panting, and even breathing? This is considered normal, and the water loss doesn’t usually become a problem if the puppy replaces this water through eating and drinking. However, when a puppy’s body starts losing more fluid than it’s taking in, dehydration can occur.

There are various signs of dehydration in puppies. Becoming familiar with the symptoms of a dehydrated puppy is key to catching and treating dehydration before it becomes a serious issue. 

10 Signs & Symptoms of a Dehydrated Puppy 

If you’re worried about dehydration in your pet, check your dog for these symptoms:

1. One common symptom of dehydration is the loss of skin elasticity. To test the elasticity of the skin, gently lift the loose skin on the back of the puppy’s neck. A dehydrated puppy’s skin will not readily go back to its original place.

2. Another symptom is Xerostomia (dry mouth) which causes dry, sticky gums and thick saliva. You can test the gums for capillary refill time by pressing your finger gently against your puppy’s gums and then removing your finger. In a hydrated puppy, the area where you pressed will appear white for a second and almost immediately return to a normal pink color. In a dehydrated puppy, the gums will appear white for much longer.

3. Panting/fast breathing

4. Lethargy/weakness

5. Lack of appetite

6. Vomiting/diarrhea

7. Dry nose

8. Sunken eyes

9. Weak pulse

10. Collapse/shock

Causes of Puppy Dehydration

There are various causes of dehydration in puppies. Persistent diarrhea and vomiting, heat stroke, fever, illness, and insufficient fluid intake can all lead to dehydration. Certain diseases and conditions, including diabetes and kidney disease, can also cause dehydration in dogs.

Caring for a Dehydrated Puppy

If a puppy is suffering from a severe case of dehydration, you should seek immediate medical attention. A veterinarian may need to administer intravenous fluids, which will help replace lost fluids and prevent further fluid loss. 

Mild cases of dehydration can often be treated at home. Providing access to cool, clean water is essential for maintaining hydration in puppies. Always making sure your puppy’s water bowl has fresh water is important! If your puppy is not vomiting, you can administer an electrolyte solution to help rehydrate him. Replacing electrolytes is important for rehydration as dehydration causes electrolytes to be drawn out of the cells, leading to an electrolyte imbalance

Thomas Labs® understands the importance of keeping puppies hydrated. That’s why Thomas Pet developed an electrolyte replacement supplement called HydrADE to help maintain positive fluid levels during episodes of dehydration in puppies. It supports normal hydration and encourages water consumption during times of fluid loss. Plus, HydrADE contains amino acids, dextrose, and electrolytes for puppies!

If you suspect your dog is dehydrated but aren’t sure what steps to take or how serious the issue is, you should always contact your veterinarian. They can assess your dehydrated puppy, quickly rehydrate him, and look for any underlying issues.


The materials and information provided on this website are not intended to replace the medical advice or services of your veterinarian or other pet healthcare professional. Consult your own veterinarian if you have medical questions concerning diagnosis, treatment, therapy, or medical attention.

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