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Dehydration in Dogs

Dehydration in Dogs

What is Dehydration?

Dehydration in dogs occurs when the body loses more fluid than it takes in. When the water level in the body is too low, the body responds by drawing fluid out of cells. This results in a loss of electrolytes, including sodium, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

Because electrolytes are critical for the normal function of all cells in the body, an imbalance of essential electrolytes can disrupt the function of the body's organs and systems. In serious cases of dehydration, or if left untreated, dogs can suffer from organ failure and even death.

Causes of Dehydration in Dogs

There are various different causes of dehydration in dogs. The most common causes include persistent vomiting or dog diarrhea, fever, diseases and disorders (examples: kidney disease or diabetes), heat stroke, and decreased intake of water or food.

Signs of Dehydration in Dogs

If you suspect your dog could be dehydrated, keep a close eye on him and look for the common signs of dehydration. One common sign of dehydration is the loss of skin elasticity. If you pull lightly on the skin of a well-hydrated dog, the skin should spring back into place immediately. When a dog is suffering from dehydration, the skin will take much longer to return to its original position.

Other symptoms of dehydration include:

• Panting

• Lethargy

• Weakness

• Loss of Balance

• Fast Breathing

• Collapse

• Shock

• Dry Gums

• Lack of Appetite

• Dark Urine

• Weak Pulse

• Sunken Eyes


Treating Dehydration in Dogs

Dehydration can range in severity from mild to very severe. Severe cases of dehydration require immediate emergency care. If your dog stops eating or is having persistent episodes of vomiting and/or diarrhea, seek veterinary attention right away. Your veterinarian can administer intravenous fluids to replace lost fluids, as well as determine the underlying cause of dehydration.

If its a mild case of dehydration, treatment at home may be sufficient. The goal of treatment is to replace the loss of fluids and correct any imbalance of electrolytes. If the dog is not vomiting, administering an oral electrolyte solution for dogs and fresh water can help with mild cases of dehydration. Giving an electrolyte supplement such as Thomas Pet's HydrADE can help maintain normal body fluid levels in dogs.

Preventing Dehydration in Dogs

Although your dog could become dehydrated in any type of weather, dehydration tends to occur more quickly during the summer months due to increased activity and hot weather. There are several steps you can take to help keep your pet hydrated, including:

  • Keep your dog inside on hot days and ensure your dog always has access to fresh water. In general, dogs require approximately 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight each day.
  • Be aware of the signs of dehydration and watch your dog’s behavior closely. 
  • If you live in a warmer climate or have a high-activity or working dog, be sure to give your dog electrolytes at least twice a week to maintain a normal fluid balance in the body. Electrolyte replacement for dogs is important for helping prevent dehydration.

HydrADE: Electrolytes for Dogs

Thomas Labs®understands the importance of quick hydration for dogs, which is why we developed HydrADE. This electrolyte supplement helps support normal body fluid levels and hydration during times of mild fluid loss in dogs. It also helps maintain the normal concentration of minerals, including calcium, sodium, and potassium. 

This formula provides energy sources, Amino Acids, Dextrose, and Electrolytes to support your dog during whelping, transportation, summer heat, general recovery, showing, working, or hunting. Plus, HydrADE is offered in convenient, pocket-sized packets for keeping your dog hydrated while you’re on the go!

Dehydration in dogs can be a serious issue. Recognizing the signs of dehydration and taking immediate action are crucial for the health of your dog.


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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