All living creatures are susceptible to dehydration, including your dog. Dehydration can lead to a host of health problems. In El Paso, Texas, where temperatures routinely soar in the 90s and higher, the chances for dehydration are even more likely. If you notice one or more of the following symptoms in your dog, dehydration may be the culprit. Be sure to bring your dog to your El Paso veterinarian right away if your dog doesn’t recover from these dehydration symptoms, even after you provide water.
Has your dog’s activity level decreased? Is he/she lying around all day long when normally he/she’s eager to run in the backyard? Water is an important component for maintaining energy levels in the cells. In a dehydrated condition, your dog simply doesn’t have the energy to do any of the things it has enjoyed in the past.
2. Loss of Appetite
Dehydration causes a feeling of sickness, which frequently leads to a loss of appetite. Pay attention to how much kibble your dog is eating. Are you having to fill up the food bowl less often? If you think your dog is eating less, it’s time to start measuring out food and measuring again at the end of feeding time to determine exactly how much he/she’s eating. This could be helpful information for your veterinarian.
3. Dry Mucous Membranes
The mucous membranes will be the first to dry up in the presence of dehydration. Areas to check include the nose, tongue and gums. All of these areas should normally be moist at all times, even in the arid El Paso, TX environment. Otherwise, dehydration might be the cause.
4. Sudden Bad Breath
Dog breath is rarely fragrant, but if your dog has suddenly developed rancid breath, he/she could be dehydrated. One reason that odors occur is lack of enough saliva, and since water is needed to make saliva, this condition warrants a visit to the vet.
5. No More Licking
Has your dog stopped licking you to greet you? This could be due to a lack of saliva, which as you’ve learned is a sign of dehydration. A lack of grooming can also mean your dog isn’t feeling well, another indicator that he’s lacking sufficient fluids.
What Causes Dehydration?
One of the most common reasons why your dog can become dehydrated is because he’s not drinking enough water. This might due to several reasons, including:
Underlying illness – Ask your Dr. Nancy D. Harvey, D.V.M to run a complete diagnostic.
Dirty water – His/her water should be replaced with clean water daily.
Dirty bowl – Clean the water bowl with soap and rinse thoroughly on a daily basis.
Contaminated water – Animals can detect contaminants better than humans. Have your water safety checked if you suspect contaminants, especially if you use well water.
No access to water – Is the water evaporating in the hot El Paso sun? Is your dog’s chain too short for her to reach her water bowl?
Another pet is drinking all the available water – Pay attention to ensure that an alpha dog is not usurping the water rights in the household! Each dog should have their own water bowl with no sharing allowed.
Dehydration is a serious condition that needs professional treatment immediately. As soon as you notice any of the above signs, contact your El Paso veterinarian, Nancy D. Harvey, D.V.M, for an appointment. With expedient care, your dog should be able to recover from dehydration, but it’s important not to delay. A few moments or hours can make a big difference in the health of your dog.