Dehydration in Pets: Signs and What to Do


Dehydration in pets can be dangerous, even deadly, so it’s important to know the signs and what to do if you suspect your pet is dehydrated.

A large dog might not feel like drinking enough, but it could still be severely dehydrated after strenuous exercise or in hot weather. Smaller pets like cats and kittens can also suffer from dehydration, especially those with kidney disease or other health issues.

The most common sign of dehydration in your pet is excessive thirst—but that doesn’t mean they’re already too far gone to save!


If your pet seems thirsty

Symptoms of dehydration are usually subtle and may include the following signs:


– Thirst (if your pet seems thirsty, offer water right away)


– Increased pulse rate

If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately. Your pet will likely need fluids administered intravenously to help re-balance his or her electrolytes.

There are many causes of dehydration that should be addressed including overactive thyroid glands, kidney disease, diabetes mellitus, and diarrhea.

For mild cases of dehydration where fluids can be easily absorbed by the intestines from food or from an oral fluid solution with a veterinarian’s supervision, your pet may recover within one day.

In more severe cases, it may take weeks before the cat recovers. Treatment is targeted at correcting the underlying cause while also replacing lost fluids through subcutaneous injections, an IV drip, or even surgical methods.

The severity of the dehydration will determine what type of treatment is required but always get immediate medical attention if you suspect your pet is suffering from this condition!


If your pet is acting unusual

Pets that are experiencing dehydration often experience an increased heart rate, lowered blood pressure, decreased urine output, dark mouth mucous membranes, thirstiness, or disinterest in food.

If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to take your pet for veterinary treatment as soon as possible.

Your veterinarian will check a few important things including your pet’s weight, hydration level, and electrolyte balance.

They may recommend fluid therapy if they feel it is needed. In addition to rehydrating your pet, they will also address their other medical needs such as medication or antibiotics if necessary.

The biggest thing is to keep an eye out for changes in your pet’s behavior. There are many signs of potential problems with their diet, environment, or even their health so be sure to keep a close eye on them at all times.

We can provide the best care for your pets when we have all the information about what could be going on. Please call us today to set up an appointment with one of our veterinarians.


If your pet won’t eat or drink

If your pet won’t eat or drink, it’s important that you take them to the vet as soon as possible. At the vet, they’ll run some tests (bloodwork, X-rays) to diagnose what is wrong with your pet and how best to help them recover.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t always work out because some pets are too sick or hurt for treatment. But there are a few things you can do at home before taking your pet to the vet.

First of all, keep your pet hydrated by giving them a little bit of water every hour if they’re able to drink on their own. You can also offer them small pieces of chicken or cooked vegetables since these might be more appetizing than drinking water.

However, make sure that you don’t give them any milk because milk can cause diarrhea which will lead to dehydration and worsen their condition.

And finally, make sure that you go to the vet if your pet still isn’t eating or drinking after 24 hours.


If your pet urinates more than usual

When your pet urinates more than usual, it could be because they are dehydrated. A pet’s body contains approximately 80% water and many bodily functions require a certain amount of water in order to function properly.

One reason pets might not drink enough is that they do not have access to fresh, clean water or the desire for a specific type of water.

Another factor could be that their favorite food may contain salt which can lead to dehydration. Some common symptoms of dehydration include lethargy, sunken eyes, increased heart rate, and difficulty breathing.

If your pet has any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately. Your vet will most likely perform some tests on your pet before starting treatment.

If the problem is severe, your vet may recommend hospitalization with intravenous fluids until your pet recovers.

To prevent future episodes of dehydration, your vet may suggest adding additional sources of water around the house such as providing a small bowl for drinking.

Be sure to offer your pet different types of water so that he does not become bored with drinking only one thing.


In the case of emergency

If you suspect your pet is dehydrated, take them to the vet immediately. Drink plenty of water yourself if you’re feeling stressed or fatigued.

Make sure to keep a bowl of fresh water out for your pets at all times. And while we’re on the topic, make sure they have access to a safe outdoor space where they can go potty when they need to!

Dog parks are great places for that – and get this, dog parks also help decrease loneliness among dogs. It’s amazing how many happy tails I see every day because of something as simple as going outside with their human friends. 

I hope these tips will help you feel more confident about caring for your pup – and please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.

We want our furry family members to be healthy and happy too! Here are some tips to avoid dehydration. Keep an eye out for signs like decreased thirst, dry mouth, dark-colored urine (or no urine at all), sunken eyes, lethargy, weakness, and poor skin elasticity.

You may notice your animal companion licking his lips excessively and turning his head away from food and water. You should offer him small amounts of cool, wet food (like ice cubes) to encourage drinking.

Remember that hot weather increases the risk of dehydration so keep an eye on your pet during these months! The good news is that most cases of mild to moderate dehydration are reversible with proper treatment; without it, death can occur within 24 hours or less.

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