Dehydration in Dogs
Your dog can go days without eating but if they become dehydrated it can be catastrophic

Dehydration in dogs can cause your pet to lose their skin elasticity, dry out their gums, increase their heart rate, and even cause their eyes to start to sink in.

Water is the most important nutrient for your dog as they can go days without eating and still not be in severe danger.


In fact, they could lose virtually of all their fat and over half of their protein and still survive.

However, if they lose up to ten percent of their body fluids, it is not only very dangerous; it could result in several types of serious illness.

If your dog loses anything over that amount, it has now become a situation that could be catastrophic to your pet.

If your dog is drooling excessively, they may be becoming dehydrated right before your eyes and you may not be aware of it.

Drooling is normal in some breeds, but excessive drooling is not normal in any breed.

Dehydration in dogs in any form is dangerous as water constitutes about 85 percent of a newborn puppies body and about sixty percent of a full grow adult dog.

Dehydration is defined as a condition where your dog’s body suddenly has less water than is normal.

It almost always involves both the loss of water as well as electrolytes which are the minerals sodium, potassium, and chloride.

What makes dehydration in dogs such a serious threat is that once your pets immune system recognizes the potential threat.

If there is not enough fluid in their body, it starts to shift fluid out of their cells to make up for the loss.

Emergencies in dogsDehydration in dogs will quickly become an emergency


This is a very dangerous development as it now leaves your pets cells deficient which can lead to several different forms of illness.

If it is severe enough, the cells will quit functioning, which could rapidly take your dogs life.

Dehydration in dogs can be divided into to major groupings; the reduction of fluids into the body, or the increased loss of fluid tissue.

The reduction of fluids in your dog may be the result of both a reduction of water as well as food intake.

There may be several causes for this, but in the majority of cases it is caused by some type of an underlying illness that is causing your pet not to eat or drink.

However, it could also be caused by an owner being gone for a few days and your dog has accidentally spilled their only form of fresh water.

Or, a severe as it sounds; it may be intentional or down right neglect on the part of someone.

Increased fluid loss in your dog may be the result of an illness or a disease that even though they are eating and drinking your dog is not able to consume fluids quick enough to recover the fluids that are being lost.

If your pet has had severe bouts of vomiting or diarrhea, or worse yet, both, they may not be able to replace the lost fluids.

However, the most dangerous disease to your dog that results in fluid loss is a kidney disease or malfunction.

In most any form of a kidney disease, your pet’s kidneys are no longer able to contain or conserve the fluids and they are being excreted excessively in the form of urine.

But what most owners are not aware of is that fever, excess panting, as well as long bouts of drooling also causes fluid losses.

Drooling is more than just saliva; it is fluids and electrolytes being lost.


Dehydration in dogs has only one extremely accurate test and it is called a packed cell volume test.

Also known as PCT it tests the number of red blood cells that are currently in your dog’s system.

If dehydration is present and as a result large amounts of protein have been removed, the blood becomes very concentrated, identify dehydration.

But you may not be in a position to have this test done immediately. If not, there are several other testing measures that you can quickly perform yourself.

They may not be as accurate, but they will give you a very good idea if your dog is becoming dehydrated.

It should be noted, however, that if your dog is obese or very thin, these tests are not very accurate.

This testing measurement is based on the percentage of actual fluid that has been lost by your dog and will range from a scale of five percent to fifteen percent.

In a healthy well hydrated dog, their skin elasticity returns to normal immediately after you have pinched or have gently grabbed a handful of skin and you will see absolutely no signs of a loss of the elasticity.

If the fluid loss in your dog is around five percent, the skin also returns to its normal position, but it will be slightly slower than a normal dog.

If the dehydration in dogs is somewhere between six and nine percent, you will see a marked difference as the skin has a delayed reaction that is very noticeable.

If this does occur, take a very close look at your dog’s eyes.


No one knows your dog’s eyes better than you do, as they will show you signs that they are starting to sink within their brows. Than look at their gums, and touch them for moisture.

If they are at this level, they will have very little moisture and will fell almost dry.

The next test range is the ten to twelve percent test.

When you grab a handful of skin at this level, it will be very noticeable as it will appear that there is no elasticity at all and it will stay almost rigid.

If this is the case, the eyes will become so sunk in that you can no longer recognize them.

In addition, your pet’s heart rate is now slowing down as well as their capillary refill rate.

There are two tests that you can quickly take in this stage. If the heart rate is going down, it affects the capillary refill rate as well.

Your dog’s gums are pink in color if normal, and when you pinch them they should return to a pink color within one to two seconds.

If the recovery time is less than one second, or more than three seconds, your dog now has a respiratory problem as well.

If the dehydration in dogs has become over twelve percent, their eyes are sunken to the point of looking abnormal and almost scary in nature, their skin has absolutely no elasticity, and your dog is literally on the verge of going into shock.

Death may occur very rapidly if immediate medical attention is not provided.

Dehydration in dogs is a very serious condition, and the question than has to be asked is how much water does a dog actually need?

The basic rule for dogs is that they should have 2.5 times the amount of water as compared to their food intake.

If you have a small dog and they eat 8 ounces a day, they need 20 ounces of water.


If you have a large dog and they eat 16 ounces a day, they need 40 ounces a day.

There are eight pounds of water in a gallon. Moist food requires slightly less water, but not much. Too much water is not harmful to your dog, but too little could be absolutely devastating.

Pet Medications for Dehydration in Dogs

Dog Vitamin Store

Emergencies in Dogs