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Keeping your dog well hydrated

Dehydration is caused when dogs loss to much body fluids. Minerals called electrolytes are also lost when the dog becomes dehydrated. Dehydration in dogs can cause some very serious health problems if left untreated. Since dogs are unable to sweat they release excess heat by panting. Extensive panting, especially hard panting, can lead to dehydration.

One of the best ways to avoid dehydration is to always have sufficient shelter and fresh, clean water available for the dog. Heat stoke is a common cause of dogs becoming dehydrated. There are other causes of dehydration, such as severe vomiting or diarrhea or fever.

The first sign of dehydration will be the pet panting heavily. Other thing to check is the elasticity of the pet's skin and the condition of the dog's gums. By gently pinching up a fold of skin on either the dog's neck or head you can gauge how dehydrated the pet is. When a dog has plenty of fluids the fold of skin will return to its place very quickly, when the dog is dehydrated it will return slowly. A dehydrated dog's gums tend to be sticky and dry, while a properly hydrated dog will have slick gums.

If you think your dog is dehydrated, you need to quickly determine exactly how bad the situation is. More serious dehydration shouldn't be handled by an amateur, so if the situation appears serious seek out a veterinarian immediately. IV fluids are a very important part of treatment in severely dehydrated dogs. In serious cases the situation can be even worse than normal dehydration because drinking enough to correct the issue can be problematic - dogs drinking too much water will frequently vomit, making the situation even worse.

Take it slow when you try to rehydrate a dog. If possible, use an electrolyte supplement rather than plain water. Avoid sport drinks since they have more sugar than a dog can handle properly, instead using a canine equivalent such as pedialyte. Give the dog small amounts of the fluid at very frequent intervals. If the dog is unable to drink on its own, use a medicine syringe and place the fluids in its mouth.

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Sunday, 14 April 2024

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