Tips to Spot and Prevent Dehydration in Pets
At the height of summer, dehydration can be a serious problem for pets. While outdoor pets maybe most likely to be affected by dehydration, indoor pets can experience dehydration as well. If you're a pet owner in Manitoba, these tips will help you protect your pet from dehydration when the temperature outside begins to spike.
Signs of Dehydration in Pets
Pets who become dehydrated will start to exhibit symptoms slowly, so if you're not sure what the symptoms are, they can be easy to miss. For dogs and cats, signs of dehydration include:
- Loss of appetite.
- Sunken eyes.
- Dry, tacky gums.
- Heart beating faster than normal.
Your pet will also experience loss of skin elasticity. To test your pet for this problem, pinch your pet's skin between your fingers. When you release the skin, it should pop back into its original position quickly. If your pet is dehydrated, the skin will not pop back into place fast, but will return to its original position more slowly. If you are not aware of your pet's normal skin elasticity, this can be difficult to gauge. It can also be difficult to gauge elasticity for pets who have naturally loose, wrinkly skin and pets who are obese.
Preventing Dehydration in Pets
Dehydration in pets is often preventable.
- Use a water dish with a weighted bottom. Water dishes that have weighted bottoms are much harder for your pet to knock over.
- If leaving for the day, leave your pet with multiple water dishes. This way, if your pet drinks or soils one of the dishes, he or she will have more water elsewhere.
- Check your pet's water periodically throughout the day. If you find that your pet is consistently drinking all the water in his or her dishes, this means that you are not providing your pet with enough water.
- Keep your pet's water out of the sun. This prevents the water from evaporating quickly.
- Give your pet shade and a cool place to stay. This will help reduce your pet's water needs throughout the day.
- Have a neighbor or friend check on your pet on the hottest days. Some days are so hot they're dangerous. On the warmest days of the year, have a friend or neighbor check on your pet. This helps ensure that your pet is safe and has adequate water.
- Avoid taking your pet for a walk in the heat of the day. Take your pet for walks at dusk or in the early morning, when it's still cool outside.
Know What to Do If Your Pet Becomes Dehydrated
If your pet becomes dehydrated, electrolyte-enhanced waters or an electrolyte solution may help. Your pet's veterinarian can help you decide on the right dosage for your pet. For pets who are severely dehydrated, or for pets who are vomiting, it's important to get your pet treatment from a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Contact Your Pet's Vet in Winnipeg, Manitoba
At Bridgewater Veterinary Hospital & Wellness Centre, we help pet owners take care of their pets when they're experiencing a medical emergency like dehydration. We use state of the art equipment and safe medical treatments to help pets rehydrate. If your pet is experiencing a medical emergency, don't wait to seek help! Contact us today at (204) 452-0911.