Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Treating Your Dog for Dehydration

Dehydration in dogs can be a serious problem. Whether caused by illness, exposure to heat, or a simple lack of fluid, dehydration should be promptly treated and untreated, can cause multiple health problems including heart failure and death. It is very easy for a dog to be dehydrated easier than many pet owners realize. Fortunately it is easy to prevent dehydration in dogs and it is very important to do.

Dehydration is a loss of excess body fluids. It is usually the loss of water and minerals such as sodium chloride and potassium collectively called electrolytes. Dehydration in dogs can be caused by illness (especially if the dog has a fever), exposure to extreme heat and other factors. Natural act of a dog's breath causes fluid loss and can lead to dehydration if not replaced. Remember that dogs have no sweat glands to keep cool. They pant in an attempt to regulate their body temperature. A panting dog is a hot dog.

Preventing Dog Dehydration

The best way to prevent dehydration is to ensure that your dog has sufficient fresh water available. The dog should always at least one bowl of water at all times and when the dog approached the house, bowls in different locations may be appropriate. If you live in a dry climate dogs should be indoors as much as possible, especially during the hot summer months. When they leave, it is imperative that dogs have an adequate supply of freshwater. Moist foods also help maintain appropriate levels of body fluids in dogs. Dry food is important for the health of the teeth of a dog, but moist foods are a good idea too.

Treat a dog dehydrated

If you suspect your dog is dehydrated, get some water once, then get to the vet. Signs of dehydration may be lack of elasticity of the skin and sunken eyes, dry and dryness of the mouth and nose. Dehydrated dogs will also experience a delay in capillary refill time. For this test, lip of the dog to pull out her gum (gently) and press a finger against the gum until blanching the field. Release the button and the color should return to the surface almost immediately. A delay may be a sign of dehydration.

Much water is the best way to replace fluids, but a severely dehydrated dog should not be allowed in large quantities. This will cause vomiting and a further loss of fluids. Instead of the dog to drink small amounts over time. Electrolytes can be replaced by a hydrating solution. Pedialyte, a water and electrolyte product sold for infants is suitable for dogs. Of course, every dog seems dehydrated or refuses to drink should be seen by a veterinarian for appropriate treatment and to determine if dehydration is a symptom of another disease.


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