How to tell if a dog is dehydrated?

by Anja S. on May 08, 2019

It’s true that for most people summer presents their favorite season. It’s the time when we can enjoy going to long walks with our dogs and try all those great summer activities. However, there’s one more thing dog owners should pay attention to. Since our furry friends can’t jump out from their coats, we need to prevent them from dehydration. If not spotted on time, dehydration in dogs can turn out to be fatal.

Most of us know that it occurs due to loss of body fluids, however, there are a few other factors that may affect the hydration.

What are the signs of dehydration in dogs?

Sympthoms of dehidrated dog

Since our dogs can’t explain to us what bothers them, we need to notice every sudden change in their behavior.

The first symptoms of dehydration in dogs include:

  1. panting,
  2. excessive drooling,
  3. tremor,
  4. sunken
  5. looking eyes,
  6. lethargy,
  7. dry nose,
  8. dry gums,
  9. thick and sticky saliva,
  10. and loss or skin elasticity.

As one of the most credible tests, vets recommend checking on a dog’s gums and the skin. The dog’s gum should be wet and pink. When we talk about the skin, if it doesn’t seem resilient and is unable to return to a normal position after you pinched the skin between your fingers, you can be sure your dog became dehydrated.

Dog owners of brachycephalic dog breeds need to pay special attention to their dogs’ hydration since their soft palates and shortened nostrils make them prone to tire quickly and increase their body temperature.

What to give a dehydrated dog?

There is no living being that can live without water. Therefore, we advise you to always make sure your pooch drink plenty of water both throughout the year. Dogs’ bodies that go through dehydration will experience a loss of potassium, chloride, electrolytes, and sodium that can lead to different organ failures. Water helps everyone’s bodies to maintain normal body temperature as well as to keep the joints and muscles in good shape.

Another important tip is to replenish electrolytes by giving a dog fluid rich in sodium and potassium. It can be of great help especially if he/she’s having diarrhea. As a homemade remedy, you can give your pooch Coconut water that is rich in potassium with a tablespoon of sea salt that is rich in sodium.

When we talk about buying different dog supplements that are considered to be great for a dog’s usage, vets usually recommend the electrolyte supplements called Pedialyte and Gatorade.

Is Pedialyte good for dogs?

Can you give a dog Pedialyte

Pediatyle is famous electrolyte supplement that is safe both for children and dogs usage. You should use it by mixing the supplement in your dog’s bowl with water. It replaces a level of electrolytes, nutrients, and minerals that your dog lost in case of diarrhea and vomiting. However, it can also be used in case of a mild level of a dog’s dehydration.

There is a general agreement that this type of supplement is completely safe for a dog’s usage. A dog that weighs between 40-50 pounds is allowed to drink half of a cup of diluted Pedialyte once an hour. In case you bought the powder solution, it’s advisable not to exceed 4 cm3 per pound.

In order to quickly replenish electrolytes in your dog’s body, we also advise you to mix a diluted Pedyalite in his canned or dry kibble food. However, the best food to give in case of dog’s vomiting and diarrhea is boiled rice with sea salt both included with electrolyte supplements in a bowl of water.

Is Gatorade good for dogs?

Besides using Pedialyte, dog owners also wonder if their pooches can drink Gatorade. According to hundreds of vets opinions, Gatorade electrolyte supplement is safe for a dog’s use. However, there should be precautions because both Pedyalite and Gatorade contain sugar. So, in case a dog suffers from diabetes, you should ask your vet for another solution.

What else to use to cool off a dog in summer?

Dog cooling in swimming pool


  1. Buying a self-cooling pad that is usually filled with a sort of gel can serve as a great tool for cooling off in summer.
  2. Giving your pooch fruit traits such as watermelon, cantaloupe and peach are also advisable.
  3. In case you own a brachycephalic dog breed, we advise you to leave him in an air-conditioned room.
  4. Splash your dog’s fur with water when you stroll outside during summer
  5. Always take a portable bottle of water for your furry friend.
  6. Cool your dog’s paws by using a natural Paw Cooling and Moisturizing Spray. A peppermint included will definitely provide your pooch with a pleasant feeling.