WHAT IS DEHYDRATION?
Dehydration in dogs is more than needing a drink of water. Dehydration occurs when the body loses more fluid than it is taking in. The body will compensate by drawing water out of its cells. The result is a loss of electrolytes such as potassium, chloride and sodium which in turn can affect the body’s systems. Water plays a critical role in a dog’s body, lubricating joints, helping regulate body temperature, transporting nutrients, flushing waste and more. Normally, water is lost and gained throughout the day. Gained by drinking and eating, lost by panting, breathing, urinating, defecating and evaporation through paws.
The simplest way to prevent dehydration is to make sure your dog has plenty of fresh water at all times. Keep his bowls clean and monitor that he is actually consuming adequate amounts of water. Other causes of dehydration are lack of food, injury, illness and overheating.
Some dogs are more susceptible to dehydration due to genetics. Special care should be taken to monitor these susceptible dogs as it can progress from early signs to serious very quickly.