How to Keep Your Dog Hydrated & Avoid Dehydration

Dehydration is a big problem for pets as well as humans. It is important that your dog keeps themselves hydrated.

Learn how to keep your dog hydrated and how to avoid dehydration by reading our Milwaukee, WI, urgent care animal hospital‘s article below.

dog dehydration milwaukee, wi

What is Dehydration?

Dehydration is when a body loses more water than it takes in. This can happen if a dog is not drinking enough water, eating too much dry food, or through normal body functions.

It is important to make sure your dog always has water available. Dehydration in dogs can lead to problems with maintaining temperature, joints, digestion, and damage to internal organs.

Beyond the normal means of dehydration, it can also be caused by certain illnesses, diseases, and health problems.

  • Illness
  • Fever
  • Heat Stroke
  • Diarrhea
  • Persistent vomiting

How Can I Tell If My Dog Is Dehydrated?

The most obvious signs of dehydration include changes to the skin and nose. If your dog’s skin lacks elasticity, they may be dehydrated. If you can pull your dog’s skin and it doesn’t bounce back then they may be dehydrated. Be gentle when doing this test.

Other signs of mild dehydration include:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Panting

Signs of extreme dehydration include:

  • Sunken eyes
  • Shock
  • collapse

What to Do If You Think Your Dog is Dehydrated

Preventing dehydration is best. However, if you suspect your dog is dehydrated, it is best to call your vet. They can help you decide the best way forward. Depending on how dehydrated your dog is, they may need specialized care.

For mild dehydration, you can give your dog a few sips of water every couple of minutes. You can also give them ice to lick. You need to give them small amounts of water at a time because if you give them too much, they may end up vomiting which will cause more dehydration.

For more severe cases, your vet may recommend that you bring your dog into the animal hospital. They will most likely want to give your dog fluids through an IV. If your dog suffers from chronic dehydration, they may recommend you getting fluids for your dog on a schedule. This can get expensive, but is important to prevent problems like liver failure.

Ways to Keep Your Dog Hydrated

In this section, we are looking at the five best ways to prevent dog dehydration. These include water bowls, doggy drinking fountains, liquid added to food, doggy smoothies, and doggy ice pops.

Water Bowls

Every dog needs a water bowl. If you have more than one dog you will need either a very large water bowl or multiple water bowls. In general, it is a good idea to have at least one bowl of water for each pet.

Keep Them Filled

If you work from home, check your dogs’ water bowls every hour or two to make sure they have enough water. If you do not work from home, make sure to leave enough water for the time you will be gone. If you have a dog walker, have them refill the bowls when they come.

Keep Them Clean

It’s important to keep your dog’s water bowls clean, as bacteria can form after time.

Keep at a Good Temp

Depending on your dog’s personality, they may not like cold water, warm water, or dirty water. Changing the water every couple of hours can help with this.

Indoor and Outdoor Bowls

Whenever your dog is outside for an extended period of time, it is important to make sure they have water. Keep a bowl or two for water outside.

Dog Drinking Fountain

If your dog likes fresh water, you may find a dog drinking fountain is the best way to go.

Some things to keep in mind when deciding if you are going to get a dog drinking fountain:

Most Fountains are Electric

An electric fountain will need to be plugged all day long. This makes them great for indoor use, but not so good for outdoor use. There are a few types out there that use gravity to make the fountain work.

Some pets may not like electric drinking fountains. If your pet doesn’t like the fountain, you may have to try either a non-electric drinking fountain or just use water bowls.

Adjustable Flow Rate

While not all dog water fountains are adjustable, many of them are. You can adjust the amount of water coming out. This way it doesn’t need to cycle a lot of water unless necessary. This will also help keep it quiet. The slower the water flow, the quieter it will be.

Elevated Fountains

Elevated drinking fountains make it easier for older dogs, larger dogs, and arthritic dogs to drink water.

Sizes and Water Capacity

There are many different types of drinking fountains available. When picking one out, keep your pets in mind. If you have larger dogs, or multiple dogs, you will need a larger water fountain with more capacity. Smaller dogs and cats can use smaller drinking fountains. With multiple pets, it is best to have more than one drinking fountain.

Cleaning Capabilities

Some drinking fountains can be taken apart and washed in a dishwasher (except for the electric parts). However, not all are that simple. When choosing a drinking fountain, make sure to consider the cleaning instructions. These instructions can be found by using an internet search engine and the key words “[Name of dog drinking fountain]” and “cleaning instructions”.

Highly Rated Dog Drinking Fountains:

Zeus H2EAU Drinking Fountain

This large drinking fountain is great for large dogs, families with multiple dogs or pets, or dogs that drink a lot.

Heyrex Torus Dog Water Bowl

This is a cross between a drinking fountain and a water bowl. It is best for small dogs and cats as it only holds 67 ounces. However, it is great for travel. This bowl is gravity run and not electrical.

Drinkwell Platinum Fountain

This drinking fountain holds 168 ounces of water. It has a filter for the water and the flow can be adjusted. It is also easy to clean.

Drinkwell Multi-tier Dog Fountain

This drinking fountain holds 100 ounces of water and has an adjustable flow. It filters water and is elevated.

Raindrop Dog Fountain

This is a great water fountain for small dogs and cats. It only holds 60 ounces of water, so if you have multiple pets, you may need more than one. It is easy to take apart and clean in the dishwasher.

Perpetual Well Automatic Pet Water Bowl

This drinking fountain requires professional help to install it since it connects to water pipes. The pro of this fountain is that you never have to refill it. So long as your water is running, the fountain has water for your dog.

Dogit Fresh & Clean Drinking Fountain

This drinking fountain has a 200-ounce water capacity, it is elevated, and it has a water filtration system.

Add Liquid to Their Food Bowl

If your pet is on a prescription or therapeutic diet, it is important to contact your veterinarian prior to changing your pet’s diet. A small way to help your dog stay hydrated is to add liquid to their dry food. Some ways to do this include:

  • Adding a half cup or a cup of water or low/no sodium broth to their dry food.
  • You can also add wet food and mix it into their dry food.
  • You can also add pumpkin puree and mix it into their food.

Dog Smoothies

Your dog may enjoy dog smoothies as well. Make sure you are only using fruits that are safe and ingredients that your dog can eat. Some great options would be:

  • Pumpkin
  • Blueberry
  • Mango (exclusive of the pit)
  • Strawberry banana
  • Peanut butter banana

Dog Ice Pops

You can also make dog ice pops. These are especially popular in the warm weather. Make sure to only use fruits and foods that dogs can eat. Some great options include the flavors above and:

  • Cantaloupe
  • Watermelon
  • Peanut Butter and Berry
  • Pineapple
  • Low/No Sodium Bone Broth

If Your Dog Seems Dehydrated, Contact Our Milwaukee, WI, Urgent Care Vets Right Away

Keeping hydrated is important for dogs, just like humans. Your dog will love some of the dog treats listed above. However, special diets aren’t the only important step. Always check your dogs’ water bowls or water fountains.

If your dog is experiencing dehydration, please reach out to our Milwaukee, WI, urgent care animal hospital right away. Call us at (262) 226-2055