Dog Dehydration Treatment Tips for Every Pet Owner to Know

By: Kelli Rascoe

A wet dog jumps into a lake

Whether you are vacationing with your pets, hiking the trails, or enjoying a family day outside, the health and safety of your pet is top of mind. Humans and pets alike can benefit from proper hydration during the summer season. While you’re out enjoying the sunshine with your furry friends, this dog dehydration treatment guide may be a helpful tool for everyone from new to seasoned pet owners. We sat down with Trupanion vet tech and claims specialist, Aubrey Halvorsen, to further discuss dog dehydration treatment tips for pets of all ages to use throughout the summer season.

Dog dehydration treatment regimens for every pet owner to know

What is dehydration?

Signs of dehydration may differ between pets and humans. Essentially, “dehydration can mean a loss of water in the body or a loss of electrolytes,” states Halvorsen. Also, when you’re outside with your pets it’s important to pay attention to their behavior, even while on a dog walk. Naturally, every pet is unique and might show signs differently than another pet.

What are the different ways dogs can become dehydrated?

Naturally, dehydration can occur from being outside in the sun. Also, there are other ways dehydration occurs in pets.

For example, “dehydration is caused by either the lack of food or water or water loss from an illness or injury,” says Halvorsen. So, if your pet is vomiting or has diarrhea they could become dehydrated. Hydration is a critical component to a pet’s health and well-being. Halvorsen continues, “Especially in the case of vomiting or diarrhea in a puppy or kitten, seek medical care immediately.”

Every pet is unique and may respond differently to heat. If you have any questions, talk with your veterinarian about your pet. For more on pets and heat, consider this resource.

Signs of dog dehydration

If you are worried your pet may be experiencing dehydration, consider the following signs –

  • Lethargy
  • Excessive panting
  • Sunken eyes
  • Dry mouth
  • Skin loses elasticity
  • Weakness
  • Delayed capillary refill time (veterinarians will check the gums to check on a dog’s oxygen level)

Steps for dog dehydration treatment

Halvorsen weighs in on the best course of action if your pet becomes dehydrated:

“Firstly, allow access to clean and fresh water. Secondly, allow them to drink water frequently, but small amounts. Thirdly, and most importantly, consult with your veterinarian. Conversely, allowing your pet too much water too fast can lead to vomiting and cause additional loss of fluids.”

Naturally, depending on your pet’s age, weight, or breed it may be hard to know how much water they should be drinking. For more on cat hydration, check out this article.

Necessary items to include in your pet first aid kit or pet emergency bag for dehydration

It’s always best when traveling with pets to be prepared for the unknown. By having a pet first aid kit or pet emergency bag handy, you can have everything you need should something happen to your pets. For example, “make sure to bring enough water, especially if you are hiking. Also, an electrolyte mix may be helpful to keep in an emergency kit,” points out Halvorsen.

Additional items to include in your emergency travel kits:

The number one important dog dehydration treatment tip during pet travel –

Naturally, the more water you have the better, and make sure it’s accessible at all times. Also, keep pets cool in the shade, shorten playtime in the sun, take breaks, and enjoy some rest and relaxation inside in the air-conditioning. For more on summer safety tips, check out this article. 

Trupanion claims data

We sat down with the Trupanion data team to further look at dehydration claims for your pet. For example, “during the summer, Trupanion sees 4.5 x more claims for heatstroke than the rest of the year*. Also, the average heat stroke claim is about $1,100, “says Trupanion data analyst Malia Prescott.

Your pet’s health and safety is a top priority during all seasons, including the summer. If your pet is acting abnormal, please seek the care of your veterinarian. They can determine next steps and recommend a plan for your best friend.

Dog dehydration treatment: an essential tool for summer months

Dog dehydration treatment is a resourceful tool if needed when you are traveling with your pets. By staying aware of your pet’s behavior, talking with your veterinarian, and taking the opportunity to hydrate throughout the day, you’ll be all set for fun in the sun with your best friend

*Trupanion data is sourced from our North American covered pets.