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Dehydration Prevention for Pets

Dehydration Prevention for Pets



Pet Dehydration Symptoms & Prevention

There are a number of preventatives available for different needs, from chewables to topical treatments to wearable collars. Some cover just fleas, some cover only ticks, and others are multi-purpose, so it’s essential to thoroughly review the product to ensure it’s the right option for tick and flea prevention for dogs and cats.

Dehydration prevention during Arizona summers is a must. Our summers are notoriously hot and dry, so staying hydrated is essential for pets and people, too. All living things need water to remain healthy, and there are days when water intake should be increased. Pet dehydration occurs when water intake falls below recommended daily levels. Additionally, heat can cause pets to experience fluid loss from excessive panting, vomiting, diarrhea, or fever, which can be dangerously dehydrating. Dehydration may also present as a symptom of an underlying health condition or disease.

When a pet becomes dehydrated, it’s not just water that is lost from the body but essential electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and chloride that help regulate important body functions. Blood flow and fluid volume are reduced, which in turn reduces the flow of oxygen to organs and tissue. If left untreated, dehydration can become life-threatening as organs begin to shut down. If you suspect your pet is dehydrated or suffering from heatstroke, see your veterinarian immediately.

How Much Water Do Pets Need? As a general rule, dogs require at least one ounce of water per day for each pound of body weight. In contrast, a 10-pound cat needs around 1 cup per day of water. Cats and dogs both need different amounts of water depending on their age, size, overall health, and type of diet and therefore should always have access to fresh, clean water day and night. Cats eating a primarily dry food diet need more water than cats eating a wet/canned food diet, and dogs will too.

General Pet Dehydration Symptoms The most common sign of dehydration in cats and dogs is skin tenting – gently pinch the skin over your pet’s shoulders and gently pull it upwards. The skin of well-hydrated pets will quickly snap back into place when you release it. In dehydrated pets, the skin will settle back into place more slowly. In cases of severe dehydration, the pinch of skin will stay up, forming a ‘tent.’ If this occurs, your pet needs immediate veterinary attention.

Signs of Dehydration in Dogs

  • Loss of skin elasticity/skin tenting
  • Reduced energy levels and lethargy
  • Excessive panting
  • Sunken, dry-looking eyes
  • Dry, sticky gums
  • Thick saliva
  • Loss of appetite/refusing to eat
  • Vomiting with or without diarrhea

Signs of Dehydration in Cats Dehydration in cats is dangerous and requires treatment as it can be a symptom of underlying health problems. Here are the signs you need to watch for that can indicate your cat is dehydrated:

  • Listlessness/lethargy
  • Dry, sticky gums
  • Refusing to eat
  • Loss of skin elasticity/skin tenting
  • Sunken, dry-looking eyes
  • Thick saliva

Dehydration Prevention Measures Dehydration prevention for pets begins with making sure they have a steady source of clean, fresh drinking water indoors and outside, as well as well-shaded areas to retreat from the sun. If your pet begins to show signs of dehydration, give them a fresh bowl of cool water. You can add a bit of low sodium broth for flavor to help encourage drinking. For more serious cases of dehydration, electrolyte replacement formulations, subcutaneous or intravenous fluids may be required, so a visit to the veterinarian is recommended. Early treatment can get your pet back on track and feeling better and help prevent more serious problems. If you need assistance with possible dehydration or other health problems, don’t hesitate to contact your vet. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!

Disclaimer: Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.

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