Signs and symptoms of dehydration in dogs


There are six main signs that indicate your dog might be dehydrated and it’s good to be aware of them just in case, as a very dehydrated dog often needs to see a vet quite quickly. Let’s take a look at what they are.

  1. Your dog will probably appear lethargic and might be reluctant to move much or in severe cases have trouble walking and could maybe even collapse.
  2. Loss of appetite is a common symptom and sometimes dogs are not interested in having a drink either.
  3. Excessive panting might be one of the first symptoms you notice, panting is one way that dogs cool themselves down as they don’t sweat through their skin in the same way that we do. Dogs normally pant when they are hot or after exercise of course but if they continue to pant heavily when taking a rest, it can be an indication that your pooch is suffering from heatstroke or dehydration.
  4. Perhaps one of the simplest ways to establish if your pooch is dehydrated is to check his skin as one of the common signs of dehydration in dogs is a loss of elasticity. To check you can simply pinch some of the skin between your dog’s shoulder blades when you let go it should spring back into place immediately if the skin only returns to normal slowly or remains pinched, he is probably suffering from dehydration. The longer it takes for your dog’s skin to return to normal the more dehydrated your dog is.
  5. Another one of the common symptoms of dehydration in dogs is dry/sticky and dull gums. A well-hydrated dog’s gums are normally pink and look wet and glossy and if you gently press on them will turn white for a second before returning almost immediately to their normal pink colour. If your pooch is dehydrated his gums will stay whiter for longer because the capillaries in the gums are taking longer to refill.
  6. If your dog is very dehydrated his eyes might also appear sunken and dry.

There are some other symptoms your dog might have too, just like us if we are dehydrated your furry friend could appear irritable, he might be vomiting and or have diarrhoea and his nose and mouth might be dry, you might notice that his urine is very dark.