Like all living things, dogs need to drink daily in order to remain healthy. A dog should be getting at least an ounce of water for every pound of weight. Water makes up 80 percent of a dog's body and is required proper circulation, digestion, toxin and waste removal. However, when a canine becomes ill, suffers from fever, diarrhea or vomiting, they may lose the desire to eat and drink. They then may become seriously dehydrated in as little as 24 hours. There are a number of other ways to ensure that the animal receives daily fluid.
Ensure that a dog has plenty of access to clean, fresh drinking water. Position multiple water containers around the interior of the home if necessary. Check each bowl or container during the day to monitor consumption and refill if needed. Wash the containers everyday with soap, water and rinse well to discourage bacterial growth. There are a number of recommended tricks that pet owners may use to entice a dog to hydrate.
• When diarrhea and vomiting are problems, maintain the animal's hydration and electrolyte levels with children's Pedialyte. Combine equal amounts of water and electrolyte fluid in the dog's drinking bowl.
• Clear, non-citrus juices are another alternative. In this way, the canine receives fluid and maintains blood sugar levels.
• Offer the dog a cup of beef or chicken broth made with bouillon throughout the day. Dogs enjoy the flavor and aroma, which will also encourages thirst and helps retain fluid and provides nourishment.
• Many dogs enjoy chewing on ice chips. Supply a continual amount of fresh ice chips during the day. Sick animals often tolerate ice better than water as they are getting hydrated in smaller increments.
• If the dog is still consuming solid food, replace soft or hard kibble with wet canned food. The wet food offers seven times more fluid than dry food, which also helps hydration.
Signs of Dehydration
Dog owners can determine if an animal is suffering from dehydration by performing a simple assessment. In dogs of normal, healthy weight, lift the skin by the scruff of the neck or between the shoulder blades. The tissues should immediately flatten back to normal. If the skin remains tented or falls slowly, the animal is likely suffering from dehydration. Dehydrated animals also typically act depressed and lethargic, have dry mouths, no appetite and sunken eyes.
However, sometimes the symptoms are not immediately obvious. Whenever a canine refuses fluids for 18 to 24 hours, these are signs that something is seriously wrong. The animal should then see a veterinarian as soon as possible.