Photo Credit: Photo by Andrea Caramello on Unsplash 

While we frequently think about proper hydration as humans, something we talk about far less is pet hydration. With spring drawing near and summer being just around the corner, temperatures will be on the rise and we’ll find ourselves with an elevated need to stay hydrated. Depending on where you live, dehydration can affect your pets differently. Although outdoor pets have to contend with warmer temperatures, even indoor pets can experience high heat with little air conditioning or limited access to water, which can put your furry friend at risk. For pets, whether living indoors or outdoors, proper hydration is just as essential as it is for humans.

Today, Optimum will be going over several different indications that your pet is dehydrated. Although easily prevented and resolved, dehydration in pets can cause permanent organ damage and can even be fatal if left unchecked. Although dehydration is a concern for humans and pets alike, pets are at a higher risk of becoming dehydrated during warmer months. By knowing the signs of dehydration in pets, you can stay on the lookout and ensure that your pet is always properly hydrated!

How Do Pets Become Dehydrated?

Before we get to the five biggest indicators of dehydration in pets, let’s talk about how pets become dehydrated in the first place. Put simply, pets become dehydrated for two main reasons. For one, pets sometimes become dehydrated due to drinking less water because of limited access or as a result of certain diseases that cause them to drink less. These conditions can include leptospirosis, pancreatitis, or parvo. Another reason that pets can become dehydrated is found in fluid loss caused by heatstroke, vomiting, gastrointestinal disease, diarrhea, urinary tract infections, kidney failure, and cancer.

It should be noted that puppies, kittens, senior pets, pregnant pets, and pets that are suffering from any of the conditions listed above are at a much greater risk of becoming dehydrated. Considering the fact that 80% of dogs’ and cats’ bodies are composed of water, it is essential to all of their bodily functions. For this reason, dehydrated pets can experience a variety of different health issues ranging from reduced oxygen delivery throughout the body to a lack of bowel movements. To keep your pet from having to deal with any of these health issues, you have to ensure that they’re staying hydrated. But the first step of preventing dehydration is knowing what the signs of dehydration are in pets! Let’s find out.

Dehydration Symptoms in Dogs

Let’s start with man’s best friend! While it is common knowledge that a little panting from your favorite pooch after a vigorous outdoor walk is a sign that they’re in need of water to drink, there are various less obvious indicators that your dog is actually dehydrated. One quick way of testing whether or not your canine is well hydrated is by lightly pinching the skin on the top of their head or on their back. While well-hydrated skin will maintain its elasticity and bounce back with ease, dehydrated skin will take a bit longer to retract. In the event that your dog is severely dehydrated, the skin may not maintain any elasticity at all!

Looking for a few other common indicators of dehydration in dogs? Here are a few symptoms that you should stay on the lookout for:

  • Thick saliva
  • Lack of energy
  • Vomiting
  • Dry, sticky gums
  • Dry nose
  • Appetite loss
  • Confusion
  • Lack of coordination
  • Excessive panting
  • Red, inflamed gums
  • Sunken eyes
  • Respiratory issues
  • Depression

Dehydration Symptoms in Cats

Believe it or not, your cat can also become dehydrated. In fact, cats can be a different type of challenge altogether when it comes to staying properly hydrated, as many cats tend to not drink enough water even when it’s required. Additionally, cats are more likely to suffer from dehydration than dogs due to the fact that they are natural carnivores who are used to getting their moisture from prey that they catch in the wild. Further, when feasting on a diet consisting mainly of dry kibble, cats don’t usually receive enough moisture from their food either.

It should be noted that, much like dogs, the skin test still applies when testing your cat for dehydration. Beyond that, however, there are a few common indicators that you should be looking out for to see if your feline friend is suffering from dehydration. Some of those symptoms include:

  • Little-to-no skin elasticity
  • Lack of energy
  • Sunken eyes
  • Increased heart rate
  • Decreased urination
  • Dry mouth and gums
  • Seizure or collapse
  • Depression
  • Confusion
  • Lack of coordination

Keep Every Member of Your Family Hydrated with Optimum!

Now that you know a few of the most common indicators that your pet is suffering from dehydration, it’s time to take a preventative approach to ensuring they stay happy and healthy. With a little help from Optimum, you can keep every member of your family well hydrated! Our bottleless water systems are not only great for the environment, but they also make staying hydrated easier than ever.

When it comes to staying hydrated, it’s all about having easy access to water. After all, the more convenient that drinking water is, the more likely you are to drink enough (and provide your pet with enough)! Further, our bottleless water systems utilize a 5-step filtration system that keeps your water as fresh as possible by removing bacteria, sediment, chlorine, and harmful contaminants that can harm you and your pets’ bodies. Shop our selection of bottleless water systems and increase the water intake of every member of your family today!