August 12, 2021 2 min read

Are you drinking enough water? It’s a question you probably get asked a lot, and for good reason! Staying hydrated is extremely important for the function of nearly all animals. Our dogs also need to drink plenty of water, especially when they are out and having fun in the sun. Not getting enough water can lead to dehydration. Dehydration can lead to serious health problems, including organ failure and even death if left untreated. Besides putting out a water dish, we’ve figured out some of the best ways to be sure your dog is drinking more and staying hydrated.


First, it’s important to be able to detect when exactly your dog is dehydrated. Being able to realize the signs of dehydration early on can ensure that you are able to keep your pup healthy and hydrated appropriately.


Early Signs of Dehydration

A few ways you can determine if your dog might be dehydrated are:

  • Vomiting/Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Dry nose
  • Panting
  • Sticky, pale gums
  • Skin lacking elasticity


Check your dog’s gums and skin carefully. To check their gums, simply pull up on their lip and press a finger gently against them to see if they feel sticky or tacky. Once you press down, be sure to monitor how quickly the gums become pink again. If your dog is dehydrated, their gums will stay pale for much longer than if they were hydrated.

To check your dog’s skin elasticity, carefully pull up on a small amount of skin between their shoulders. If a skin-tent forms and does not lay flat with the rest of your dog's coat for an extended period of time, this could be another indication that your dog is dehydrated.


Best Ways to Keep Your Dog Hydrated

Believe it or not, the best way to keeping your dog hydrated is not always as simple as leaving a water dish out for them. This is especially true for dogs who are not willing to drink much in the first place. Instead, it’s better to have several practices in place to ensure you have the best set up to keep your dog hydrated:


  • Keep several bowls of water out
  • Get a pet fountain
  • Give moisture-rich treats
  • Add water to their food or try wet food
  • Avoid playtime at the hottest points in the day
  • Always keep a source of water with you for your dog when travelling
  • Have your dog drink water every time you do


If your dog is still exhibiting signs of dehydration, despite being able to drink water, this can be an indication that something more serious is going on. Contact your vet if your dog does not improve, even after drinking water at home. They may need additional fluids that only your vet can administer or require additional testing to determine what is wrong. Otherwise, remember to have fun and keep yourself and your pup hydrated!


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