Signs of Dehydration in Dogs in Bowling Green, KY

Dogs are often really happy to do everything with us, no matter what the weather is like. If your pet is insisting on coming with you on a hot day for your run or a hike, you might be tempted to take them with you. You should be aware of the risks to your pet’s health that can be caused by dehydration, however, before you commit to this plan.

dehydation in dogs bowling green ky

Symptoms of Dehydration in Dogs

Many dog owners are not aware that dogs have such a hard time cooling off when it is hot. Dog dehydration can be very serious, and it can lead to dog heatstroke, which can be deadly. Making sure that your dog does not get overheated and dehydrated is key to avoiding a very serious health situation. If you are not sure what the symptoms of dog dehydration are in Bowling Green, KY, you should keep reading to learn more.

Listed below are the main signs to look out for:

Loss of Skin Elasticity

This can be easily tested by picking up a pinch of your dog’s skin and pulling it up gently. When you release, the skin should snap back into place right off. If your dog is dehydrated, the skin will stay tented instead. This is a key sign that your dog is dehydrated and needs to be taken to the vet right away. A loss of skin elasticity indicates that your pet is already really dehydrated and that the time for trying to get them to drink more at home has passed.

Vomiting or Diarrhea

As your dog gets more and more overheated, its electrolytes can get out of balance. This can lead to vomiting and diarrhea, which can make your dog’s dehydrated condition even worse. If your dog is just dry heaving or seems to be vomiting continuously, you should be very concerned. No matter the reason for severe vomiting and diarrhea, your pet needs to see the vet right away to prevent serious dehydration and organ damage.


If your pet is just lying on the floor and refusing to get up or does not act interested in anything at all, they might be severely dehydrated. Your dog might also show signs of weakness or a lack of balance if you can convince them to get up. Imagine how you feel when you are too hot and have not had enough water. This is how your dog feels when they are dehydrated. You will notice all the same symptoms as in humans that have not had enough water if your pet is just starting to be dehydrated.


While panting is a normal dog behavior, severe panting that does not slow down even when your dog is at rest or in the shade might indicate dehydration. Dogs can only cool themselves off with the pads of their feet and by panting. If your dog is hot and dehydrated, there is probably no amount of panting that will help to cool off their body. As their body temperature goes up, their panting might increase to try to keep pace. This is one of the first key signs that something is really wrong and that your dog is not feeling good in most cases.

Sunken Eyes

If your dog has sunken eyes, a dry nose, and dry gums, they are dehydrated. You should consider any of these signs a red flag that your pet needs to see the vet right away. By the time that these symptoms are showing up, your pet is likely already quite dehydrated. You should make sure not to ignore these signs of dehydration and get your pet to the vet right away for IV fluids to help combat their dehydration.

Lack of Appetite

While not every dog loves food, most dogs are really food motivated. If your dog is dehydrated, they might stop eating and drinking. This is usually due to nausea that goes along with the dehydration. This is a good indicator that something is wrong, and you should consider this symptom a warning sign that your pet needs to head to the vet. Being sure that your pet is eating and drinking matters for their well-being, and you should not ignore signs of a lack of interest in food and water.

Thick Saliva

If your dog is really dehydrated, their saliva might be really thick and gooey instead of slippery and stringy like normal. This is more commonly seen in wet-mouthed dogs, but you can test this even in dogs that are not prone to drooling. You can simply feel the inside of your dog’s mouth or touch their gums and see if you can pick up any saliva. If you cannot, or if the texture is really abnormal, your dog is likely to be dehydrated. This is often a sign that your dog has not been drinking enough as well, so if you see this symptom without other signs of problems, you should still make sure to take your pet to see the veterinarian.

Contact Southcentral Veterinary Services if Your Dog is Showing Symptoms of Dehydration in Dogs

Dogs can suffer severe secondary health consequences from becoming dehydrated. You should be willing to take your dog to the vet right away if they are showing any of these symptoms of dehydration. Dogs that have become dehydrated can get heatstroke, which can be very deadly. Dogs with heatstroke need to be treated within a half hour, or they usually cannot be saved.

Be sure that you are really cautious about bringing your dog with you on hikes, runs, or walks when it is really hot. Your dog should stay home in the air conditioning or the shade when it is 80 degrees F or hotter. You can also test the temperature of the ground with your bare hand. If you cannot leave your hand on the ground comfortably, you should not bring your dog with you on any outdoor activity. Being sure that your pet has access to clean and clear water is also key to fighting off dehydration. For more information or if you would like to schedule an appointment, contact Southcentral Veterinary Services in Bowling Green, KY by calling (270) 282-2564

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Southcentral Veterinary Services is here to ensure that you and your pet can access a variety of high-quality, progressive medical services. Our aim is to serve our patients and clients with integrity, compassion, and a focus on being your primary family vet.