How to Prevent and Treat Puppy Dehydration

A Bulldog puppy licking its mouth

Puppies are constantly on the move – playing, exploring and learning. Because their activity levels are typically high, puppies need to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. After all, as much as 80% of a dog’s body is made up of water. So, how much water should a puppy drink? The amount depends on factors such as environment and activity level. Read on to learn how to keep your puppy hydrated and happy.

How much water does a puppy need?

Plenty of fresh, cool water should always be made available to your puppy. The amount of water a puppy should drink depends on the amount of activity they are involved in along with the temperature and humidity of the environment that they are in. Puppies that are already weaned off of their mother’s milk need around 15 – 30ml of water per pound of body weight. Make sure to monitor your puppy’s activity level and water intake so that they are staying properly hydrated.

Water is important for a number of reasons including:

  • Lubricating body tissues
  • Regulating body temperature
  • Acting as a fluid medium for blood and lymph systems
  • Being involved in most biochemical reactions within the body

What causes low fluid levels?

Many things can cause low fluid levels. Overheating and illnesses that cause vomiting, diarrhea or excessive urination can all lead to dehydration. Typically, your puppy loses fluids naturally through the pores in their skin, through their mouth when they pant and through going to the bathroom. That’s why it’s so important for your puppy to drink enough water so that he replaces what he loses. 

Keep in mind that it is possible that your puppy may be dehydrated because of an underlying issue or because he may have ingested something harmful. In these cases, if symptoms of dehydration are severe and persistent, make sure to see your veterinarian. To learn more about foods that are harmful for dogs to ingest, read our article on what not to feed dogs.

Signs of a dehydrated puppy

Here are a few things to look for to tell if your puppy is dehydrated:

  • Tented Skin (when the skin doesn’t snap back quickly after being pulled)
  • Lethargy
  • Sunken eyes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression
  • Excessive panting

What to do if your puppy is dehydrated

If you notice that your puppy is panting, in most cases it simply means that they’re thirsty and they’ll drink water and recover shortly. If you notice any of the above symptoms and the dehydration is more severe, take them to the veterinarian immediately as there may be a possibility that there is an underlying problem causing it.

How to prevent dehydration

If you’re bringing your puppy out in hot weather conditions, make sure to keep them out of the sun for prolonged periods of time. At home, you can avoid bacterial infections by making sure the clean their water and food bowls frequently and by keeping them out of the toilet bowl. Finally, make sure that your puppy drinks plenty of water daily. Keep the water coming, and keep that water bowl filled!

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