Dehydration Symptoms and Solutions for Your Furry Friends

dehydration symptoms

As we approach the hottest months of the year here in Alabama, we need to keep our furry friends in mind. Summer is always a great time for fun outdoor activities, and no doubt you’ll bring your pets along for a lot of them. Whether you’re hiking or exercising, or just lounging by the pool, your pets need adequate hydration to stay happy and healthy in our intense southern heat.

The Importance of Hydration

You’ve surely heard that your body is made up of 60% water, but did you know that your pet’s body is made up of 80% water? And they can’t sweat like we can, so it’s absolutely crucial that you’re giving them plenty of fresh, clean water all day long.

Making sure your pet stays hydrated is important for their urinary tract health. Without proper hydration, your pets are more prone to developing urinary tract infections or urinary stones, which are crystals that can cause dangerous problems.

Hydration also helps regulate their body temperature, so they stay consistently cool even when it’s extra hot outside. They’ll maintain their energy levels, as staying well-hydrated helps them convert fat into energy.

Not only will they maintain energy levels and stable body temperatures, but water is what promotes healing and recovery in pets. Plenty of water will keep their kidneys healthy, as well as help them recover from sickness, injury, and surgery more quickly.

Symptoms of Dehydration

One of the most important things to know is how to tell when your pet is dehydrated. Your dog can’t tell you they need water or that they’re feeling dehydrated! Symptoms of dehydration can include:

  • Low energy
  • Excessive, ongoing panting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Sunken, dry eyes
  • Dry, sticky gums
  • Dry skin

If you think your pet is dehydrated, it’s best to call your vet. They can monitor your pet’s condition and administer fluids if needed. If your pet is dehydrated, it means they’ve been thirsty or not getting enough water for a while—giving them a bowl of water after the fact may not be enough.

How Much Water Does Your Pet Need?

It’s easy to remember how much water your pet needs but harder to keep up with. The basic rule of thumb is one ounce of water for every pound of body weight. So your 10-pound cat needs 10 ounces of water each day, and your 50-pound dog needs 50 ounces!

It’s hard to be exact since you can’t force your pets to drink, but having a specific amount in mind will help you pay closer attention to how much water is made available to your pets every day!

Fresh Water, All the Time

No matter what, your pet should have access to fresh, clean water all the time. Even if you’re house training a puppy, they should have plenty of water to drink whenever they want it. If you’re leaving the house, make sure there’s enough water to last until you return. If you’re bringing your pet on a road trip, stop a few times and give them a chance to drink water. If you’re spending time outside, bring a bowl of water with you! Just like you might bring a water bottle with you, bring water for your pet too.

Change your pet’s water frequently, and wash their water bowl daily to avoid bacteria growth and make sure they’re drinking clean water. Remember that your pet can’t just pick up a water bottle and drink—you’re in control of when they have access to water!


Making sure your pet has a cool, shady place to cool off is an important part of keeping them healthy and hydrated. Pets heat up quickly in the sun, especially if they have darker fur or they’re outside in the summer months. Make sure there’s always a shady place to go if they’ll be outside for a while.

If you aren’t sure whether or not it’s too hot for you pet, sit outside with them for a few minutes. If you get hot, odds are they’re hot too!
For the purest possible water for you and your pet, contact Water Way today!