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Dehydration in Pets: Causes and Symptoms

Pet Care Tips 2 min read
A dog drinking from a water fountain

Water is an essential nutrient for all animals. Water plays a crucial role in transporting nutrients and metabolism. It is also essential for regulating body temperature and digestion. Proper elimination of body waste also requires a large amount of water. Proper hydration is needed to keep your little one’s body functioning normally and staying healthy. While animals can survive after losing almost all their body fat or more than half of their protein, dehydration in pets is a big concern because losing only 10% of body water can be fatal.

Understanding Dehydration in Pets

In daily life, animals lose water through urination, defecation, and evaporation during breathing. Dehydration happens when the body loses more water and electrolytes than it intakes. In the hot weather, you may see that your furry friends usually pants and this increases their water loss. Moreover, acute vomiting and diarrhea, heatstroke, and fever may also cause your pets to become dehydrated.

Signs of Dehydration

Signs of dehydration include dry nose, dry mucous membranes, thick saliva, sunken eyes, lethargy, loss of skin elasticity, and shock, which can be seen in severe cases and lead to life-threatening situations.

If pets lose more than 5% of their body water, it can lead to illness.

You can simply check for dehydration in your pets at home by gently pinching the loose skin around the back of their neck. In a normal hydrated dog, the skin will go back to its original position within 2 seconds.

Preventing Dehydration in Pets

Make sure your furry friends are staying hydrated, especially during the summer. They must have access to clean water all the time. To encourage water drinking in cats, you might want to consider getting a water fountain for your kitty since most of them prefer moving water. Additionally, wet food is a great way to help boost their water intake too! Ideally, pets should consume more than 50-70 ml of water per kilogram of body weight per day to stay healthy and hydrated.

Hydration and Kidney Function

Dehydration in pets could be a sign of an underlying condition, such as kidney disease. One of the kidneys’ primary functions is to eliminate waste, and this requires a significant amount of water. To decrease the risk of kidney disease, it is essential to support your pet’s hydration and kidney and bladder health. NHV Tripsy is a soothing formula that helps maintain the health of the kidneys and bladder, and NHV Multi Essential helps stimulate metabolism and enhances nutrient absorption. It also helps reduce fatigue and increases energy.


It’s crucial to make sure that your furry friend stays hydrated by drinking enough water. If they lose more than 5% of their body water, it can lead to illness. There are several fun ways to encourage your pet to drink more water! For instance, putting ice in their water bowl. Some dogs love chewing on ice, and even some cats also enjoy cold water. Also, ensure to provide them with clean water indoors and outdoors, especially when they’re out exploring. By keeping an eye on your pet’s behavior and their preferences, you can give them the best care they deserve.

NHV Pet Experts

NHV Pet Experts

We have a dedicated group of pet expert professionals, including veterinarians, vet techs, and other pet professionals to guide you through any questions. We’re committed to your pet’s wellness and can offer additional tips, resources, nutritional advice, and more.

Published: May 17, 2024

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