The signs of dehydration in a dog are easy to spot when you know what to look for.
- Grasp the skin on the back of your dog’s neck with two fingers. If it snaps back into place, they’re properly hydrated. If it stays wrinkled, your dog needs water.
- Check your dog’s gums—if they’re slimy, that’s a good sign your dog is hydrated.
- Poke your dog’s gums to check the capillary refill in them. First, find the base refill time. Choose a moment when you know your dog is hydrated; press your fingers firmly against the gums until the tissue goes white, and then time how long it takes for them to become pink again. This is the baseline against which you can now measure for dehydration. If it takes longer than this for color to return to your dog’s gums, they need water.
Sunken eyes, loss of appetite, lethargy, and depression can also be signs of serious dehydration in your dog. If you observe these symptoms, seek the help of a veterinarian immediately.