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Dehydration Can Be Deadly!
Keep Your Dog Properly Hydrated

Dogs dehydrate at a much quicker rate than do humans mainly because they have sweat glands only on their nose and feet. After their body temperature has risen (from activity such as playing or running), it takes a longer time for them to cool down. If your dog also has a thick fur coat, it becomes obvious how the risk of dehydration can occur.

Signs of Dehydration

  • The skin loses elasticity as it loses moisture. This can be somewhat misleading since younger and fatter dogs will have more elasticity than older, thinner dogs.  It is important to have an idea of what your dog's skin looks and feels like on a normal basis.  Pinch a little skin between your thumb and forefinger on your dog's back.  When you release it, it should pop back into place immediately.  (You can try this on the back of your own hand as an example) As the tissue under the skin loses moisture, the skin moves back more slowly.  In extreme cases, the skin doesn't pop back as it should.

  • Eyes will appear sunken and lack moisture. 

  • The mouth appears dry. ... gums and nose are dry. 

  • You will note darker, less frequent urination.

  • Delayed capillary refill time.
    Pull up your dog's lip and look at his gums. Place your index finger firmly against the gums so that they appear white.  Remove your finger and see how quickly the blood returns to the gums (they will become pink in that area again). This is called Capillary Refill Time. If you do this when everything is normal, you will have a basis upon which to compare. The gums of a normal dog refill immediately,  the gums of a dehydrated dog could take 3 seconds or so to return to their pink state.

  • Grayish skin.

Rehydrate Your Dog Using a Simple, Easy to Make Life-Saving Drink

Accuracy in mixing is important!

  • Table salt: One level teaspoonful

  • Sugar: Eight level teaspoonfuls

  • Water: One liter (5 cupfuls at 200 ml each)

  • How much to give: Amount given should approximate fluid loss. Roughly, one cupful of rehydration drink should be given for each loose stool passed; half that for puppies. Note: Let the puppy drink as much as he likes.

Information taken from: Awake! magazine 1985 9/22 p. 23- A Salty Drink That Saves Lives!

"If you want to maintain the water level in a leaking bucket, you simply keep adding water. The same is true for a child with diarrhea—fluids in his body must be replaced. This is called rehydration."

The magazine article cited above, provides a cost effective way of treating humans, mainly children, for dehydration.

The same is true for puppies who are more susceptible than adult dogs for contracting the parvovirus. Puppies must be rehydrated as quickly as possible to ensure a quick recovery! Parvo - Help your dog to survive!

Rehydration is a major step in helping your dog to recover from a severe or prolonged illness where dehydration has occurred. Many individuals use syringes (without the needle of course) or use a turkey baster to administer PEDIALYTE (Pedialite-an oral electrolyte maintenance solution which restores fluids and minerals lost in children with mild to moderate diarrhea) or Gatorade (accomplishes the same thing as Pedialyte).  

Make sure your dog doesn't drink the water too fast because it may cause vomiting, which will result in additional water loss.