July 12, 2013

Dehydration in Dogs and Cats

Dehydration in Dogs and CatsLike other living animals, your cats and dogs need water to survive. A lack of water and other fluids, as well as diarrhea and vomiting, leads to dehydration. This is especially common in the summer months, due to the tendency of the body to overheat.

Signs of dehydration in dogs and cats include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Dry mouth
  • Depression
  • Less playful
  • Gums become dry and sticky
  • Saliva is thick
  • Eyes appear sunken
  • Pet is in shock

To determine if your pet is dehydrated, lift up a piece of their skin and see if it returns to its normal position. If it doesn’t, your pet may be dehydrated. You can also have your vet perform a blood or urine test. A urine test will detect whether the kidneys are affected or not.

There are several ways to replace fluid loss. This can be done orally, or by injection – either subcutaneously (under the skin), intravenously (in the vein), and in the bone. Orally, I use electrolyte mixes, and for other routes I use balanced solutions and specialty fluids.


One homeopathic remedy I use to treat dehydration includes a plant called China (aka: Peruvian Bark), which you can mix into water. It seems to alleviate the symptoms od dehydration quite well.

A common mistake that some pet owners will make in an effort to get their cat or dog back to their normal states, is to give them a lot of fluids However, doing this could cause your pet to vomit, and will result in increased dehydration.. The best way for your pet to take fluids when they are dehydrated is in smaller doses over a longer period of time.






Dr. Loridawn Gordon


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Disclaimer: 1st Pet Naturals is an education resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure disease, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) treatment or recommendations of your veterinarian or healthcare provider. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet is taking, including herbal remedies and supplements.