The weather is just starting to warm up, which means it's time to have some outdoor adventures with our best friends! It's easy to keep hydration in mind during the summer when the heat is a constant reminder, but during late winter and early spring, dehydration can creep up imperceptibly. We've compiled some signs for canine dehydration here so you can keep your pooch hydrated, healthy, and happy on your hikes and outdoor adventures together.
The Nose Knows
Our best friends are known for their endearingly slimy noses. Dogs secrete mucus from their noses to help regulate heat in their bodies, so if your pooch has a case of the dry nose, she's slightly dehydrated. A quick fix is to take a little break, give your dog some water, and let her have enough time to cool down a little bit before continuing on with your adventure.
Dogs generally have very wet gums, just like their noses. If your dog's gums sticks to his mouth when you try to lift his jowls, this means he's not producing enough saliva and is dehydrated. Once again, a quick water break and some cool down time will normalize your pup's body temperature and get his hydration levels back to normal.
When your dog is nice and hydrated, you should be able to pull her skin anywhere and it should return to its normal position automatically like a rubber band. To test this, lift the patch of skin on the back of her neck in between the shoulder blades—if it doesn't return to its normal position for a while, this means your dog is severely dehydrated. If your pup does reach this point in dehydration, try giving her a little bit of Pedialyte or Gatorade (consult with your vet first) along with ample amounts of water, and then take her to the vet immediately as the cause for dehydration may be more than just overheating and exercise.
Make sure to keep an eye out for your dog's hydration levels while you're adventuring, be safe, and have fun!