Dogs do not sweat and lose water like humans. Instead, they pant to cool down their bodies. They often lose water this way because it drips out of their mouths.
Dogs will usually drink when they are panting a lot. If you do not have available the dog may look for a puddle or container with water from where it can drink. If the dog is listless and panting a lot, make sure they are given water. This will rehydrate them and keep them from being too hot.
Common signs of dehydration in a dog are listlessness/lethargy, dull and sticky gums and excessive panting. Other signs include what is called a slow capillary fill time. This can be tested by pressing your finger on your dog’s gums until they turn white and noticing how fast the pinkish color returns. If the color takes a long time to return, your dog is dehydrated. A hydrated dog in normal health will have the color come back immediately.
Here are some ways to check if your dog is dehydrated:
Ehow.com lists a few different ways to check if your dog is dehydrated, which can be common after becoming very sick. First, you can check the elasticity on their necks, which should go back into it’s normal position after being pulled if properly hydrated. For older and obese dogs you can check the gums. They will feel dry and sticky if dehydrated, and will be a different color as well. If your dog has black gums, make sure to check the mucus membranes in the lower eyelids, or in her vulva or in his prepuce. Lastly, you can check with this trick: apply pressure to their gums and if the color does not return promptly in a few seconds, your dog may be dehydrated.
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