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In general, a healthy dog will drink enough water daily to stay well hydrated, but there are a few instances where dehydration can occur. Dogs suffering from illnesses like kidney disease, metabolic disorders (such as diabetes), cancer and pregnant/nursing animals are at risk of becoming dehydrated more readily.
To check your dog for dehydration, pick up a fold of loose skin over the top of the shoulder blades, pull it up gently and release it. Watch for the skin to fall back into place. Under normal circumstances, the skin should quickly return to place without any hesitation. If dehydration is present, the skin will slowly return or may even stay up for a time before falling back into place.
Another place to look for dehydration is in an dog’s mouth. If the gums appear dry, sticky or pale, this is a sign of illness and dehydration. Dehydrated pets will also have dry, sunken eye balls and a dry nose and mouth.
If you are concerned that your dog is not getting enough water to maintain health, talk to your veterinarian for advice. Maintaining proper hydration is too important to your dog’s health to ignore.