Is your dog refusing to drink or suffering from stomach issues like vomiting or diarrhea? Do you suspect your dog is dehydrated? One possible solution to preventing or reversing dehydration in your furry friend is Pedialyte.
Dr. Rosalie Dench | Doctor Of Veterinary Medicine
Rosalie is Wileypup’s Veterinarian Adviser and helped compose this article to ensure the information is up to date and accurate. For more information on Rosalie click here
It is a great and safe product to use to help your dog deal with dehydration, although it is recommended that you dilute it by half with plain water.
This article will explore:
- The causes of canine dehydration
- Signs of heatstroke
- Tips for administering it to your dog
- Alternatives to Pedialyte to hydrate your pooch
What Causes Dehydration In Dogs?
Dehydration in canines is not entirely uncommon. There are many potential causes including:
- Various illnesses
- Heat stroke
- Unwillingness to drink
The easiest way to tell if your pooch is dehydrated is to gently pinch a handful of scruff on the back of your canines neck. If the loose skin does not bounce back immediately, or seems to want to hold its shape, your pup is likely dehydrated.
If the cause of dehydration is clear, then encouraging your pooch to drink a 50/50 mix of Pedialyte and water may well resolve the issue quickly. The taste often encourages many canines to drink more than regular water, and it replaces vital electrolytes at the same time.
If the cause of the dehydration is unknown, or it comes with other alarming symptoms, it is best to call your vet. The fastest way to rehydrate your dog are intravenous fluids that only your veterinarian can administer.
In addition, some of the causes of dehydration in canines can be serious medical conditions. It is better to be safe than sorry if you are unsure.
Signs Of Heatstroke In Dogs
Heatstroke is an emergency situation that is usually accompanied with dehydration. If the following symptoms are present and you suspect heatstroke, immediately start cooling your pup down with cool (not cold!) water and a fan and encourage them to drink the pedialyte solution.
As soon as you have started this vital first aid step, call your vet!
These are the symptoms of heatstroke to be on the lookout for:
- Bright red tongue
- Red or extremely pale gums
- Rapid panting
- Thick saliva or sticky gums
- Vomiting or Diarrhea
- Weakness, dizziness or listless
- Rectal temperature above 103°, anything near or over 106° is a dire emergency.
- If allowed to progress untreated, heatstroke can result in unconsciousness, shock and coma.
Heatstroke is a serious concern for your dog. The best measures are to try to prevent it in the first place. Here are some tips:
- Keep in mind that if it is warm for you, it is warm for your dog who wears his coat year-round.
- Never leave your dog in the car. Ever. Period.
- Avoid vigorous exercise in hot and/or humid weather. This is especially true for senior dogs and brachycephalic breeds such as pugs or french bulldogs.
- Provide access to cool water for a dip in hot weather. This could via natural sources like a stream or a freshly filled kiddie pool.
- Provide frozen hydration too cool your dog down, such as Pedialyte or low sodium chicken stock in the form of ice cubes.
- When in doubt, stay indoors.
- For more info read this!
How To Hydrate A Dog With Diarrhea
When it comes to diarrhea, helping your dog stay hydrated is a priority concern. While many vets will recommend a 24 hour fast if your dog has the runs, it is very important to keep the fluids going into her system. Thanks to the electrolytes it contains, Pedialyte can be part of the solution.
Before doing anything, it is important to rule out the potential that your dog may have eaten something she shouldn’t have. Diarrhea can be a sign that your dog is having gastrointestinal distress from eating something toxic. When in doubt, call your vet right away since it may constitute an emergency.
In addition, if the diarrhea is combined with other symptoms such as lethargy, confusion, panting, fever or there is blood in the stool, this may also be an emergency that needs medical attention.
If you have ruled out those cases, then it is probably safe to give it 24 hours before panicking. During this time, stop feeding and mix a 50/50 mix of Pedialyte and encourage your dog to drink it often. If, after returning to food the next day, your dog is still experiencing gastrointestinal distress, make an appointment with your vet.
Pedialyte For Dogs Tips
- Always dilute 50/50 with water before offering it to your best mate!
- Never give them any fluid that contains artificial sweeteners. These can be deadly!
- Keep a bowl of plain water available for your dog to drink even as well
- It is shelf stable. Meaning it's probably a good idea having some on hand for use when/if you need it in the future.
- It is not a good idea to constantly use the solution if they have been refusing to drink for more than a day. Instead, consult your vet asap!
Is Pedialyte Good For Dogs? Safe Alternatives
If you do not happen to have Pedialyte on hand, there are some other options for encouraging your pooch to drink if you suspect they are dehydrated.
- Dilute some chicken or beef broth (low sodium is best) by half and offer it to your pup.
- Add water to your canines dry kibble at feeding times.
- Make ice cubes with 50/50 broth and water. Sometimes they just can’t resist a chew.
- Make sure their bowl is clean with fresh, cool water.
- Try putting their water bowl in a new location.
- Hold some water in the cup of your hand. Sometimes they just can’t resist this offering.
- People that have athletic dogs often keep a stock of electrolyte powders formulated especially for canines such as Nutri-Pet Electrolytes for Dogs.
Remember: If your pooch is severely dehydrated, refusing to drink for more than a day, or showing signs of heatstroke, take them straight to the vet where emergency intravenous fluids can be administered and your pup can be assessed for other health issues.
We hope this article has been helpful if you are considering pedialyte for dogs. You can safely give this as prevention or treatment of dehydration as long as you follow these simple guidelines and know the warning signs of an emergency situation.
Sharon Elber (M.S. in Science & Technology) - Professional Dog Trainer
Sharon is a professional dog trainer with over 10 years experience. She is also a professional writer that received her M.S. in Science & Technology Studies from Virginia Tech.
For more info on Sharon click here