How to Rehydrate a Sick Dog

Help rehydrate your dog with a few easy techniques.
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Dogs dehydrate easily when they are sick, usually due to fluids lost from vomiting or diarrhea. Signs your pooch may be dehydrated include: lethargy, dry eyes and dry mouth. If you think your dog is dehydrated, there are many simple ways to rehydrate her and get her feeling better again.

Step 1

Provide your dog with plenty of fresh clean water to drink. Place water bowls in several locations around your home, and check them regularly throughout the day to make sure they are filled. Clean water bowls daily to prevent bacteria from growing on the rims and sides that can contaminate the water making it unsafe to drink.

Step 2

Increase your dog’s hydration with electrolyte supplements. Give her some flavorless Pedialyte, which is made for children, but is also suitable for dogs. Mix the supplement with your dog’s water to help restore essential electrolytes and minerals lost while being sick.

Step 3

Give your dog some chicken or beef bouillon broth several times a day. The hearty flavors will appeal to your dog’s sense of smell and will entice her to drink. The broth will not only provide her with nutritional value, but it will also help rehydrate her body.

Step 4

Offer your dog small amounts of ice chips to keep her hydrated. Sometimes dogs can tolerate ice chips better than water when they are sick. Give her ice chips several times throughout the day to help improve her hydration.

Step 5

Mix small amounts of canned wet food in with her daily kibble to increase hydration. Canned wet food has significantly more water content than dry kibble (about 70 percent compared to 10 percent) and can give your pet some extra hydration while she is sick.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

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