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Homemade Solution for Dehydrated Dogs

Josie F. Turner
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: April 3, 2024
Homemade Solution for Dehydrated Dogs

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When a dog is dehydrated, they will be in an immediate need of rehydration. Dehydration can be due to loss of electrolytes during exercise, hot ambient temperatures or even as a side effect to illness. When the dehydration is mild, we can use our homemade solution for dehydrated dogs from AnimalWised. This is a way to provide fluid and electrolytes for dogs that will restore their body back to normal levels. However, if the dehydration is acute, the dog's health may be in serious trouble. Their organism can begin to shut down, requiring emergency veterinary medical intervention.

Discover more about how to treat dehydration in dogs at home. We also explain how you can tell if the dehydration is serious and whether you need to take them to a veterinarian

You may also be interested in: My Dog's Mouth is Dry
  1. Causes and symptoms of dehydration in dogs
  2. Why should dehydration be treated urgently?
  3. Can I give Pedialyte to my dog?
  4. Homemade solution to treat dehydrated dogs
  5. How to administer oral rehydration solution for dogs
  6. Tips for oral rehydration solution for dogs

Causes and symptoms of dehydration in dogs

Dehydration occurs when the liquids eliminated from the body far outweigh the liquids ingested by the dog. This elimination can occur more obviously in the form of urination, defecation and even saliva. However, water is also used for maintaining every aspect of the dog's body. With insufficient fluid levels, all bodily functions will cease.

Two of the main reasons why a dog is dehydrated are overexertion and hot ambient temperatures. When a dog is exercising, they may get too excited and neglect drinking their water. This can be exacerbated by hot ambient temperatures such as summer weather. Similarly, some dogs may be deprived of water during the summer and the heat dehydrates them quickly.

Some dogs are more prone to dehydration than others. For example, Pugs and other brachycephalic dog breeds can have a lower tolerance to exercise, meaning they can become exhausted more quickly. Regardless of breed, certain health conditions such as obesity, kidney disease and others can cause a dog to become dehydrated more easily.

When the dog is acutely ill, other factors affect hydration of the dog. Vomiting and diarrhea in the dog, as well as elevated temperatures, can increase the likelihood of becoming dehydrated, especially if canine develops heatstroke. When a dog has diarrhea and vomiting at the same time, we need to be particularly careful. Since vomiting often means the dog cannot hold anything in their stomach, they may not be able to drink any more water to rehydrate.

Typical symptoms of dehydration in dogs include:

  • Loss of skin elasticity
  • Dry gums/pale mucus membranes
  • Dry tongue
  • Depression
  • Lethargy

Another sign that should raise alarm is increased capillary refill time. When you press your dog's paw pads and it takes a long time to return to its previous color, this indicates a decrease in blood supply. The same can be seen in the mucus membranes of the dog's mouth. You can take a look at our article on the signs of dehydration in dogs to see a more detailed explanation of the symptoms.

Why should dehydration be treated urgently?

Loss of body fluids leads to a electrolyte loss. Electrolytes in dogs are electrically charged minerals that are present in blood and other fluids, which play important roles in the body, such as regulating our pH and numerous other chemical reactions.

Electrolyte loss can lead to a change in pH balance as well as an alteration in multiple chemical reactions within the dog's body. Given that chemical reactions are central in physiology, a loss of electrolytes can lead to a serious state of imbalance within the body, something which can be fatal.

Homemade Solution for Dehydrated Dogs - Why should dehydration be treated urgently?

Can I give Pedialyte to my dog?

Rehydrating the dog requires not only the replenishment of water, but the important electrolytes (also known as salts) which have also been lost. You can purchase electrolyte solution at pet stores and pharmacies. Pedialyte is a common brand which is available in oral solution.

Ideally you should have Pedialyte or other solution brands at home in case of emergencies for your human family. However, it is not necessarily the best option for your dog. While it can be used in small amounts, it is not directed for veterinary use. The high amounts of additives such as glucose can be overwhelming for the dog, something which can be particularly dangerous when in a state of emergency.

For this reason, we can make an alternative at home which uses amounts suitable for dogs. Our step-by-step method provides the equivalent of a dog Pedialyte for dogs recipe which you can make at home. Also bear in mind, even respected brands such as Pedialyte have a shelf-life, especially once they are opened.

Homemade solution to treat dehydrated dogs

Oral rehydration solutions that are also suitable for our pets can be found in pharmacies (check with the pharmacist and your vet first). If you'd rather make your own homemade solution, you'll need the following ingredients:

  • 1 litre of natural mineral water
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 small teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 small teaspoon baking soda
  • The juice of half a lemon

It's very simple to make:

  • Boil a litre of water in a deep pan.
  • Once brought to the boil, turn off the heat and pour it into a heatproof container (not plastic).
  • Add all the ingredients and stir well.

This solution should replace the dog's water. It only has a 24-hour stability period so it should be thrown away the following day. However, it is easy enough to make again.

How to administer oral rehydration solution for dogs

When you have created the oral solution to treat your dehydrated dog at home, you will need to let it cool before you can give it to your dog. If the dog is able to drink on their own, you can give it to them by simply filling their normal water bowl with the rehydration solution. The dog should then drink and receive the benefits.

If the dog is weak from illness, you may be able to give the solution to them with a syringe. Fill the syringe (without a needle) and squirt it slowly into the dog's mouth. You can rub their throat to help stimulate swallowing, if necessary.

In situations where they dog will not drink or keep any of the rehydration solution down, we are facing a veterinary emergency. We need to take the dog to the veterinarian where they will be able to administer their own solution intravenously. They will also be able to carry out any of the necessary treatments to help the dog regain their strength. Dehydration which has progressed significantly, will cause the dog's organs to shut down. If not treated in time, it is possible it will be fatal.

Homemade Solution for Dehydrated Dogs - How to administer oral rehydration solution for dogs

Tips for oral rehydration solution for dogs

When you see your dog is dehydrated, giving them homemade oral rehydration solution can help. However, there are many different factors you need to consider. Here are some tips to help you know what to do:

  • There are many canine diseases which can cause dehydration, so it is imperative that you take your dog to a vet for a thorough examination.
  • Home treatment with an oral re-hydration solution does not substitute the supervision of a veterinarian.
  • If symptoms of dehydration are severe and the animal is severely affected, you should go to the vet urgently. In severe cases, fluid replacement is required intravenously.
  • If your dog does not drink the solution, you should go to the vet who will be able to offer alternative re-hydration treatment.

For more general symptoms of sickness in dogs, including dehydration, take a look at this AnimalWised video below:

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Homemade Solution for Dehydrated Dogs, we recommend you visit our Other health problems category.

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My dog love eating snails how can I stop this
Hello. Is the lemon safe? I always thought they were dangerous to the GI tract of dogs. I appreciate the answer, I want to give this solution to my dog. What’s the lemon supposed to do for a dehydrated dog?
Your recipe for a home made electrolyte saved my dogs life. She crashed from dehydration after a wicked bout of diarrhea late last night. I missed the warning signs. I syringed what I will forever call the magic potion at intervals for 24 hrs, until she could stand again and drink on her own. Tonight, 30 hrs later, she is back. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing this information.
It was difficult to find what I was looking.
My dog doesn't want to eat ang she is vomiting a water. What should i fo ?
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Mae,

You will need to take him to the veterinarian for diagnosis as this is a symptom of various problems, some of which are very serious.
Hi! My 2 month old puppy is showing signs of parvovirus. And is dehydrated. But we can't go to any vet because of the coronavirus lockdown. We are not allowed to leave home what should we do? We are very worried.
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Camille, have you called them for advice?
michelle dunn
very informative
Administrador AnimalWised
We're glad to help!
Noeleen Warren
I think my dog has got catflu at this moment, its so bad she pied blood last night, can she still be safed from it?
Administrador AnimalWised

You will need to take your cat to the vet to confirm. Blood in urine is a serious symptom, so you will need to take appropriate measures.
How do I insert the homemade fluids into my dog
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Jamey,

This is an oral hydration solution, you should not try to administer IV fluids to a dog if you do not have the right equipment and don't know what you are doing. You will have to try to administer it to your dog orally. It is not ideal, but this is why it is an emergency solution to combat dehydration. You can tilt their head back to help encourage swallowing and close their mouths over once you have poured some of the fluids in.
Neelam Sonii
My pug dog not eating nowadays weight very loose
Hydration problem. Tell me may he recover
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Neelam, if you are worried about your dog's health, we recommend taking them to the vet. While we can't diagnose a problem, not drinking water can be a sign of a severe issue.
anna mae matios
my dog feels pain on her side stomach, what ca i do to treat the pain?
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Anna Mae,

If your dog has pain in its side, it could be due to many medical issues, not necessarily dehydration. It is very important for you to take them to a vet to gain a diagnosis and provide the correct treatment for the issue.
Carl Buick
Solution calls for "small teaspoon." a teaspoon is a teaspoon...there is no "large teaspoon," or "medium" teaspoon. Perhaps you mean "level teaspoon?"
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Homemade Solution for Dehydrated Dogs