Dehydration Average Cost

From 465 quotes ranging from $200 - 800

Average Cost


First Walk is on Us!

✓ GPS tracked walks
✓ Activity reports
✓ On-demand walkers
Book FREE Walk

Jump to Section

What is Dehydration?

When the water level in the body is insufficient, the body compensates by drawing water out of its cells. This results in a loss of electrolytes, such as potassium, chloride, and sodium, and can affect many of the body’s systems, including muscle function. Severe dehydration can cause illness, and can eventually lead to death if left untreated. Treatment can be as simple as giving your dog access to clean water, or undergoing fluid therapy in a clinic, and is often successful if caught in time.

Dehydration is a loss of water that is beyond what the body takes in, causing the water level in a dog’s body to drop below normal. There are many ways a dog can lose water from his body, such as panting, vomiting, fever, and a decreased intake of water or food. Often, an underlying condition or illness will cause the dog to lose his appetite, thirst or energy level, which then leads to a state of dehydration.

Book First Walk Free!

Symptoms of Dehydration in Dogs

Symptoms that your dog may be dehydrated include:

  • Panting excessively
  • Fast breathing that is short and staccato-like
  • Dry nose, mouth, and gums
  • Sticky mucous membranes
  • Tired and sluggish appearance
  • Slowed activity level and responses
  • Apprehensive behavior
  • Dulled mental activity
  • Altered consciousness level
  • Sunken or dry eyes
  • Dull corneas
  • Lack of skin elasticity
  • White gums that linger when pressed
  • Loss of balance
  • Wobbly walk
  • Weak rear end
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weak pulse
  • Heart rate above 140
  • Decrease in urine output
  • Dark urine
  • Increase in urine odor
  • Hypovolemic shock, or shock occurring from fluid loss
  • Hypotension

Causes of Dehydration in Dogs

Dehydration is caused by:

  • Decrease or lack of food intake
  • Decrease or lack of water intake
  • Excessive panting or breathing
  • Elimination
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Perspiration through paws and other body areas
  • Illness, such as kidney disease, diabetes and some cancers
  • Injury, such as burns
  • Overheating

Some dogs that are more prone to dehydration include:

  • Young dogs
  • Small breeds, such as Chihuahuas
  • Older dogs
  • Nursing dogs

Diagnosis of Dehydration in Dogs

If you suspect that your dog is suffering from dehydration, use the skin test. Skin becomes less elastic when moisture levels are low. By lifting a small piece of skin on your dog’s back, you can test its elasticity. When released, if the skin falls back slowly into place, instead of snapping back within 1-2 seconds, then your dog may be dehydrated. Another test is to press a finger to your dog’s gums until that area turns white. When released, that area should turn right back to pink. If it takes longer, your dog may be suffering from dehydration.

At your veterinary clinic, a thorough exam may help to determine if your dog is truly dehydrated. Your veterinarian will also determine if there is an underlying condition causing your pet to avoid food or water intake, or the dehydration itself. Be sure to tell your veterinary caregiver of any symptoms that you have noticed, as well as any other odd or different behaviors. Blood samples may be taken and tested. A urinalysis may be done to determine the effect of the dehydration on the kidneys. Other tests may be used that are specific to a suspected condition that may be at fault, and can range from X-rays and CT scans, to tissue and fluid samples.

Treatment of Dehydration in Dogs

The main treatment for dehydration is to give your dog the fluids he needs. First, your veterinarian will calculate how much fluid your dog has lost in order to prescribe the appropriate amount of fluid therapy.

Mild dehydration can be treated with access to clean water, and your dog will often drink on his own. But acute moderate to severe dehydration can debilitate your dog, and he may not be able to easily drink on his own.

Fluid therapy is generally administered slowly through injection, either subcutaneously or intravenously. An IV is the most efficient method to rehydrate. This will need to be done in a clinic with a catheter, and is closely monitored. Fluid taken in too quickly can have negative results.

Dehydration left untreated can cause shock, illness, and can even result in death. If an underlying condition or illness has been found that has contributed to the dehydration, a treatment plan will be constructed with your veterinarian that is appropriate to that condition.

Recovery of Dehydration in Dogs

Recovery of dehydration has a good prognosis if treated soon enough. If you notice signs of dehydration in your dog, slowly give him water with electrolytes to drink.  If he can’t hold any water down, give him some ice to lick. If he stops drinking altogether, contact your veterinarian right away. To prevent dehydration in your dog, be sure that there is always available water for your dog to drink. Prevent your dog from drinking too much all at once after exercise. And be aware of the signs of dehydration, and your dog’s behavior.

Dehydration Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Sugar Bear
Shepherd mix
11 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

firm distended belly
muscle loss at spine face, hind qtr
strong urine smell
dry mouth, dry heaves

I noticed that my dog, who sees the vet regularly for exams and vaccinations and is normally bright and energetic and in otherwise good health, was not eating and she was drinking excessively. It caused me to examine her closer and I noticed she seemed to have a distended belly and her spine was almost protruding from her back. I also noticed that her head appeared smaller (above the brow and at the jawline). The onset of all this was very sudden and coincided not only with her not having an appetite for her (hard) dog food, although she was drinking more, but also with her being constipated. I thought maybe she injured her mouth or caught a splinter chewing her dog bone--which would explain why she couldn't eat the hard dog food and why she also wouldn't let me examine her mouth. So, I gave her pumpkin for the constipation and switched her to soft food. It worked for a short time, but within a week, she began eating very little of the soft food too, even if still drinking a lot, and her bowels while moving again were soft, sometimes long and often appeared as diarrhea. The polar vortex closed my vet for several days but I took her to urgent care (UC) as soon as I could. The UC vet initially told me Bear was very very sick. She had severe muscle loss at the spine and head and was extremely dehydrated too. The vet suggested indications of Cushings disease, possibly liver or kidney disease, or cancer. My problem is this "diagnosis" was made without any tests, just a visual & physical exam. After insisting on an ultrasound, I was then told Bear had fluid in her abdomen and her liver appeared to have nodules covering it, which was likely cancer. I asked if the fluid could be removed and was told "not without risking infection". I asked 'can anything be given to alleviate her dehydration' and was told because she was urinating so much, "it wouldn't help very much". The UC vet said because Bear was "very, very sick" the best option was euthanasia. She was given nothing for the dehydration; nothing to remove the fluid from her belly. I left with no relief for my dog, and seriously questioning whether there truly were no alternatives for improving her health. I've owned dogs all my life. I've had one die in the comfort of my home and another that I had to put down. Bear was not showing ANY of the signs of distress or pain my other dogs did. There was obvious discomfort but no pain. When I returned home with Bear from UC--I refused to have her euthanized on the spot!-- I gave her Pedialyte for the dehydration. She perked up almost immediately. The swelling in her belly seems to have subsided a bit too (or maybe that's just my wishful thinking), she's eating a bit and the food is staying down! The UC vet said I should return today and go forward with the euthanasia. I'm torn on what to do?! I don't want her to suffer, but if there's hope that she can live comfortably for years to come with treatment, I certainly want THAT for her, instead. Are the symptoms I've described beyond any hope? Please help me make the right decision!
I should mention the UC clinic is also at my vets office.
Sincerely, Uncertain.

My dog is showing a lot of these same symptoms. Did you get any answers yet?

Have you found out anything further about Sugar Bear?

Add a comment to Sugar Bear's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Chica Pearson
9 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms


Medication Used


For the last day and a half chica has not been her normal self All She Wants To Do Is lay around and sleep she is not had anything to eat or drink in the last day and a half period when I try to give her food she puts her nose up at it and I'm very concerned. I do not know much about her as I rescued her from a very abusive home. She's always been very active and outgoing up until the last day and a half.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3318 Recommendations

A loss of appetite and thirst may occur for a variety of reasons; check Chica’s gums, press on the gum hard so it is white and count the time to takes for the blood to return, it should take two seconds or less. If the time is three minutes or more, Chica would probably be dehydrated and if you are unable to encourage her to drink try giving water by syringe into her mouth, or mixing water and smooth wet food together and syringing it into her mouth; if this is unsuccessful or your notice anything else visit your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Chica Pearson 's experience

Was this experience helpful?

3 Months
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

lack of appetite

My puppy hasn’t been drinking any water we took him to the vet and they noticed he was dehydrated he has been there for 2 days now with IV to help get him hydrated how long is recovery ? He still looks very down and still rarely eating food vet technicians told me he’s been resting and sleeping these past two days will my pupp recover soon ?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1610 Recommendations
Without knowing why Benji is dehydrated, or what is wrong with him, I'm not sure what his expected recovery might be. It would be best to contact your veterinarian to ask what to expect, as they have seen him and know more what is going on with him.

Add a comment to Benji's experience

Was this experience helpful?

6 Years
Mild condition
1 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Loss of Appetite

My dog wasn't eating or drinking much water for 3 days. Took her to the vet and they said she was dehydrated. They injected her with a fluid pack that would hydrate her for the next 12 hours. It's been 2 days since the vet and she still is barely eating, and drinking just a tiny bit. Not sure what's going on because all her blood work was good.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1610 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. If Roxy is still not eating or drinking, she needs to go back for a follow up with your veterinarian. The fluids that they gave her will help keep her hydrated, but not forever, and the reason for her not eating needs to be figured out . If your veterinarian hasn't taken x-rays, that may be the next step? I hope that they are able to determine what is wrong with her and get her treatment.

Add a comment to Roxy's experience

Was this experience helpful?

pomeranian cross
15 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Weakness, vomiting,
Sunken eyes, Lethargy,

Please Help Me
My Dog is suffering from dehydration, and even he is not eating anything from last three days,
We are in continuing contact with a veterinary physician for the same.
Dr. Has started giving him intravenous therapy from today, from the last two days Dr is giving the injection for fever and other related.

My Dog age is 15Years
This is for the first time is passing through this stage.

Please Please help me to recover my dog my family member. he is everything for us

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3318 Recommendations

Dehydration may be caused by many different conditions; but in a dog of Rocky’s age, kidney disease should be suspected. It would be useful to have blood tests done to determine Rocky’s internal health and kidney function. Hormonal conditions, poisoning and other conditions may be the cause. Further tests are required to determine the cause. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

I’m 99% certain my dog is suffering from severe dehydration dull responses tight skin eyes dry deep looking

Nose is dry she has been eating but not drinking which I wasn’t noticing

She drank from my cup a little before I noticed she wasn’t doing well I didn’t know that’s all she was drinking water wise was when I brought it to her

Now I’m having to give her by syringe she is keeping it down

But how long should I space out giving her fluids

Because it’s pretty severe but no vets open anywhere

She was very unresponsive but awake and aware but after a few syringes of Gatorade and water some response and alertness has returned but still very noticeably not good only been about 25 min of giving her fluids 35-45 ml so far

my French bull dog is 2 years old he was vomiting and lathargic we took him to our vets who out him on a drip 2 days later we have now been home a couple of hours and he still wont eat or drink i am beyond myself with worry as blood tests and xrays are all clear please could You give me more information on what could be wrong

I want to discuss something with you.
Regarding Blood Test Reports
Please I want your email ID

Add a comment to Rocky's experience

Was this experience helpful?

9 Months
Critical condition
0 found helpful
Critical condition

Has Symptoms

lack of appetite

lately, when we got home with my husband we've caught our dog (Goblin) eating a plastic in our trash can. and now he's been suffering of it. i didn't know what am i going to do. he can't walk often. he always vomitting and moaning. and i thought it is because what he ate from garbage. he dont want to eat. what should i do in this kind of situation? I really dont know what am i going to do? maybe it his last day.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1610 Recommendations
Goblin may well have eaten something in the garbage that caused a blockage, or an intestinal infection. From your description, he is in immediate need of veterinary care - they will be able to assess him, determine what might be going on, and offer care for him. It sounds like he is in a lot of pain, and letting him die at home would not be a kind way for him to have to go.

Add a comment to goblin's experience

Was this experience helpful?