As these long and hot summer days continue to fly by, many pet owners neglect to realize the importance of keeping their pets hydrated. But the fact is, proper hydration is a critical aspect of overall health for both cats and dogs. Here are some signs of dehydration in cats and dogs.


Water makes up about 80% of a cat’s total body, according to That’s why it’s imperative to keep their water dishes filled at all times. Keep in mind that if your cat eats primarily dry food, they may need more water than a cat whose diet consists of wet food. You should also know that many cats actually prefer that their water dish is kept away from their food dish and in a separate area.

Signs of dehydration in cats include panting, lack of energy, loss of appetite, sunken-in eyes, increased heart rate, depression, and dry mouth, just to name a few. It’s important to keep an eye out for these dehydration signs, and if you notice any change in your cat’s behavior, take them to the veterinary surgery department at an animal hospital right away. Dehydration is a common side effect of many serious illnesses in cats.


Many signs of dehydration in dogs are the same as the signs shown by cats. However, dogs can also experience side effects of weight loss, loose skin, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive urination, weakness, and excessive drooling. You should know that smaller dogs have an increased risk of suffering from dehydration because of their high body surface-area-to-volume ratio. says, “Anything that adversely affects thirst or appetite, or that diminishes water or food intake, can predispose a dog to dehydration … Dogs with some systemic diseases — especially those that cause vomiting, diarrhea, appetite loss or excessive urine production and output — are also predisposed to dehydration.”

Ultimately, it’s important to keep an eye out for these signs of dehydration in pets and to seek emergency vet services at a veterinary surgery department if you notice anything abnormal. It’s also important to take your pets in for regular checkups — vets suggest twice-yearly checkups for older pets. For more information, contact an animal medical center.