Any good boarding facility will have the health and well-being of your pet as their biggest priority while she is in their care. This means that they will do everything that they can to ensure that she eats enough and drinks enough while she is on her mini-vacation! Unfortunately, animals can be stubborn creatures and if they are experiencing high levels of emotions – as is often the case when they go into boarding – it is not unusual for them to experience a lack of appetite and a refusal to drink very much.
Undoubtedly the team of staff at your chosen facility will be closely monitoring your furbaby for the duration of your stay but knowing exactly how much fluid your pet is consuming can be difficult to monitor since bowls can be upturned if your pet decides she isn’t going to drink. For this reason, unfortunately it is not unusual for pets to return home slightly dehydrated.
Signs that indicate that an animal is dehydrated
There are a number of different signs and symptoms that could indicate that your pet is suffering from dehydration. Some of the most common to look out for include:
Loss of skin elasticity. If you gently pinch the skin of your pet, does it spring back quickly into place or is it slow to return to its position against her body? If it takes a while to mould back to the shape of her body, she may well be dehydrated.
Failing to urinate often, or not urinating at all.
In dogs the nose, mouth and gums will be dry.
Increased heart rate.
Delay in capillary refill time. This is something that can be tested for fairly easily. Look at your pet’s gums, which should be a healthy pink color. Press a finger gently against an area of gum tissue and it should turn white. When you remove your finger, see how long it takes for the area of the gum to return back to its normal color. If it takes longer than a second or two, your furbaby could be dehydrated.
It is important to bear in mind that the skin elasticity test is not always that reliable in older animals. This is because your pet’s skin will lose some of its natural elasticity as she ages, meaning that it could take longer for it to return to position without her being dehydrated.
If you suspect that your pet may be marginally dehydrated it is important that you carefully rebuild her fluid levels as soon as she returns home. This will help prevent any damage occurring to her body. The good news is that she will probably return to her usual eating and drinking patterns within a few days of coming back after boarding. You can try using added incentives to drink such as placing flavored ice cubes into a water dish or adding a small amount of water to her wet food. If you can, avoid giving dry foods while she is dehydrated as this will make the problem worse.
If you would like further advice on pet dehydration or what to do if your pet comes home from boarding, dehydrated, our friendly and experienced team would be happy to offer their assistance. Please contact our offices to speak to us in Hendersonville, Tennessee.