Recently, I have been seeing an abnormal number of dogs with sudden severe diarrhea. As with us, it is difficult to tell when and if a dog needs to go to the veterinarian or simply let the upset clear up on its own. If a dog does not become dehydrated, it may be okay to wait before making a vet appointment. If dehydration does occur, it can cause severe medical problems for your dog. But how does an owner tell if their dog is dehydrated?
The Old Fashioned Way of Testing for Dehydration in Dogs
The Skin Tent- For years, veterinarians, veterinary technicians and other dog related professionals have been taught the “tent method” for determining a dog’s hydration. To perform the tent, you simply grab the skin and fur on the nape of your dog’s neck and pull it away from the neck.
Good hydration- The skin and fur immediately fall back to the neck
Mild-Moderate dehydration- The skin and fur slowly fall to the neck
Severe Dehydration- The skin and fur stays “tented” away from the neck
But there is a problem with the “Tent Method”- by the time a dog’s skin and fur tent, it is so dehydrated that serious problems are occurring to its’ heart, kidneys, liver and other vital organs.
A Better Method for Testing for Dehydration in Your Dog
Capillary Refill Time (CRT)- Capillary refill times will alert owners to dehydration or poor circulation much sooner so proper treatment can be initiated earlier. To perform the CRT, just lift your dog’s lip and push on the pink part of his gums with your thumb. Count how quickly the white impression of your thumb on the gum returns to pink again.
0-1 second- Excellent hydration
1 ½ -2 seconds- Mild to moderate dehydration
>than 2 seconds- Severe dehydration
Dogs with a CRT of 1 ½ seconds or more needs veterinary care. Their diarrhea has caused dehydration or your dog has poor blood circulation, which is also serious and requires veterinary attention.
At The Well Dog Place we welcome the opportunity to show dog owners this life-saving technique at their dog’s wellness exam.
If you are too far away to see Dr. Tudor in person, but still wish to make your own balanced dog food at home using Dr. Tudor's exclusive nutrient powder, omega 3 oil and recipes, we now offer two options for you:Healthier Homemade for Dogs
When you need or want custom recipes that are personalized for your fur family, our sister site Healthier Homemade can help you out. Because this service is remote, we are unable to give medical advice or diagnosis, so we work with your veterinarian to make sure your fur family is well cared for.
At Healthier Homemade, we offer Medical Recipe Programs for 14 different conditions. See them in detail here.
There are an assortment of recipe formulations for dogs with diagnosed Food Allergies. They include, High Protein, Instant, and Economy options.
If you have all Normal Adult Dogs in your fur family and wish to have more control over the formulations of your recipes, we offer Economy, Instant, High Protein, and Ultra-High Protein (including a few all meat options).
With all of our custom recipes you may include up to 4 dogs (with the same health profile) and you may choose cooking frequency from every day to once a week. We do all the math, we even calculate serving size for each dog! We also have detailed tutorials for each step of cooking, mixing, and storing.
If you are an experienced cook, like flexibility, have a normal adult dog, and just need general guidelines, Hearthstone may be right for you. Before purchasing a Starter Kit, you can see a complete list of ingredient options that can be used.
Our EZ Meal Planner gives you a great starting point. You still get to pick out wholesome ingredients at the grocery store and you still get "The Well Dog Nutrient Powder" to make sure your dogs' meals are balanced.
The Getting Started page gives you a great road map for what you need to equip your kitchen, preparation, transitioning to a new food, and more.