Do you know how to tell if your dog is dehydrated?
Stick the tip of your finger underneath his (or her) upper lip against the gums -- if it feels moist, your dog is okay. But if it's dry or tacky, your dog is dehydrated.
Bao has always had a problem with drinking water. He doesn't like water. He's never liked water. I used to make a joke about it. I'd tell people, He's like me. He prefers Scotch.
But in Southern Arizona in the summer, this is no longer a joking matter. With Bao's gastrointestinal "issues" hydration is absolutely vital. I understand that. Unfortunately, he doesn't. And reasoning with a Shih Tzu is like reasoning with a two-year-old.
So what do you do with a dog who won't drink water? Our vet offered to teach me how to hydrate him subcutaneously -- but I put that idea in the "If All Else Fails" box. Using a syringe and shooting water into his mouth worked for a few days, until he caught on and figured out how to spit it all back out at me. Dipping my finger in water and letting him lick it off works, but it is -- how can I put this -- time consuming. (I suppose I should be grateful he's not a Great Dane)
So I got soup bones and boiled up some beef broth. Voila! I still have to coax him, but at least he'll drink it. However, coax is still the operative word.
But seriously, if anyone out there has a a better idea, I would absolutely love to hear it!