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Why is my dog drinking so much water?

Why is my dog drinking so much water?
Why is my dog drinking so much water

If your dog is drinking excessive amounts of water you might be wondering “Why is my dog drinking so much water?”. Well, there can actually be many reasons for this kind of behavior, some of which can be serious.

As a matter of fact, many conditions and health issues can actually lead to excessive thirst or dehydration in dogs. These include diabetes, Cushing’s disease, cancer, diarrhea, fever, infection, kidney disease, and liver disease!

ALSO READ How long can a dog go without water?

However, don’t panic. It doesn’t always have to be something serious!

Why is my dog drinking so much water?

To know if your dog is really drinking too much we first need to know what amount of water is normal for a dog to drink.

Generally speaking, your dog’s diet will influence how much water your dog drinks. For example, if dogs are fed wet food, it’s very likely that they’ll drink less than dogs that are fed only dry food. Also, dogs that eat a lot of salty treats will drink more.

Picture of a dog drinking water in order to answer how long can a dog go without water?
Many conditions and health issues can actually lead to excessive thirst or dehydration in dogs

But how much water is enough? A good general guideline is that a healthy dog should drink between 20 and 70ml/kg per day.

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Polydipsia, or increased thirst, can happen for several reasons starting from weather to activity level to diet, and in the worst case it can happen due to a disease.

We’re going to list the most common reasons why your dog might be unusually thirsty.

However, we do need to state one thing. If you do notice that your dog is lately drinking more than they usually do, it might be time to visit the vet. Your veterinarian will do tests to determine what is actually going on with your dog.

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Reasons why your dog is drinking so much

Don’t worry if your dog is suddenly very thirsty for a day or so, this is usually nothing to worry about. However, if the excessive thirst continues for more than a few days, possible reasons might be:

  • Dehydration

Hot weather, long play sessions, long walks, exercise, all of these can lead to dehydration in dogs and make them drink more water than usual! Besides increased thirst, signs of dehydration include: lethargy, dry gums and tongue, and thick rope-like saliva.

  • Kidney Disease

If your dog has kidney problems, if they got damaged somehow, then excessive urine will be produced. Simply because the kidneys can’t do their job which is to to filter blood and balance electrolytes. This then leads to excessive urination which then leads to excessive drinking.

  • Cushing’s Disease (Hyperadrenocorticism)

Dogs that have Cushing’s Disease overproduce cortisol. That excess cortisol blocks other hormones from doing their job which results in excessive urination and, just with kidney disease, leads to excessive drinking.

ALSO READ What Is Cushing’s Disease In Dogs?

  • Liver Disease

The liver produces protein and hormones. It detoxifies the blood, and metabolism of fats, carbohydrates and drugs. If the liver doesn’t do this, it will result in urinating excessively, which then leads to excessive water consumption.

  • Medication

If your dog is drinking more than usual it can be because of the medication he or she is taking. It can happen that the medications prescribed to our pets can have serious side effects that make them drink and urinate more frequently.

  • Psychogenic Polydypsia

In very rare cases dogs will drink excessive amounts of water because of psychogenic polydipsia. This is when dogs drink excessively without an actual underlying cause or illness. We don’t really know why it happens, but some experts claim that this is done purely out of boredom. Others claim that it’s purely for attention. However, everyone does agree that psychogenic polydipsia is overall a very rare cause for excessive thirst.

Two golden retriever puppies drinking water out of a water bowl
Psychogenic polydipsia can also be a reason of excessive water consumption

What not do if your dog is drinking excessively

We’ve already mentioned that you should contact your vet if the excessive drinking goes on for more than just a couple of days.

However, we also want you to know what NOT to do if you notice an excessive thirst in your dog.

First of all, never restrict access to water! This is a very poor attempt to reduce water intake which can result in dehydration and fluid imbalances. This will make your dog’s condition even worse.

And second of all, never ignore the problem! You would never ignore your health issues, so why would you ignore your dog’s health problems? All of the conditions that cause this change in your dog’s behavior are very serious and can be fatal.