Why Is My Dog Drinking So Much Water?
by Jessi Larson
Dogs, just like every living thing, need water. But sometimes you may ask yourself: Why is my dog drinking so much water?
Typically, if you leave a bowl of water out, you’ll notice your dog drinking from it throughout the day and will have to refill it from time to time.
Sometimes, however, you might notice that your dog is drinking more than normal. Maybe they’re at their water bowl and drinking rapidly more often than usual. And you find you’re having to refill their bowl much more frequently.
If that happens, it’s common to grow concerned and wonder if something is wrong with your dog.
If you’re questioning why is my dog drinking so much water, you’ll need somewhere to turn for answers. The good news is, you’ve come to the right place.
Why Is My Dog Drinking So Much Water?
There can be cause for worry if you notice that your dog is drinking an entire bowl of water at one time and afterward continues to drink again immediately after you refill it.
Other signs to look for include if the dog is drinking from the toilet bowl, you have to refill the bowl often or that your dog is urinating frequently.
This will leave you wondering: Why is my dog drinking so much water? And is it an issue?
If you know how much your dog typically drinks, how many times a day you refill the bowl or how often your dog urinates, you will have greater awareness when they begin showing concerning signs.
It’s normal to be concerned when you notice these signs and question, why is my dog drinking so much water?
There is a potential for underlying conditions or diseases. That’s why as soon as you become aware that your dog is drinking much more water than usual, you’ll want to seek out answers.
What Is Causing the Issue?
There’s actually a word used for drinking more water: polydipsia. This common medical term is used in veterinary medicine when pet symptoms include drinking more water than usual.
While it’s easy to name the symptom, it’s not as easy to determine the cause. There are a few typical reasons that dogs develop polydipsia, including:
When the seasons change and it warms up outside, dogs often begin to drink more water. This is due to their body’s attempt at adjustment to the new temperatures.
If there are no underlying causes, your dog’s body should regulate soon, and they should be back to their regular drinking habits in no time.
Just make sure you pay attention. If their drinking habits don’t change back quickly, you’ll want to consider other causes for polydipsia.
Dogs can become dehydrated for a number of reasons which include warm weather, a lot of play or an infection.
When you begin to wonder, why is my dog drinking so much water, you’ll want to also keep an eye out for some other clues to see if they may be suffering from dehydration.
Look for dry gums, dry tongue, lethargy and saliva that is thick with a somewhat rope texture.
As dehydration is a very serious condition, you’ll want to contact your veterinarian if you begin to suspect that it may be the issue.
In the meantime, give your dog very small sips of water every ten minutes to help them.
Diarrhea, Panting or Blood Loss
If your dog is experiencing diarrhea, panting or blood loss, they might drink more water than usual. This is because all three of those things cause the body to lose fluids rapidly.
That loss of fluid can easily cause thirst and sometimes dehydration. If your dog is experiencing any of those conditions, keep an eye on them and let them drink water to replenish the fluids in their body.
If they start showing other signs of dehydration, seek out medical care right away.
There are many illnesses and underlying medical conditions that can lead your dog to drink more than they usually do.
Illness such as diabetes, cancer, infection, liver disease or kidney disease can all lead to increased thirst.
If you are unsure of the reason your dog is drinking more and it doesn’t seem to be going away, contact your veterinarian right away in order to, hopefully, rule out disease and illness.
If your dog does have a medical condition and they’re taking medicine for it, the medication itself could cause excessive thirst.
Make sure you talk to your dog’s veterinarian and check out the potential side effects of their medication.
Medicines that often cause excessive thirst are anti-inflammatories, seizure medications and medicines for heart failure. If your dog is on one of these, their vet may be able to lower the dose and give them some relief.
Dogs that almost always eat dry foods tend to be more thirsty than those that don’t because their diet ends up containing only a small percentage of water. They can also have increased thirst if their diet contains high amounts of sodium.
You may consider adjusting your dog eats if you notice that they are drinking excessive amounts of water throughout the day.
Final Thoughts: Why Is My Dog Drinking So Much Water?
If your dog is drinking a lot of water, there is probably a cause. Hopefully the cause is something more benign like warm weather or lots of outdoor play.
Pay attention to these areas and make adjustments for them as necessary. And in the end, if things don’t get better, or if you’re concerned, contact their veterinarian to get to the bottom of things.
How to Find the Right Veterinarian to Care for Your Dog
As you can see above, it’s important that you have a veterinarian you know and trust.
When you have a trusted veterinarian who knows your dog’s overall health and history, it’s much easier to figure out what’s causing their current ailment.
In this case, you could quickly schedule an appointment or even email or call with the question of why is my dog drinking so much water.
To find that dependable doctor, follow these steps.
1. Look Locally
First things first: Find a vet that is near you. If heaven forbid something happens to your dog and it’s even remotely urgent, you’ll want to be able to get to the clinic in a short period of time.
This is also important if you have to take time off work for vet appointments. It’s tough enough to get away from work but even tougher when you factor in extra drive time.
For the most part, vet visits are usually planned. You know when they’re due for an exam or need vaccinations.
But as we’ve learned throughout the years, things come up. Your dog ate something funky and doesn’t seem like himself. You spot a weird growth and can’t stop worrying. Your dog has a cut on his face that needs a few stitches.
Or in this case, you need to know why is my dog drinking so much water.
If your vet is closer, that makes things much easier.
2. Read Online Reviews
This is probably an obvious statement, but reading online reviews is incredibly important as a consumer.
And now there are more sites than ever with reviews – Google, Yelp, Facebook, Angie’s List, etc.
Search around and see what people are saying about each clinic you’re looking at.
3. Ask for Recommendations
Another useful tip is to ask around. Where do your neighbors take their dogs? How about friends, family and co-workers in the area?
If your dog is taking training lessons or going to doggy daycare, get the opinion of people at these organizations, too.
This is a great method because you’ll get honest, qualitative feedback that can help make your decision.
4. Do a Test Run
Once you find a vet clinic that seems like a good fit, make an appointment for your dog to be seen.
In this initial appointment, the vet will conduct an assessment of your dog’s health. But really, you’ll also be working on an assessment of your own.
Things to consider as you figure out if this is the right place for you and your dog:
- Facilities – The first thing is to take inventory of the clinic. Is it clean and comfortable?
- Veterinarian – Most importantly, what do you think of the vet? Did they explain things clearly? How was their bedside manner? How did your dog respond to them?
- Support staff – It’s not just the vet you have to consider. You’ll actually be spending just as much time with the support staff, which includes the vet technicians, front office team members and so forth.
- Service – How was the level of service? Is the staff pleasant? Was it easy to make an appointment? How is the communication?
5. Trust Your Gut
As always, trust your gut reaction. It’s more important than people realize.
If you had a good first impression of the clinic and the team and your dog responded well, by all means proceed.
If something felt off and the experience wasn’t what you had hoped for, don’t be afraid to look for other options.
Bonus Tip: Find an Emergency Pet Hospital
While you’re looking for a standard vet clinic, it’s smart to also identify emergency pet hospitals in the area.
This is a place to go if your dog needs care urgently and you can’t wait for the next available appointment at your regular vet.
If your dog has a serious issue come up outside of the normal office hours or on the weekend – and it will happen – this is the place to go.
If you determine that your dog is healthy but just a bit extra thirsty, either from heat, extra exercise or something else less serious, then these products can help provide the additional water your pup needs.
Sometimes you may find that you just can’t keep your dog’s water bowl full. They keep drinking it all up before you can refill it.
If you’re experiencing this, a pet water dispenser can help. It holds gallons of water and slowly dispenses it into the dish, ensuring your dog has the water they need at all times.
Dogs that spend a lot of time outside will get extra thirsty. In this case, an outdoor dog water fountain could be a great solution.
It allows your dog to press the pad with their paw and get a fresh stream of ice cold water to quench their thirst.
One of the best parts of having a dog is the fact that you have a four-legged friend who serves as your companion. And that can include going for walks together, trips to the park and other fun outdoor activities.
If you’re on the go, it’s always a smart idea to pack a container of water for your canine. This dog water bottle is designed specifically for this purpose.