Why is my Dog Drinking a Lot of Water?

It can often be difficult to gauge exactly how much water your dog may need. Dogs can sometimes drink a lot of water in one sitting and other times neglect the water bowl completely. Most dogs need about an ounce of fluid per pound of body weight per day. So, a 20-pound dog needs about 2 cups of purified water daily. If your dog is drinking much more than that daily, it could signal a potential health problem.

Dogs need water as much as humans do, in fact, dogs get dehydrated much more quickly than us.  Mild dehydration is fairly simple to treat, just put your doggy bowl in front of your pup and watch her drink. Severe dehydration is more serious if your pup becomes severely hydrated give her water as soon as possible and be sure to contact your vet, do not try to treat severe dehydration at home.

Dehydration is not a serious medical issue but what if your dog is drinking too much water? Many owners neglect to pay attention to when their dog is drinking too much and assume it’s normal.

If your dog is drinking too much water, most often your dog has a condition called “polydipsia” and it is one of the most common conditions seen in veterinary medicine. Dogs can become polydipsic during a change of seasons particularly before the weather gets warm. Polydipsia is not a serious medical condition but if your dog is drinking too much water a trip to the vet is advised as excessive drinking can be a sign of underlying disease like diabetes, Cushing’s disease, cancer, diarrhea, fever, infection, kidney disease and liver disease.  All of these medical issues are quite serious and require experienced veterinary attention. Occasionally polydipsia can be a behavioral problem but for it to be diagnosed as such all medical causes must be ruled out first. In some cases, the medicine your dog is taking can cause them to be dehydrated so it is important to stay on top of the kinds of medications your dog is taking as well as their side-effects. If your dog is drinking excessively it is probably not serious but a veterinary visit is certainly worth scheduling as a preventative measure.

Getting to know your dog’s drinking habits is the best preventative care possible. Some dogs are just excessive drinkers, these kinds of dogs are often larger, more playful and like to amuse themselves by moving around. By being so large and so active, these dogs need a much larger quantity of water to stay hydrated.

Drinking water is a normal part of a dog’s life and oftentimes we don’t pay attention because it can be so routine. But by noticing a change in our dog’s water consumption we can potentially save her life by contacting the vet and catching a serious illness before it has a chance to develop. Pay attention. If for whatever reason your dog begins drinking much more or much less water contact your vet.

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