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Why Does My Dog Drink A Lot Of Water? Is It Normal?

Why Does My Dog Drink A Lot Of Water? Is It Normal?

Water is essential to the survival of every creature on the planet; however, when there is an excessive thirst for it, there might be a problem. There is a required amount of water every creature is expected to drink daily; taking more than that is not immediately harmful, but when in excess and often, it is not advised.

There are various causes of excessive thirst in your dog, including dehydration, fever, medication, diet, hyperthermia, heatstroke, and extreme weather condition. Excessive thirst can also be caused by health issues, including liver disease, diabetes, pyometra, Cushing’s disease, and kidney failure.

The same way humans drink water whenever we are thirsty to quench our thirst, dogs drink water. Water is essential as it aids dogs’ digestion and absorption of food. Daily, your dog requires an ounce of water per pound of its body weight.

drinking water tired dog

Why Does My Dog Drink A Lot Of Water?

If you are rearing different dog breeds, you might have noticed that their water consumption levels differ. You could even be wondering why a particular breed drinks water more than the other.

Although, several other reasons could also affect how much water your dog takes. The diet your dog takes in, its activity level, and even weather affects the rate it drinks water. However, when you begin to notice the water intake getting too much or excessively, this might indicate that something is wrong.

Moreover, in severe situations, the cause might be an underlying health issue, and you need to visit the vet for tests and checkups for possible treatment. Some of the reasons your dog drinks a lot of water are explained below.


Dehydration is a common reason why many dogs take a lot of water. When the weather is hot, and you take your dog out for some exercise, it gets dehydrated quickly. To be sure if your dog is dehydrated, you can confirm this by holding some of the dog’s skin around its shoulder blade.

All you need to do is raise its skin, then observe as it goes back to its initial place. If the skin springs back to its original position, it shows that your dog is well hydrated. However, if it takes a while, it means your dog is dehydrated. Other symptoms of dehydration could be panting, dry sticky gums, and loss of appetite.

Dehydration could be life-threatening, so it is advised that you immediately seek a vet’s care when you notice your dog is dehydrated. If you cannot get the veterinarian’s care immediately, you should offer the dog cool water, especially during hot weather, until you get a vet for proper treatment.


Some illnesses like kidney failure, liver failure, diabetes, fever, and infections, could cause your dog to drink a lot of water. When your dog is down with any of these illnesses, they could cause the dog to urinate frequently. The frequent urination would, in turn, cause your dog to be very thirsty, needing a lot of water.

For instance, a dog with kidney disease might find it difficult to concentrate its urine and need to pee more. So as not to stay dehydrated, it would need to take in more water. When a dog is drinking water due to illness, professional vet care is urgently required before it causes more or irreversible damage to the dog.

A dog with diabetes has high blood sugar caused by insulin resistance or insulin deficiency. The kidney excretes the excess blood into the urine, and water is excreted with it. This condition causes excessive urination, thereby causing excessive thirst.


When your dog feeds more on a dry food diet, which contains little water, usually about ten percent or less, there are chances that its thirst level will increase. Foods containing high sodium content as well as table scraps could cause your dog to develop an excessive thirst for water.

Beyond causing your dog to drink more water, table scraps could even cause your dog to fart, vomit, and also have diarrhea. So, always ensure your dog does not get to feed on table scraps, no matter how hungry it gets. So, always feed your dog with its appropriate kibble rich in moisture, rather than dry kibbles or foods with high sodium or salt content.


Some medications given to our dogs sometimes have side effects on them, which could cause excessive thirst and frequent urination. Drugs such as prednisone are used to treat inflammatory bowel disease, allergies, and asthma; furosemide is used to treat heart failure. These medications could cause a dog to urinate more.

Frequent urination would then cause the dog to drink more water. Also, some seizure medications cause frequent thirst and urination too. Before giving your dog any medications, you should always ask your veterinary doctor about the possible side effects of such drugs.

street dog drink

What Does It Mean If My Dog Drinks A Lot Of Water?

It can be a bit difficult to know what it means when your dog drinks a lot of water, so it is best to take the dog to a veterinary doctor for analysis and treatment. Nevertheless, we will look at some tests the vet will perform to diagnose the actual cause of your dog’s excessive thirst.

  • Glucose in urine and elevated blood glucose are signs of diabetes mellitus.
  • Elevated liver protein, positive skin turgor test, and electrolyte changes are signs of dehydration.
  • Low urine specific gravity and elevated kidney values are signs of kidney disease.
  • Elevated cholesterol, changes in the count of white blood cells, and elevated liver value ALP are signs of Cushing’s syndrome.

If your dog suddenly develops an excessive thirst for water, you should not keep water away from it; give it enough water to drink. Otherwise, you could be worsening its condition. However, you need to take that dog to a veterinary doctor for a checkup and treatment as soon as possible.

How Much Water Should A Dog Drink In A Day?

There are several reasons why dogs drink water. Even dogs of the same breed might not drink water at the same rate; one could drink more than the other. Generally, healthy dogs are expected to drink between 20 – 70 ml per kg daily. So, it is all about the individual dog’s health, the nature of its diet, and activity levels.

You must pay attention to the rate at which your dog drinks water. If the water intake is too small, it could lead to dehydration which usually requires urgent medical attention. On the other hand, excessive drinking could be a sign of illness. But so long your dog is drinking between the range of 20 – 70 ml per kg daily, that is completely fine.

Should I Let My Dog Drink As Much Water As He Wants?

This confuses many dog owners; when their dog drinks a lot of water, they do not know if they should allow it to drink or minimize its water intake. Here is what you should not do; on no condition must you withhold water from your dog, allow it to drink as much water as it wants.

However, if its water intake is beyond normal, take it to a veterinary doctor to check for any underlying health issues. In some cases, it could be that the dog is dehydrated or there is a change in the weather condition.

Final Thoughts

Your dog needs water, and you must never stop it from drinking water, and you also need to monitor its water intake to ensure it is normal. If your dog drinks a lot of water, never assume it is best to always take it to a vet for diagnosis. The vet will tell you the cause and provide adequate treatment if it is serious.

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