Does your dog appear to be emptying his water bowl a little more frequently than usual? If so, you’ll find he’s probably urinating more as well. After all, what goes in must come out. If this behavior goes on for awhile, it can be sign there may be something medically wrong. That’s when it’s time to look closer at what’s going on.
It can be hard to tell if your dog’s water intake is in fact higher than normal, and the only way to do it properly is to measure it. Give your dog one water bowl for the day, and measure how much water you put in it. At the end of the day, measure how much is left. A dog’s average water intake is around 90ml per kilogram body weight, or 1 ½ oz. per lb.
If your dog has been exercising a lot, or the weather has been warmer, he may be more thirsty than usual from time to time – this is normal. How much your dog drinks can also be affected by his diet. Kibble has lower water content than canned food, so dogs fed a predominantly dry diet will drink more than those fed from a can. Some types of medication will also make your dog thirsty, and your vet can advise you whether this may be a cause of his increased water intake. If, however, your dog seems to be constantly thirsty, and you can’t find any simple reason for it, there may be a problem with his health – this is not normal – it’s time to call your vet.
Excessive drinking and urination are often early symptoms of internal diseases. The most common of these conditions are diabetes, kidney disease and Cushing’s disease.
- Diabetes is a disease where the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin to metabolize glucose. One of the first indicators that your dog may be a diabetic is that he is always drinking from his water bowl. He also has little energy for his usual activities, and is constantly hungry.
- Kidney disease can occur in dogs of any age. In the early stages you may only notice that your dog is always thirsty, and you need to let him outside to go to the toilet more often. As the disease progresses, he will go off his food, start to vomit and be quite depressed.
- Cushing’s disease occurs when there is an excess of adrenal gland hormone in your dog’s body. Corticosteroid medication, often used to treat allergies, can result in this condition. It may also occur because a tumor in your dog’s body is causing overproduction of these hormones. Symptoms include a potbellied appearance, hair loss and an increased appetite.
These diseases are potentially very serious, so if your dog is drinking excessively, please make an appointment with your vet to have him examined. Blood and urine tests will help tell the vet what’s happening in your dog’s body, so treatment can be started straight away. The sooner he is treated, the better it is for his health; the quicker his symptoms will abate. To your dog’s health!
OP Staff Contributor
Reference: Harvey, A. Dr., BVSc (Hons). (2010). Website: http://www.vetwriter.com
Note: This article only serves as a guide and is based on research from various sources, both online and in print, including article(s) written by DVMs, dog trainers, groomers, and/or other qualified experts. Please check with your DVM for any questions regarding the information provided in this article. Thank you.
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