Does your dog drink a lot of water? Here’s when you should be concerned

How much water should your dog drink on a daily basis? Generally speaking, most dogs should drink ½ to 1 ounce of water (or ⅛ of a cup) per pound of body weight in a 24-hour period. In most cases, there’s no need to measure out the precise amount of water for your dog as long as you ensure he has round-the-clock access to clean water.

But if your dog drinks a lot of water each day, or he suddenly starts drinking a lot more water than normal, you may want to keep a closer eye on things. We’re here to share how to monitor your dog’s water intake, the most common reasons dogs drink excess water, and when it’s time to take your pooch to the vet for a checkup. 

A pug drinking water from a sink faucet.

Why do some dogs drink more than others?

It’s mainly due to their size. According to the Halifax Humane Society, a 65-pound dog should drink approximately 33–65 ounces a day, but if your pooch eats a moisture-rich diet, he may not want to drink as much water directly from his bowl. If you’re concerned your dog may not be getting the right amount of water each day — or if you’ve been asking yourself, “Why is my dog drinking so much water?” — try measuring it out before you pour it into his bowl so you can gauge exactly how much water he’s drinking each day. 

Why is my dog always thirsty?

There’s no need to fear if your dog suddenly drinks more than usual. Dogs tend to dehydrate faster during warmer weather, so if your dog guzzles every last drop of water in mid-July, it’s most likely because he overheated during his afternoon walk. Similarly, if your pooch has stepped up his activity level recently, his water intake will most likely increase to match his new fitness level. You should always take precautions with your dog when the temperatures climb. Dehydration can easily become life-threatening, so we don’t recommend leaving your dog outside for long periods. Try going for walks during the coolest part of the day, and save the strenuous exercise for when the heat’s less intense. 

A close-up of a beagle drinking water from a bowl.

Medications can affect thirst

Some medications have side effects like dry mouth, dehydration, and excessive thirst. If your pooch is taking prednisone for asthma or allergies, that could be the reason why he’s drinking so much more water lately. Furosemide, a drug used to treat heart failure, can cause increased urination, which means your dog will be thirstier to make up for losing so much fluid. Lastly, certain seizure medications can cause a spike in your dog’s appetite, thirst, and urine output, so if your pooch is on medication, make sure you have an in-depth discussion about potential side effects with your veterinarian. 

Consider your dog’s diet

Dry dog food contains little water, often 10% or less. If your dog exclusively eats dry kibble, he may experience excessive thirst compared with dogs who eat a diet rich in moisture. You’ll also want to check the sodium content of your pooch’s food and try not to give your dog table scraps no matter how much he begs. Too much sodium not only causes excessive thirst, but it can also make your dog seriously ill. If you think your pooch might have had too many table scraps lately, look for symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea in addition to increased water intake. While it’s rare for anyone to feed their dogs enough sodium to make them ill, a trip to the vet is in order if it happens.

A black and white Staffordshire Terrier drinking water from a heart-shaped bowl in the grass.

When is excessive drinking a cause for concern?

If your dog suddenly begins to drink in excess while the weather and his activity level remain constant, it’s probably time for a quick trip to the vet for a few tests. Common health conditions that can lead to dehydration and thirst in dogs include cancer, kidney disease, diabetes, infections, and liver disease. It’s possible your dog is thirstier than usual for a perfectly benign reason, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the health of your fur babies. Keep your dog’s bowl filled, and if you think he’s drinking more than usual, it helps to measure and write down how much you add to the water bowl each time. 

Your dog’s health is important to you, and you want your pooch to live a long and happy life. By learning your dog’s routines, how much he usually eats and drinks, and monitoring his urine output, you’ll be a step ahead of the game if something changes. Even if your dog looks fine, and the only difference is the amount of water he drinks, don’t be afraid to contact your vet. If you stay on top of your dog’s health, you might be able to catch a problem before it becomes serious. 

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