Dog Drinking from a faucet

Your Ultimate Guide to Excessive Thirst in Dogs

Have you found yourself refilling your dog’s water bowl too frequently? Most furry friends need about an ounce of fluids per pound of bodyweight. While, highly active or lactating dogs may drink more water compared to others. Puppies too tend to drink more water than adult dogs.

What is Excessive Thirst in Dogs?

Polydipsia is a condition that refers to excessive thirst in dogs hence if your furry pal is drinking more water than they should, it might signal a health problem. In a variety of conditions, the canine’s body might not be able to control water loss even at normal temperatures. Since the water loss must be replenished, dogs drink more water to find a balance.

Dog Drinking Water from a Hose

It is important you pay attention to your pet’s daily water intake as drinking less water can lead to dehydration whereas drinking too much water can be a symptom of organ disease.

What Are The Most Common Causes?

Unfortunately, depending on the symptoms, drinking excessive water can be a sign of a number of health conditions in dogs including:

Diabetes Mellitus

Unfortunately, many dog breeds are prone to suffer from diabetes mellitus. The disease is caused due lack of insulin in the body or because of the body’s inadequate response to insulin. When canines are not able to produce sufficient amounts of insulin in their body or are not able to utilize it properly, their blood sugar levels are prone to drop drastically. Some common symptoms of diabetes include:

  • Excessive urination
  • Hunger
  • ​Unexplainable weight loss
  • ​Vomiting
  • Increased thirst

If left untreated, diabetes may trigger a number of health conditions hence take him to the vet immediately.

Thirsty Puppy Leaning his Head on a Water Bowl

Addison's Disease

This disease is quite rare among dogs most is most likely to affect young to middle aged dogs, breeds such as Standard Poodles, White Terriers, Rottweiler’s etc. Additionally, female dogs are likely to suffer from this disease that is caused by deficiency of hormones namely glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids that are produced by the adrenal glands. Common symptoms of Addison’s disease include:

  • Shaking
  • Diarrhea
  • ​Lethargy
  • ​Weight loss
  • ​Dehydration
  • Increased thirst

Cushing's Syndrome

If your canine friend is coming of age then drinking excessive water is most likely a sign of Cushing’s syndrome. The condition is primarily a result of hormonal imbalance and commonly affects senior dogs. Unfortunately, many pet owners confuse the condition with normal signs of aging, making it difficult to diagnose. Some common symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome include:

  • Obesity
  • Increased hunger
  • ​Muscle weakness
  • ​Lack of energy
  • ​Increased thirst
  • Darkening of skin
Dog Drinking Fresh Water from a Water Bowl

Kidney Failure

Unfortunately, kidney failure is the most common reason behind excessive thirst and possesses a serious threat to your dog’s health. The condition is mostly curable and is most likely to affect your pet if he has come of age. Taking your dog to the vet and making certain changes to his lifestyle can help your dog live a good life even with the disease. Common symptoms of kidney failure include:

  • Comas
  • Constipation
  • ​Blood in urine
  • ​Seizures
  • ​Increased thirst


Non-medical causes of excessive thirst include the following.


When the temperature rises, your dog is prone to suffer from dehydration, just like human beings. Playing around in the sun is obviously going to make your dog exceptionally thirsty. On hot days, ensure your dog’s water bowl is always full to the brim. Some common signs of dehydration include loss of appetite, lethargy and dry gums.

Dog Drinking Water from a Water Fountain

Change in Diet

Have you changed your dog’s diet by switching to dry kibble? Pay attention to what you have been feeding your pet lately. Feeding your dog sodium rich foods may cause them to drink more water. Feeding your dog excessive dog treats may also be a reason for excessive thirst.


Is your dog a senior friend? Aging might be a common culprit for excessive thirst especially if your dog breed is prone to kidney and liver diseases. Infection and canine trauma can also trigger diseases related to the liver and kidneys.

Lactating Dogs

Lactating dogs are likely to increase their water intake to feed their young ones. Nursing a litter of puppies may typically cause your furry friend to increase their water intake by 2-3 times the normal amount.


Sometimes, excessive thirst may be caused not by an illness or an infection but due to medication. Medication used for allergies and asthma may make your dog thirstier.

How to Treat it

In order to treat excessive thirst, it is imperative you notice the amount water being consumed by your pet. Sometimes drinking too water is simply a result of hot weather or feeding your dog an overly salty diet. Other common reasons include increased physical activity. Once you have ruled out all these causes, it is imperative you plan a visit to the vet.

Puppy Drinking Water from Owners Hand

To monitor your dog’s water intake, mark the bowl with a guideline to give you an idea of how much water your dog has consumed. If they have finished an entire bowl and are asking for more, do not deprive them of water and take your pet to the vet.

Ignoring a change in your pet’s drinking habits is not a good habit. If your dog is drinking too much water, take them to the vet to determine the cause. Your vet will most likely conduct a full health screening that will help identify health concerns that your dog may be suffering from. It is best you avoid home remedies, as excessive thirst can be a symptom of a dangerous disease that might grow worse. When in doubt, take your dog to the vet.

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