Dog Drinking Water: What’s Too Much & What’s Too Little?
Estimated Read Time: 6 minutes
Like humans, dogs need to drink water every day. If they don't, your dog could suffer dehydration!
Dogs don’t sweat as much as humans (only from their nose and paw pads) and release body heat at a much lower rate when compared to us. They control their body heat through panting. Their water levels are then replenished when needed via drinking, which is why it’s important to have a freshwater bowl accessible and available to them at all times.
If you’re reading this blog because you’re concerned your dog is drinking too much or too little H2O, you’ve come to the right place. Below we’ve gathered together all the reasons why a dog won’t drink water, why your dog may be drinking a lot of water, and how much water is ideal for your dog to be consuming per day…
So, your dog is drinking a lot of water. The obvious conclusion would be that your dog is thirsty and is simply replenishing their hydration levels. However, if it seems like a lot more water than their normal intake to you, then this could be a sign of disease. If they’re also urinating more frequently, this is another indicator that there is a health problem at hand, because excessive drinking is often a repose to too much fluid being lost via urination.
A number of health issues could be at play here, but the most common diseases and illnesses that excessive drinking is a symptom of are Cushing’s disease, kidney infection/failure, urinary tract infections, hypercalcemia (high calcium levels in the blood), or dog diabetes (diabetes mellitus). Some medications, like cortical steroids, can also increase a dog’s thirst, as can a bout of diarrhea or vomiting.
However, if you have a puppy that’s drinking excessively, this could be a sign of boredom (primary polydipsia): they simply need more stimulation from you, toys, and possibly exercise (dependent on their age).
If your dog is noticeably drinking a lot of water, you should get them assessed by their vet as soon as possible no matter what your suspicions are around the reason behind it. Do not restrict their access to water in an attempt to prevent them from drinking as this can actually make whatever condition they're dealing with worse. Your vet’s professional diagnosis and condition management advice is the best thing you can do for your excessively drinking pup.
If your dog is refusing to drink water or is consuming, in your view, very little, there could be a number of reasons at play…
This all depends on the size of your dog, how much exercise they do, what their food type is, and what their current body temperature is. We’ve put together this handy visual guide for our Petlab Co. pet parents to help you get a sense of how much water your dog needs – remember though, all dogs are different, so no graph should be taken as absolute gospel.
A dog should drink regularly, or they’re at risk of becoming dehydrated, just like us! There a few things you can do to encourage them to drink more, if you’re concerned about their disinterest…
Proper hydration is paramount to your dog’s health, so if they’re continuously refusing to drink always seek out the opinion and professional guidance of their vet.