Excessive Thirst In Dogs

Facts about Excessive Thirst in Dogs

Excessive thirst in dogs is known as polydipsia. There are many reasons why it develops--some are very minor and some can be very serious. That’s why it’s important to take your dog to a veterinarian if your dog has excessive thirst and is drinking all the time. Under most conditions, excessive thirst in dogs leads to excessive urination as well.

One of the most common and least serious causes of excessive thirst in dogs is hot weather. Dogs will drink much more water than normal when it is hot outside. This is perfectly normal and it is important to your dog’s health to keep his or her water bowl filled at all times. Dehydration can occur very quickly in the heat.

Every dog should drink four cups of water a day for every twenty pounds in bodyweight. That means if your pet is a 60-pound German Shepherd, he or she should be normally drinking twelve cups of water every day. This could double in excessive heat.

If the brand of food you are feeding your dog is high in sodium, this will lead to excessive thirst in dogs. This problem is easily solved by simply changing types of dog food. Medications can also cause thirst, especially steroids, like prednisone, which is used to treat everything from allergies to pain. Dogs on these steroids drink a lot and urinate a lot. This is normal and you need to make sure to take your dog outside more often.

Excessive thirst in dogs can be related to a urinary tract infection, pancreatitis, a thyroid problem or Cushing’s Syndrome, a disease which affects the adrenal glands. All of these conditions can be treated with the appropriate medication.

Excessive thirst in dogs, just like excessive thirst in humans, can be related to diabetes. Diabetes in dogs is much the same as diabetes in people. The dog will have a blood glucose level that is too high. And, this is treated with medication and diet changes. You might have to inject your dog with insulin every day. Diabetes is a manageable disease in dogs as in people.

The most serious thing that can be happening with excessive thirst in dogs is that your dog may have kidney disease and/or be experiencing kidney failure. It depends when this illness is diagnosed as to how you can treat it. Early on there may be some drug interventions which can give your pet more time, but usually by the time a dog with kidney problems gets to the vet, there is not much that can be done.


Kidney failure cannot be treated or reversed. This is one of the most common ways for a dog to die of old age. The kidneys simply stop working. If you think this is the case, get your dog to a vet right away and see how long he or she might have to live and if there is any way to manage the pain. Unfortunately, the best thing for most animals with failing kidneys is to be put down before the pain becomes overwhelming.

If you don’t think there is anything seriously wrong with your dog, give them a little time so you can keep track of how much they are drinking and peeing every day. What goes in must come out and these kinds of numbers can help your vet to know what is wrong with the animal. If your dog shows that he or she is in pain or has excessive thirst and urination combined with other symptoms, get your animal to a vet immediately.