Is It Normal For a Dog To Drink a Lot of Water?

Dog drinking water

Like humans, dogs’ bodies consist of about 70 percent water. Proper hydration is critical to their overall health and well-being. However, it is possible for your pup to have too much of a good thing. If you’ve noticed that your dog is drinking too much or has significantly increased the amount of water they drink, their behavior could indicate a more severe problem.

Below, you’ll learn some potential reasons why your dog is drinking a lot of water, how much is an appropriate amount, and what to do if you think you’re dog is overconsuming H2O.

Why are they drinking a lot?

If your dog is thirsty, they could be experiencing certain medical issues — or they could just need some extra water to cool down after playing in the hot sun. Here are some of the most common reasons why a dog might drink more water than usual:


Diabetes is a chronic health condition affecting dogs’ blood sugar regulation. Increased thirst (often combined with excessive urination) is one of the first symptoms a dog might exhibit if they have diabetes. They may also lose weight despite having an increased appetite.


If your dog has an infection (which they can develop from eating something harmful, drinking tainted water, or coming in contact with a sick animal), their body temperature will rise to try and fight it off.

Increased body temperature may cause your dog to feel thirstier and drink more water to compensate. They might also pant excessively, act lethargic, or salivate more than usual.

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Dehydration will naturally cause increased thirst in your dog. They may become dehydrated after a long walk or game of fetch outdoors, especially in hot weather. Dehydration could also arise if your dog doesn’t have consistent, easy access to water.

If you suspect dehydration, try lifting the skin between the dog’s shoulders. They likely aren’t dehydrated if it sinks back into place right away. You can also press on the dog’s gums until a light spot develops. If the color returns as soon as you remove your finger (and the gums are slick and moist), that’s also a good sign.


Some medications can cause excess thirst in dogs. The following are three of the most common medications known to cause thirst:

  • Anti-inflammatories like prednisone 
  • Heart failure drugs like furosemide, which also cause increased urination
  • Seizure medications like phenobarbital

If your dog takes any of these drugs, increased thirst is common and likely not a cause for concern. Just make sure they get plenty of water to prevent dehydration.

Cushing’s disease

Cushing’s disease (also known as hyperadrenocorticism) occurs when the body overproduces the stress hormone cortisol and steroids from the adrenal glands. This overproduction causes increased thirst and urination. Some other symptoms of Cushing’s disease include a pot belly, increased panting, thin skin, hair loss, and increased appetite.

Old age

Old age may also be a contributor to your dog’s increased thirst. Older dogs may experience cognitive decline or medical issues that cause them to feel thirstier. For example, they might forget that they just had a drink and go back for more. Their medical issues may also require medications that trigger thirst.

Bladder infection

Any type of infection could lead to excess thirst, but a bladder infection is especially likely to cause this symptom.  Bladder infections or urinary tract infections (UTIs) affect about one in seven dogs, so they’re relatively common. They’re even more common in diabetic dogs as well.

Along with being thirsty, a dog with a bladder infection may have cloudy or bloody urine, pain while urinating, frequent licking around the urinary opening, and lethargy.


When the temperature rises, so does thirst and the risk of dehydration. If it’s late spring or summer and you’ve noticed your dog drinking more water, they might just be responding to the change in temperature.


Dogs that eat dry food may be thirstier because kibble contains very little water (about 5-10 percent). Salty, high-sodium foods can also trigger thirst, so pet parents should be cautious about sharing salty snacks with their dogs.


Pyometra is a dangerous, life-threatening infection that affects female dogs’ uteruses. It’s most common in older, unspayed females, but unspayed young dogs can also be affected. 

Along with increased thirst, a dog with pyometra may exhibit other symptoms, including vomiting, nausea, discharge from the vulva, panting, fatigue, and a bloated stomach.

How much should a dog drink?

A general rule of thumb is for your dog to drink about one ounce of water (1/8 of a cup or two tablespoons) per pound of body weight. For example, a dog weighing 25 pounds should consume about 25 ounces of water daily.

Payout limit Limit Price from Coverage up to Deductible
lemonade logo $100,000 $10 80% $100-500 View
animalia logo $25,000 $20 90% $200 View
petassure logo $10,000 $15 90% $250 View
trupanion logo $25,000 $30 90% $0-1500 View
pumpkin logo $20,000 $20 90% $100-500 View

What to do when your dog drinks too much?

If you notice that your dog is overdrinking, monitor them for other symptoms like those discussed above. If the increased drinking persists, contact a vet and schedule an exam as soon as possible. They will evaluate your dog and help you identify the cause of their thirst (and recommend a treatment plan).

Dog drinking a lot of water? Contact a vet today

A dog drinking a lot of water could be no big deal, but it could also be an indicator of a serious health problem. To be safe instead of sorry, contact a vet to address your concerns.

Cooper Pet Care allows you to consult a vet online, anywhere, and anytime. Reach out today to book your appointment.

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