Dogs Drinking Excessive Water: When Is It Dangerous?
In the hot summer months, it’s important to keep your dog hydrated. But how much of a good thing is too much? If your dog suddenly has an unquenchable thirst, don’t ignore it. It could be indicative of a bigger problem.
Here are some of the top culprits behind dogs drinking excessive water.
If your dog is panting, is drinking water nonstop, and has a dry mouth — they could be dehydrated. If it’s a hot day and they’ve been outdoors under the baking sun, it’s likely to be related to the heat. But drinking excessive water can lead to vomiting in dogs, which will only make the dehydration worse. If they’ve already gulped down a full bowl, portion out smaller amounts of water every ten minutes for an hour. Try these tips to cool down an overheated dog:
- Make sure they’re indoors and out of direct sunlight. If possible, crank up the AC or get a fan directed at them from a safe distance
- Use a rectal thermometer to take your dog’s temperature. A normal dog’s temperature is 101.5 degrees. If they’re above 103 degrees, put them under a cool (not cold) shower immediately and call the vet
- Dogs release sweat through their paws, so a shower or bath is a great way to cool an overheated dog. Give them a cool water footbath, or the bath up a few inches (depending on the size of your dog) and let them stand in it for a few minutes
- Call the vet if they start vomiting or if their symptoms worsen
If your dog hasn’t been exposed to the heat, and randomly starts drinking excessively, take them to the vet. Excessive thirst in dogs can be related to a more serious health problem, such as kidney failure, diabetes, or Cushing’s disease.
Excessive water drinking in diabetics is called polydipsia, and it can also affect dogs. Symptoms of diabetes in dogs are:
- Excessive thirst
- Increased urination
- Weight loss
- Chronic skin infections
- Sweet-smelling breath
Always consult a vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s health.
How Much Is Too Much?
Factors like exercise, weather, and age all play a part in what is considered a “normal” amount of water for your dog to drink. But the general rule of thumb is 1.6 to 2.2 cups of water per 10 pounds. A 50 pound dog will need between 8 and 11 cups of water per day. If you’re concerned — use the measurements on a Mason jar to keep track of it.