Increased Thirst in Dogs Veterinarian
We all know how exercise, running errands, or a hot summer’s day can help strike up a thirst. Your dog responds the same way when they run around the yard or play outside. You may feel a bit concerned if you notice that your dog starts to drink excessively or drink more than he or she normally does. As a dog owner, you should be aware of when your pup finishes an entire water bowl in one sitting or drinks water every time you offer. Polydipsia (drinking excessive amounts of water) may be a symptom of an underlying medical problem. Behavioral displays of frequent urination or starting to drink from the toilet are red flags that your pup can be suffering from potential disease.
Before you begin to worry, some causes could explain your dog’s increased thirst that does not stem from an underlying medical condition or disease. As a way to rule out more life-threatening conditions, you should first ask yourself a few questions.
- Have I increased the amount of activity I give my dog? Exercising your pup more frequently or letting him outdoors more often than before could be an explanation of why your pup has become thirstier.
- Has there been an increase in temperature? Weather is an external factor that plays a part in water consumption, especially on hot, humid days.
- Does your dog take any new medications? As we know, many side effects can occur when taking a medication dry mouth and thirst can be some of them. In particular, Steroids are known to cause increased thirst and accompanying urination.
- How old is your dog? Active and playful puppies may drink a little more water than adults.
If you find that none of the above pertain to your pet, there may be an underlying medical condition or disease. You should have your dog seen by a Veterinarian as soon as possible and for him or her to receive a thorough physical examination and diagnostics to look for an underlying cause.
Several medical conditions associate with polydipsia in dogs. To name a few:
Diabetes is the most common disease in dogs that causes an increase in water intake. This type of thirst results from high blood glucose levels and your dog’s body’s attempt to decrease this concentration. In rare cases, central diabetes causes a depletion of the ADH hormone, resulting in profound drinking and urination.
When your dog is suffering from kidney failure, his or her kidneys are no longer able to remove waste from the body in the concentration of urine. This will then cause a response of increased water drinking by your pet.
In the case of liver failure, your dog’s body is no longer able to filter toxins from the bloodstream. An increase in water intake is a measure to prevent these toxins from accumulating in the body.
This disease is caused by a benign or cancerous growth on your dog’s pituitary or adrenal glands. The overproduction of steroids results in increased urination.
Testing for Increased Thirst in Dogs
Although an increased level of your dog’s thirst may seem like a harmless new behavioral trait, it often correlates to something more serious. Bringing your dog into our Veterinary Hospital can allow you to receive an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan for your pup.
Non-Medical Causes of Excessive Thirst in Dogs
If your furry friend has drastically increased their intake of water, perhaps it is time you take them to the vet. The vet might conduct a few tests to determine the cause of excessive thirst. Some causes may include:
Like humans, canines get dehydrated from playing around in the sun all day long or from exercising. This may trigger them to drink more water. Some other signs of dehydration include dry gums, lethargy, vomiting and loss of appetite. If your dog seems severely dehydrated, take him to the vet immediately.
If your dog is mildly dehydrated and is not vomiting, give him 1-2 tablespoons of water after a few minutes for a few hours. Additionally, do not allow your dog to have free access to fluids when dehydrated. It may cause your dog to drink too much, causing vomiting.
Lactating a litter of puppies may cause your dog to up their water intake, causing them to drink 2-3 times the normal amount.
What have you been feeding your pet lately? Altering or making changes in your dog’s diet may cause them to drink more water, especially if you are feeding your pet sodium rich foods. Perhaps, the treats you have been feeding your dog are causing them to drink more water.
External causes, such as feeding your dog an overly salty diet and hot weather, may sometimes result in excessive thirst. Additionally, excessive thirst may also be a side effect from feeding your dog medication including steroids and diuretics. Other factors such as increased physical activity may also cause your pet to drink more water than usual. Once you have ruled out all these factors, it is time you plan a visit to the vet.
Your thirsty pooch may be battling episodes of polydipsia, which is the technical name for excessive thirst and water intake. You may not notice your dog’s excessive drinking until it leads to an increased need for urination. While it alone is not a major cause for concern, veterinary experts warn that polydipsia is often indicative of a more serious, underlying health condition. The most common health problems associated with polydipsia include Cushing’s disease, kidney failure, and diabetes.
If your faithful friend is getting up in age, his increased thirst might be a sign that he is experiencing the onset of Cushing’s disease, a hormonal imbalance. Since it mostly affects older dogs and can be difficult to diagnose, many pet parents confuse the symptoms of Cushing’s disease with the normal signs of aging. Increased thirst and urination is one of the most common clinical signs. While there is no cure for Cushing’s disease, there are treatments available to help improve overall quality of life and prevent the onset of other conditions like diabetes.