If you are often outside with your dog in the heat, they may be drinking a lot more than they would normally drink. But what if your dog seems to be drinking a lot for what seems to be no reason? If you’ve been asking yourself ‘why is my dog so thirsty?’, this blog is for you. Read below as we explore reasons why a dog might seem to be over drinking.

Why is my Dog So Thirsty?

A dog who seems to be drinking a lot more than normal may be showing a number of signs for different syndromes or conditions. Let’s go through the most common causes for a dog to be excessively thirsty.

Kidney Failure

The kidneys help to remove waste products from the body. When the kidneys are working, waste is removed through urine. At times when water is scarce, kidneys also help to retain water. If your dog is having kidney failure, this may account for why they are drinking so much. They have to over drink to help the kidneys do their job.

Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes Mellitus happens when there is a lack of insulin on the body or your dog has difficulty properly using the insulin. When this occurs, your dog will then start to have a buildup of sugar in the bloodstream.

When sugar builds up in the blood, it overwhelms the kidneys and will be drawn out in urine. Because this urine is high in sugar, it also draws away water with it. This means your dog will have to drink more water to help balance their hydration level.

Cushing’s Syndrome

Cushing’s Syndrome is also known as hypercortisolism. This is a condition that is caused by excessive amounts of the hormone cortisol in the bloodstream. Normally the onset of Cushing’s Syndrome is slow because it’s caused by a slow building of this hormone. Many dog owners take a little while to notice the symptoms of Cushing’s Syndrome and can often just attribute it to old age.

Other symptoms of Cushing’s Syndrome include a pot-bellied appearance, muscle weakness and an increased appetite.


Sometimes when your dog is drinking excessively, it’s simply because they are dehydrated. It could be because they have overworked themself or because they haven’t had access to water.

If you think your dog is dehydrated, you can do a skiing turgor test on them. This is done by pulling on loose skin or pushing on plump skin. If the skin is slow to move back to a normal position, your dog is dehydrated. If your dog is dehydrated, you should give them water and take them to see your vet immediately.

Other Causes of Excessive Thirst

While the above illnesses are the most common reasons for excessive thirst, there are a number of reasons that a dog might drink a lot. Here are some other reasons:

  • Liver Disease
  • Cancer
  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Medications
  • Heatstroke
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Parasites
  • Hypercalcemia

If you’re looking at that list and are worried about your dog, you’re probably worried about your dog’s behavior. Make an appointment with your vet if your dog’s excessive thirst has gone on for more than two days.

What Can I Do About a Thirsty Dog?

A dog who needs to drink a lot can be relatively common. If you have spent the day outdoors exercising, it makes sense that they may have overspent themselves. But it’s time to take your dog to the vet if they have been thirsty for a few days in a row.

When you go to see your vet, they’ll want some information from you. They might want a urine sample. They’re also going to want to know about your dog’s diet and other feeding habits. They will also want to know if you have traveled anywhere out of the ordinary with your dog lately. It’s possible they picked up something unusual during their normal activity.

If you are taking your dog to a new vet for the first time, they are also going to want a copy of their vaccination records and other care your dog has received in the past.


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