Dog ownership is at an all-time high at the moment, with surging Kennel Club registrations and one-in-three households now including a four-legged friend.
That means there are a huge number of first-time dog owners out there who are paying close attention to their pup’s behaviour.
One thing that can be alarming is when your dog starts suffers extreme thirst and drinks a huge amount of water.
To help out, Peter Wright, Harringtons Advanced Science Diet Vet and the star of The Yorkshire Vet, has shared his expertise on the subject.
Drinking excessively, known as polydipsia, may be normal over a short period of time – for instance, if the weather is hot or your dog has been very excited or exercised intensely, causing loss of water due to excessive panting.
Increased thirst can also be seen in several conditions found in dogs. For instance, Cushing’s disease. Diabetes cases also drink very excessively, with dogs often hanging around their water bowl. It is caused by their body not producing enough insulin to regulate their blood sugar levels.
When female dogs are extremely thirsty, it may be due to a pyometra – an infection where the womb fills up with pus and toxins. This can lead to the dog drinking excessively and is a serious condition that can often be life-threatening and something that vets would look out for in a dog, particularly after they’ve just had a season.
Dogs also, particularly as they age, can suffer from chronic renal failure. Such dogs’ kidneys fail to concentrate urine, so instead, they pass large quantities of dilute urine and have to consume larger quantities of water to avoid dehydration.
Medication side effects
Finally, dogs can drink too much sometimes because of their medication. For example, dogs will sometimes be prescribed steroids by your veterinary surgeon, and these can make dogs drink more. It’s worth checking in with your vet if you think this could be the case.