Before answering your dog and water question we have to do some homework.

dog drinking water
A dog, like people, can drink more water on hot days or after exercise. That being said, increased drinking and frequent urination can often be signs of illness. Here are some things to consider.

First thing, if you’ve noticed an increase in drinking and or peeing, make an appointment with your family vet. Then at home, try to determine the actual amount your dog is drinking. Start one to three days before the appointment, offering your pet as much water as he can drink, document how much is consumed over a 24 hour period. You can monitor water consumption any day and for as many days as you wish, just make sure you are keeping track of how many millilitres per 24 hours. Take this information, along with your pet’s diet type, serving size and list of any medications given at home, with you to your vet appointment. There, they’ll do the rest of the math!

Fun facts: polydipsia is the term we use to describe greater than normal water consumption. Dogs use the back of their tongues to drink. Puppies generally drink more than adult dogs do. Over sized bowls are recommended for dogs. Dogs require access to clean fresh water at all times. Most owners notice increased urination (more trips outside) before they notice increased consumption.

You can do the dog math

If you want to do the math at home, that’s easy too! You’ll need your dog’s body weight in kilograms; divide this into the amount of water in milliliters they consume over 24 hours. Normal water consumption for dogs is between 20 to 70 ml/kg of body weight per day. If you calculate an amount above this range please speak with your family veterinarian. Remember that each pet is an individual and different variables need to be considered on a case by case basis by your veterinarian.

Some common causes for polydipsia that will need to be ruled out include: metabolic disorders such as Diabetes, Cushing’s syndrome, Addison’s disease; infections such as urinary tract infection or uterine infection; liver or kidney disease; as well as the use of certain medications.

Water is critical to your pet’s health and well-being. Never deprive your dog of water. If you’re worried your pet is drinking too much, don’t wait; give your vet a call. Call Delton Veterinary Hospital at 7804759225 or email

Dr. Natasha Russell graduated from the University of Chile and practices in Edmonton at Delton Veterinary Hospital.Natasha