How Much Water Should Dogs Drink?

How Much Water Should Dogs Drink

How Much Water Should Dogs Drink?

How much water should dogs drink? As caring dog owners, we are all concerned with our dog’s health. In the case of dogs drinking water, water contains vital minerals that help to maintain your pup’s strength and water keeps your dog hydrated. Not only this, but water plays a significant role in the body of your dog. 

Water has several purposes, such as transporting essential minerals throughout your dog’s body. Secondly, digestion of the food your dog eats, and the absorption of the nutrients happens with the help of water. Water also aids in managing the body temperature and removes all the waste from your dog’s body.

Last but not least, it will keep your pup hydrated, cool, and water is good for building your dog’s muscles. It is entirely our responsibility as dog parents to keep an eye on our loyal, sweet companion and see how much quantity of water he or she takes in. 

This blog can help you to have a clear understanding of how much water your dog should drink and what to do when your pup has problems with drinking water so read on for more useful information about dogs and drinking water. 

Dog Drinking a Lot of Water

Dog Drinking a Lot of Water

Sometimes, there can be problems with your dog drinking water. For example, your dog can drink an excess of water, or your dog doesn’t drink enough water. 

Both situations can be critical for your dog’s health as they may hint towards an illness or problem your dog migh have. If your dog doesn’t drink enough water, that means your pup can face dehydration, kidney stones, or organ failure, which may lead to death in extreme cases.

On the other hand, taking in water in abundance may cause too much urine production, causing a lack of balance of electrolytes in the body. Moreover, it can also lead to Hyponatremia, a situation of water poisoning. Overdrinking of water can also cause infection in the bladder.

Whatever the case, it’s recommended you keep an eye on your pup’s drinking routine, and if you face any of these situations, immediately consult a vet. The vet will provide you with the best possible solutions to ensure your pup’s health.

What Causes Excessive Thirst in Dogs

What Causes Excessive Thirst In Dogs?

Your dog’s water intake depends on certain factors that can play a significant role in your dog’s health. Your dog may feel thirsty if he or she has done a lot of physical exercises or has played with you more than usual. Maybe after a long walk with you, he gets tired and feels the need to drink water. Moreover, due to hot weather conditions, your dog drinks a lot of water too. So, these factors range from the activity status of your dog to various weather conditions.

Excessive Thirst in Dogs

These are typical conditions for your dog, but the critical situation appears when your dog starts drinking excess water due to an illness or overheating. Regarding sickness, some diseases can be triggering your dog to drink more when your pup feels thirsty. If you experience any of these situations, please immediately consult a vet. Here are several reasons which can cause extreme thirst in your dog:

Dehydration – During the hot summer season, your dog may experience extreme thirst after any energetic activity. Excess of walking, playing, or exercise may induce excessive thirst in dogs. Most importantly, if your dog is dehydrated, your dog should not gulp too much water down and also not too quickly.

Drinking too much water in a short period can be harmful to your dog as it can lead to vomiting and organ failure, which can prove deadly. So, it is best to consult an expert immediately if this condition appears. If your pooch is dehydrated, then it is better to give small amounts of water to your dog every few minutes instead of letting your dog drink loads of water at once, which can be dangerous. 

Why is My Dog So Thirsty

Illness – Another cause of excessive thirst in your dog can be an illness. Some important ones, such as diabetes, cancer, diarrhea, and Cushing’s disease (a disease in which adrenocorticotrophic hormone is excessively released).

Moreover, if your dog is taking medicines or treatment from the vet, this thirst can result from that treatment. Sometimes it happens that dogs drinks too much water because of that medication they receive. 

In this circumstance, talk to the vet if the treatment or medication has side effects and then state the problem your dog faces. 

Listed below are a few medicines that can induce thirst to a great extent.

Type of MedicineName of the MedicineSide-Effects of the Medicine
Heart Failure MedicineFurosemideIt increases the release of excess urine so the dog might feel extra thirsty
Anti-inflammatory MedicinesPrednisoneIncreased thirst and urination
Seizure MedicinePhenobarbitalIncreased thirst or apetite and increased urination

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Diet Intake – If you feed your dog dry food, your dog might need to drink more water than dogs who eat raw food. Dry food contains about 5-10% of water, which is not enough for your dog daily, so your pup needs to drink more water.

Moreover, foods rich in sodium are also responsible for bringing about more thirst. I suggest you try to avoid salty foods in any case. Foods rich in salt also cause the dog to get very thirsty, and too much salt is not good for your pooch’s health.

Other Important Factors to be aware of:

Age of your dog

Puppies need less water than adult dogs, so in that respect, age influences how much water your dog needs. While your puppy is growing bigger, he or she will need more water than when he or she was still very young and small.

What causes my dog to be so thirsty

Size of your dog

Of course, large dogs need more water than small dogs, so usually, your dog drinks water according to his or her size. A healthy dog usually consumes ½ – 1 ounce of water per pound of their body weight daily. For example, a 10-pound dog needs a bit more than a cup of water per day, and a 50-pound dog should get a little over 5 cups of water per day. Later on in this blog, you will find a useful table that shows the daily amount of water dogs of different weights need.


If your dog is running, playing, swimming, or any other high energy activity or exercise, he or she, of course, will get very thirsty, especially when the weather is warm or hot. While exercising, most of the fluids in your dog’s body are utilized, and hence, your pup gets very thirsty. Always make sure and be aware that your furbaby isn’t overheating or over exhausting him or herself because that can become dangerous for your dog.

Why is my dog thirsty

Summer or hot weather conditions

When the weather is warm, dogs pant a lot. Panting is the way your dog can cool down. Us humans cool down due to sweating. Dogs only sweat through their feet, so it’s more difficult for your dog to cool down when it’s hot. Panting also helps your dog cool down, but when it’s hot outside, it’s best to keep your dog calm and cool to avoid overheating. Make sure your dog drinks enough fresh, clean water on these warm, sunny days to prevent dehydration or overheating. It’s ok if your dog drinks more than usual on hot days. 


If your dog is taking any meds or treatment from the vet, your pup may show side effects. Some medicines, listed previously in this blog, can cause your dog to become extremely thirsty. Keep an eye on your dog when you notice different behavior such as excessive drinking and contact your vet when you suspect a problem or side effect due to the medication.

How Much Water Should a Dog Drink Per Day

How Much Water Should a Dog Drink Per Day?

Dogs come in all shapes and sizes. A Chihuahua doesn’t need as much water as, for example, a Golden Retriever needs. The below table shows a guideline of the daily amounts of water that dogs of different weights need.

Weight of the dog in lbs.Weight of the dog in kgsCups of Water per Day

** One cup of water equivalents 237 ml of water

Do Dogs Drink More Water As They Get Older?

The answer is no, not specifically. The intake of water depends on the weight of your dog, as stated earlier. But if we consider age, senior dogs might develop some problems due to their old age. When dogs become seniors, excessive thirst can be a symptom of underlying severe complications. So, if you notice such symptoms, immediately seek the advice of an expert.

Do Dogs Drink More Water As They Get Older

Your senior pooch may suffer one of the following health problems, such as Diabetes Miletus, kidney failure, or Cushing’s syndrome. One of the symptoms of these diseases is that your dog can get very thirsty. More thirsty than usual.

If your dog drinks excessive amounts of water all of a sudden, it might indicate the following problems:

  • Fever
  • Thyroid disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Stomach problems (Vomiting)
  • Cancer
  • A side effect of any medication or treatment

Moreover, dogs exhibit the phenomena of panting, which will lower their body temperature, which causes water is released out of their body with the help of evaporation. Hence, they can get dehydrated if they don’t drink enough fresh water.

Always be careful with seawater. Many dogs drink seawater, which contains a lot of salt and can cause dehydration as well. If you visit the beach with your pup, always make sure you bring enough fresh water for your dog to drink so your pup doesn’t drink too much seawater.

What Does it Mean When a Dog Drinks a Lot of Sea Water

How To Keep My Dog Hydrated When Traveling?

Our little family (my husband, me and our Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever named Stippy) often go on roadtrips, holiday or go hiking together. One of the most important things I take with us for our dog is fresh, clean water. It’s so important to keep your dog hydrated during long car rides or walks to avoid dehydration. We use the Malsipree Dog Water Bottle because it’s so easy to use, light weight and doesn’t take much space in your bag or backpack. If you’re interested click here to go to Amazon to check the latest price. 

Below you’ll find some great products which can help you to keep your furbaby hydrated and cool during hot days, at home or when traveling. I use most of these items for my dog Stippy as well so I can really recommend them. If you click on the links below, you’ll go directly to Amazon to see the latest products and prices.

Our Recommended Items To Keep Your Pet Cool and Hydrated  RetrieverPlanet Vivicon 1

What Does it Mean When a Dog Drinks a Lot of Water?

When your dog starts drinking a lot of water, it can hint towards certain situations. Excessive water drinking may indicate that your dog is suffering from a disease, as mentioned above, but luckily, illness is not the reason in most cases. There can be many reasons why your dog is suddenly drinking more water than usual.

The drinking of excess water is known as Polydipsia. According to Dr. Elizabeth Appleman, a staff veterinarian at NYC’s Animal Medical Center,” The dogs can suffer from Polydipsia certainly in warm weather conditions. This typically happens at the beginning of the hot season when the dogs are trying to stabilize themselves according to the temperature.” 

She further adds that excess panting can also result in thirst. “This shows that the dog’s body is trying to rehydrate itself and manages to restore the normal blood volume.”

What Does it Mean When a Dog Drinks a Lot of Water

Why is My Dog So Thirsty All of a Sudden?

When you start noticing that your dog starts feeling extremely thirsty suddenly and the weather isn’t too hot, your dog hasn’t had high energy exercise. There is no known reason your dog could be dehydrated than he or she may be suffering from any one of the following diseases:

  • Addison’s Disease: As reported by Dr. Mark Peterson and Dr. Peter Kintzer, frequent urination and thirst can be a leading symptom if your dog is suffering from Addison’s disease.
  • Liver Failure: When your dog suffers from liver failure, the ability to detoxify the harmful substances stops, and hence those substances start accumulating in the blood. Therefore, your dog feels thirsty all of a sudden and drinks excessive amounts of water. The increased drinking of water will help prevent the substances to collect in the bloodstream.
  • Hypercalcemia: Due to the over-production of calcium in your dog’s body, your dog feels more thirsty than usual. It is because his or her body tends to remove the excess calcium from the body utilizing urination. Hence your dog drinks more water and urinates, eliminating all the calcium that was present in excess.
  • Diabetes: It is important to note that dogs suffering from Diabetes Insipidus and Diabetes Miletus may also suffer from lethargy. Due to increased blood glucose levels, your dog’s thirst increases, and he drinks a lot more water than usual. 
Why Is My Dog So Thirsty All of a Sudden

Diagnosis of the Reasons for Dogs Drinking Water Excessively

If you are not able to diagnose why your dog is drinking so much water, and if you’re out of possible ideas or solutions to help your dog, it is best to go to your vet. Your vet can find out the actual reason behind this excessive drinking, will give you experienced advice and start treatment for your beloved dog. 

The vet will perform specific tests that will help identify the actual cause. After recognition of the real reason, you can start your dog’s treatment and medication, which will aid him or her in hopefully getting better day by day.

Diagnoses of reasons why dogs drink water excessively

What Are The Signs of Kidney Failure in Dogs?

When kidneys stop functioning and do not filter wastes from your dog’s blood, it is termed kidney failure in dogs. If your dog is suffering from kidney failure, your dog may suffer from following signs and symptoms:

  • Increased Thirst: If your dog suffers from kidney failure, your dog will drink vast amounts of water, indicating increased thirst.
  • Increased urination: Your dog will urinate a many times after drinking water. If that happens, it is time to be concerned and immediately provide your pup with treatment and suitable medication.
  • Lethargy:  if your dog is ill, you will notice dull and lethargic behavior. Your normally active, happy dog will neither play with you nor be active. Your dog will seem tired and lazy.
  • Decreased Appetite: Your dog will not eat properly, and you will notice the loss of appetite in him or her. Decreased appetite is one of the significant signs of kidney failure in dogs. Your dog may experience nausea, which can result in vomiting.
  • Other Symptoms: Your dog may encounter other specific symptoms such as diarrhea, weight loss, and weakness.
What Are The Signs Of Kidney Failure In Dogs

What To Do When My Dog is Not Drinking Water But Eating?

When your dog is eating his or her food regularly but is not drinking water, that can mean something is going on, and you, as a dog owner, should be alert. According to facts, a dog’s body should contain 80% of water, so your dog must be and stay hydrated. 

So what can be the cause of your dog eating but not drinking? One reason can be that your dog had a bad experience with or at the water bowl, so there is a negative association with water or the water bowl. It could have been a loud noise or something else that has frightened your pup at the water bowl. 

Try to create a positive association by playing with your dog near the water bowl or with the bowl. Use yummy dog treats for a positive association or try changing the water bowl. Maybe that helps as well. If the situation does not get any better, try seeking expert advice. Your dog must stay hydrated.

What To Do When My Dog is Not Drinking Water but is Eating


Dogs need to drink sufficient amounts of water every day. If your pup, for some reason, starts drinking too much water or not enough water, that might indicate a problem. First, rule out the obvious causes for this sudden problem with drinking water, such as massive thirst after running or playing, hot weather, or fear of the water bowl.

If these possible reasons are not the case, then consult your veterinarian for advice and, if needed, visit the vet for a full check-up and evaluation of your dog. If your dog takes medication, also contact your vet as extreme thirst can be a side effect. Keeping your furbaby happy, healthy, and well-hydrated is what’s it’s all about as a dog parent!

All content on this site is provided for informational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be nor can it be considered actionable professional advice. It must not be used as an alternative for seeking professional advice from a veterinarian or other certified professional. assumes no responsibility or liability for the use or misuse of what’s written on this site. Please consult a professional before taking any course of action with any medical, health or behavioral related issues.

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Nova Scotia Ducvk Tolling Retriever

About us

Hi, welcome to my blog about the amazing breed Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever!

My name is Eline van Stiphout and I live in The Netherlands. Together with my husband Arthur and our sweet Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Stippy, the three of us love to travel and go on outdoor adventures. 

Currently, I’m a professional, fully licensed dog walker since 2017. I gave up my stressful fulltime office job to follow my dream which is working and walking with dogs.


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