Vetstreet. All rights reserved. Powered by Brightspot.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
To some dogs, the world is one big water bowl. They guzzle from the toilet, slurp from mud puddles, lap water off shower doors and even lick post-shower human legs.
What’s really going on here?
In most cases, it’s just a dog being a dog. You can't really expect an animal that eats poop and rolls in dead squirrels to have a discriminating palate when it comes to quenching his thirst, after all.
There are times, however, when dogs may drink more than usual because of a medical problem. Increased water consumption may be a sign of anything from a bacterial infection to serious conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease and glandular disorders, like Cushing’s disease.
If you suspect that your dog is emptying the water bowl more frequently, consult your veterinarian, who may ask you to measure exactly how much your dog is imbibing each day.
While it’s normal for dogs to drink more on hot summer days or after exercise, under normal conditions, a dog shouldn’t take in more than about 1 to 1⅔ cups of water per 10 pounds of body weight in 24 hours.
Of course, since everything that goes in must eventually come out, a dog who drinks more will also usually pee more. And while it may be tempting to limit your dog’s water intake to reduce the number of times that he whines at the door, you should never withhold water from your dog unless instructed to do so by your veterinarian. Some dogs may need more water because of certain medical conditions, and limiting their water intake could lead to serious medical complications.
Even if your dog has no underlying medical condition, there are times when it’s a good idea to save him from his indiscriminate drinking habits.
Dogs who slurp from stagnant ponds or lakes that have been contaminated with animal feces or urine can be infected with protozoa, such as Giardia, and bacteria, like Leptospira. Blue-green algae, found in some lakes during hot temperatures, can also be toxic to your dog.
When in doubt, it’s always a good idea to bring a collapsible water bowl and a bottle of water with you on outdoor hikes.
And while slurping from the lawn sprinkler may just be normal dog behavior, if you think your dog is drinking more than usual, it’s worth a visit to your veterinarian, so she can recommend tests to rule out any medical conditions.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Bartonella is a type bacteria that can be transmitted to cats, dogs and humans from exposure to infected fleas and…
Want to give your pup yummy, low-calorie treats? We’ve got the skinny on which foods are OK to feed him.
Not sure about food puzzles? Our veterinarian reveals why the payoff for your pet is well worth any extra work.
With these simple dental care tips, you can help keep your canine’s adorable smile shiny and healthy for life.
The friendly and inquisitive LaPerm has an easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.