Black labrador retriever drinking water from faucet

Why is My Dog Drinking So Much Water?

While you may assume it’s a good thing that your dog is drinking a lot, it can be concerning if your dog is drinking too much water. Just like humans, water is essential for a dog’s overall health and well-being. In fact, dogs need to drink between 20 to 70 ml of water per kilo of their body weight every day to stay properly hydrated and support their bodily processes. But if your dog is drinking lots of water suddenly, for extended periods of time and without an obvious reason, such as hot weather or vigorous exercise, they may be experiencing excessive thirst - also known as polydipsia.

In this article, we discuss possible reasons why your dog is drinking so much water, how to manage their water intake and when dog parents should be concerned. It’s important for dog parents to understand their dog’s usual routine, such as how much water they normally drink, in order to detect any changes in their behaviour. This can help dog parents identify the cause of their dog’s excessive thirst, support their hydration and seek veterinary help if there’s an underlying issue.

Reasons, why your dog is excessively thirsty 

There are various reasons why your dog is drinking so much water, and we look at a few of these below:


The most likely reason why your dog is drinking a lot of water could be because they’re dehydrated. Besides hot weather and high activity levels, which we discuss separately below, dehydration can be caused by gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting and diarrhoea, as this can cause dogs to lose a lot of water. If your dog is older or is suffering from an illness or medical condition, they may also experience dehydration, as well as dogs who are pregnant  or nursing. In any of these cases, your dog will be drinking more water to quench their thirst. Dog parents can learn about water intake for dogs  to understand how much their dog should be drinking and prevent dehydration.

Hot weather

If it’s a particularly hot day, it’s not surprising that your dog is drinking more water than usual. Dog parents will know that when a dog is feeling hot, they’ll pant in order to cool themselves down. However, this also causes them to lose water from their tongue. To compensate for this loss, it may seem like your dog is drinking too much water, but it’s entirely natural for your dog to be drinking a lot when it’s hot. In fact, it’s important that dogs stay sufficiently hydrated in hot weather to help prevent heat stroke.

Activity levels

Highly active dogs drink more water to hydrate themselves after physical exercise and replenish their energy levels. Puppies in particular tend to be more active than adult dogs, which is why you may notice younger dogs drinking a lot. If your dog regularly engages in vigorous exercise, that could also be the reason why your dog is drinking a lot of water. Overweight dogs may drink a lot of water after a limited amount of activity, in which case you can work with a veterinarian to help your dog lose weight  and maintain a healthy body weight.


Certain medications can cause dogs to drink too much water. For example, anti-inflammatories, seizure medicine and corticosteroids can cause excessive thirst as a side effect in your dog. While you shouldn’t stop administering vet-prescribed medicine, you can speak with your veterinarian about the possible side effects, how to manage your dog’s increased thirst and potentially discuss alternative solutions.

Medical condition

If your dog is suddenly drinking lots of water, it might be that they have an underlying medical condition causing excessive thirst. For example, if your dog has diabetes or a kidney disease, this can cause them to urinate more often and therefore lead to your dog drinking more water. It’s important for dog parents to look out for other accompanying symptoms alongside any changes in behaviour, and seek veterinary advice if concerned.

There are other possible reasons why your dog is drinking so much water, such as their diet, which we look at further below.

Is my dog's increased water intake normal? 

In some cases, your dog’s increased water intake could be normal. For instance, a puppy’s kidneys are less efficient at concentrating urine, which means they urinate more often and therefore need to drink more water than adult dogs. Puppies and active dogs may be drinking so much water due to exercising more often. And of course, if it’s a hot day, dogs will need to drink a lot of water to stay hydrated, which is why it’s essential that dog parents know how to care for a dog in hot weather.

However, if your dog starts drinking lots of water suddenly, has a swollen belly or any other accompanying symptoms, their increased water intake might not be normal. We discuss when dog parents should be concerned about their dog’s excessive thirst here.

Could my dog's diet be causing excessive thirst?

Diet could be the reason why your dog is drinking so much water. Wet food has a higher moisture content than dry food, in which case dogs are likely to drink less water as they are still getting hydrated. However, if your dog only eats dry food, you may see your dog drinking more water in order to stay sufficiently hydrated. And as we’ve discussed, certain medications can also cause increased thirst as a side effect.

On the other hand, if you regularly give your dog human foods that are high in sodium (salt), this can lead to an electrolyte imbalance in your dog. This is because sodium draws water, meaning their kidneys will not be able to hold water properly, causing increased urination. This cycle will cause your dog to drink more water. Dog parents should refrain from offering human foods to dogs, especially high-salt foods, as sodium poisoning can cause severe health complications.

It’s important to serve your dog high-quality dog food that is specifically tailored to their age, size, health and dietary requirements. James Wellbeloved™ Superfoods provides a complete and balanced diet for your dog, containing all the essential nutrients they need to thrive in the right amounts and ratios. Made with selected natural ingredients, dog parents can rest assured that their dog is receiving quality nutrition for their overall health and well-being.

How can I manage my dog's water intake?

You can manage your dog’s water intake by establishing a regular drinking routine to prevent your dog from drinking too much water. This could include the following:

  • Fill your dog’s water bowl at the same time each day.
  • Measure the amount of water you put in for accuracy.
  • Measure how much is left at the end of the day.
  • Always thoroughly clean the bowl before replacing the water.
  • Learn about water intake for dogs  to ensure sufficient hydration. 

When should I be concerned about my dog's excessive thirst?

If your dog is drinking lots of water suddenly, has a swollen belly or is consistently showing signs of excessive thirst over an extended period of time, you may be concerned your dog is drinking too much water. It’s important that dog parents look out for any other symptoms or changes in behaviour and consult a veterinary expert  as soon as possible. For example, if your dog is experiencing gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting or diarrhoea, or is lethargic, has a loss of appetite, and/or showing signs of weakness, dog parents should be concerned. You should also seek veterinary help if your dog is seeking out water in strange places, such as drinking from puddles, as this can cause digestive upset and result in vomiting and diarrhoea.

As dog parents, it’s natural to worry about our dog’s behaviours. It’s important to observe the context around your dog’s behaviour in order to identify whether your dog drinking so much water could be considered normal or abnormal. If your dog is highly active on a hot day, it’s expected that your dog will be drinking a lot of water. However, if your dog has any known medical conditions, on prescribed medication, or is experiencing any other unusual symptoms, it’s best to speak with a veterinarian just in case. After all, we want the best for our dogs - which is why we’ve outlined 9 ways to keep your dog healthy and happy.