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Why Does My Dog Drink So Much Water At Night? 15 Reasons

Why Does My Dog Drink So Much Water At Night?

Is your dog drinking a lot of water at night (all of a sudden)?

If so…

There are some important things you should know about.

Continue reading to discover:

  • How much water your dog should drink daily.
  • 15 real reasons why your dog drinks so much water at night.
  • Exactly what you should do if your dog drinks a lot of water at night.
  • And more…

Why does my dog drink so much water at night?

The reason why your dog drinks so much water at night could be a behavioral issue, an urinary tract infection (UTI), dehydration, diabetes, diarrhea, poisoning, a kidney or liver disease or failure, a change in diet, dry environmental air, Cushing’s syndrome, bladder or kidney stones.

How much water should my dog drink?

How much water your dog should drink depends on the food they’re fed (wet or kibble, salty snacks during the day), their energy level, and size. According to Kirk’s Current Veterinary Therapy XIII, a good outline to have in mind is 20-70ml/kg of water per day for a healthy dog.

15 reasons why your dog drinks so much water at night

#1: Behavioral issue (polydipsia)

When your vet has confirmed that your dog is in top health, then the excessive water drinking might be due to a behavioral problem.

So, what drives your dog to act like that?

Several possibilities to consider:

  • Your dog is bored.
  • Your furry friend is a water-loving dog.
  • Drinking much water has become a habit.
  • Your dog didn’t have access to water for a certain period of time and is compensating.
  • Dogs who are competitive in nature might drink most of the water if not all of it, to prevent other dogs from having some. (This applies if you have a second dog or when you give water during walks).

#2: Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

Urinary tract infection is painful and could be dangerous for your dog. This type of infection is common to smaller animals.

The symptoms of UTI are:

  • Bloody urine.
  • Difficulty urinating.
  • Bad-smelling urine.
  • Excessive urination.

Your vet will examine a urine sample to see whether your dog has a UTI or not.

#3: Dehydration

Now, this is something to consider, especially during the hot summer months.

Has your dog been vomiting or having diarrhea?

Then they could be dehydrated and hence drinking water to compensate for the loss of fluids during the day.

Dehydration could also occur due to a lot of play, exercise, an illness, or some kind of infection.

Signs of dehydration are:

  • Lethargy.
  • Thick saliva.
  • Dry tongue and gums.

Caution: Dehydration can become life-threatening very fast. If you notice your dog is dehydrated, seek veterinary help right away.

Keep in mind that if your dog is dehydrated, you should give them small amounts of water at a time. One teaspoon every 10 minutes for a small dog is okay, while 1 tablespoon is recommended for bigger dogs.

The goal is to prevent the dog from gulping a lot of water at once as it can lead to vomiting.

#4: Diabetes

Although dogs like eating sweets when they find such on the ground, a dog could have diabetes for a different reason.

There are two types of diabetes – diabetes mellitus and diabetes insipidus.

Diabetes mellitus is more common in dogs than diabetes insipidus.

Signs of a dog suffering from diabetes include:

  • Nausea.
  • Lethargy.
  • Vomiting.
  • Cataracts.
  • Blindness.
  • Losing weight.
  • Excessive thirst.
  • Excessive urination.
  • Chronic skin infections.

Excessive thirst and urination are caused due to the body’s attempt to lower the concentration of high blood glucose levels.

Luckily, diabetes could be detected by your vet running bloodwork. Then appropriate treatment will be selected to regulate the sugar levels of the blood.

#5: Diarrhea

Dog Meme Diarrhea

Diarrhea could signal a life-threatening illness that your dog is suffering from.

Regardless of what caused diarrhea, if not treated on time, it can become serious and dangerous.

Some of the tests for diagnosing your dog include ultrasound, X-rays, and bloodwork.

#6: Kidney stones

Kidney stones occur when the urine of the dogs becomes high in acid. Then, minerals are not broken down by the urine and salt crystals start to build up and create stones.

If there are a lot of minerals in the blood or urine, this could lead to the creation of stones.

Signs of kidney stones include:

  • Fever.
  • Lethargy.
  • Vomiting.
  • Kidney pain.
  • Bloody urine.
  • Weight loss.
  • Lack of appetite.
  • Abdominal pain.

Some of the treatments created for dogs with kidney stones increase water intake.

#7: Poisoning

Typical cases of poisoning after which the dog drinks excessive amounts of water are antifreeze poisoning and salt poisoning.

Antifreeze is a liquid designed to protect the car’s radiator from overheating or freezing. Even small amounts of antifreeze can be deadly for animals such as dogs and cats, and even to humans.

What’s more, both canines and felines find antifreeze tasty. This makes it super easy for them to become victims of non-pet lovers who have thrown away food soaked with antifreeze to eliminate strays.

Once ingested, antifreeze leads to kidney failure.

Signs of antifreeze poisoning include the dog emitting large amounts of urine and vomiting.

Caution: If you have witnessed your dog eating food containing antifreeze or licking antifreeze, take them immediately to the vet. A dog’s life could be saved if the dog is presented to the vet as soon as possible after ingesting antifreeze (a few hours after ingestion).

The vet can diagnose the dog by putting them through blood and urine tests.

The vet will make the dog vomit as well as put activated charcoal in the stomach.

As to salt poisoning, it can be deadly if not treated after it occurs…

Signs of salt poisoning include:

  • Coma.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Lethargy.
  • Seizures.
  • Confusion.
  • Muscle tremors.
  • Lack of energy.
  • Lack of appetite.
  • Increased heart rate (tachycardia).

#8: Kidney disease/failure

Kidney failure occurs when the kidneys are unable to get rid of toxins in the body through urination.

When the kidneys of a dog are not functioning properly, the dog feels the need to ingest more and more water.

Even though the dog could drink much water, at some point this amount won’t be enough to eliminate the toxins that have begun to build up.

Signs of kidney failure in dogs include:

#9: Dietary changes

Do you feed your dog more dry or canned wet food?

If the answer is ‘dry’, you’d probably be surprised to learn that kibble-fed dogs need more water to stay hydrated.

It’s okay to give your dog a combination of the two to ensure they’re not getting too thirsty during the day or night.

#10: Dry environmental air

Do you use an air conditioner at home?

If so, I can’t blame you. So do I.

That’s the reason why I leave the door of the bedroom open during the night so that Lissa (my long-haired Chihuahua mix) can go to drink water if she feels the need to.

If you wish to have the door of the room closed while the air conditioner is on, the you could leave a water bowl for your dog so they don’t scratch or jump at the door.

You could also introduce an air humidifier if the air conditioner is almost on all the time.

#11: Liver disease/failure

A unique quality of the liver is that it can regenerate if it’s been damaged. But unfortunately, that’s possible up to a certain point.

So what happens after that?

The dog’s body can no longer assimilate toxins, so they stay in the dog’s system. The dog then begins to drink more water. This is the body’s reaction to stop the toxins from building up in the bloodstream.

Signs of liver failure include:

  • Diarrhea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Sudden bad breath.
  • Yellowish tongue, gums, and/or eyes.

#12: Bladder stones

Bladder stones look like tiny rocks and form in the bladder of the dog. It could either be one stone that’s causing the problem or several of them. Often the stones vary in size.

Signs of bladder stones include:

  • Vomiting.
  • Bloody urine.
  • Bloated stomach.
  • Change of energy level.
  • Frequent urination in small quantities.
  • Abdominal pain around the kidney area.

#13: Cushing’s syndrome

Cushing’s syndrome, also known as spontaneous hypercortisolism (HC) is characterized by the overproduction of cortisol. It affects middle-aged dogs and older ones.

study shows that some dog breeds such as Boxer, Poodle, and Dachshund are predisposed to Cushing’s syndrome as they age.

One of the main symptoms is increased thirst.

The good news is that a dog suffering from this disorder can be treated.

#14: Side effect of medication

There’s plenty of medication which side effects provoke excessive thirst in dogs.

This shouldn’t worry you, as when vets prescribe certain medications, they usually warn you about what you can expect.

What’s good is that once the dog is off the medication, they should stop feeling thirst so often. If that doesn’t happen, get in touch with your vet.

Caution: Don’t stop your dog’s medicine even if you suspect this is what’s causing the excessive thirst. Instead, consult with your vet about it in the process of treatment.

#15: Addison’s disease

Addison’s disease is called “the great pretender”, as it can easily be mistaken for another disease.

This disease is also known as hypoadrenocorticism.

Besides increased thirst, signs of Addison’s disease include:

  • Diarrhea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Lethargy.
  • Weight loss.
  • Increased urination.
  • Shaking episodes could be seen.

4 tips on what to do if your dog drinks so much water at night

#1: Take notes

It’s a simple and a very often neglected tip.

But the better you’re able to describe the situation to the vet, the faster and easier it will be for them to get to the bottom of this. And the bigger the chances are that your dog will get appropriate treatment if they need one.

That’s why keeping track of how many times a night your dog drinks water is useful. How often they do so will also be helpful information when you discuss your dog’s behavior with your vet.

You should keep an eye on the urinating behaviors of your dog as well. Drinking water and urinating go hand in hand and the specifics can tell your vet a lot about your dog’s health.

Another thing to include is when the behavior started. Has anything happened to your dog before that?

Last but not least, note all the questions you might have about your dog drinking much water at night.

#2: Do not limit your dog’s access to water

Are you a light sleeper? Or do you allow your dog to sleep in bed with you?

If the answer is ‘yes’, then most probably they wake you up whenever they go to drink water and come back.

So, you’re ‘forced’ to look for a solution.

It’s important to cross one ‘solution’ off the list and this is removing your dog’s bowl for the night or closing the door of your bedroom.

Caution: Not allowing your dog to drink water whenever they need to during the night can lead to dehydration.

When a dog drinks a lot of water but also urinates often, they can get easily dehydrated if you withdraw their water.

In case you decide to remove the water for a while, pay attention to your dog. Don’t leave them alone without water.

When you’re with them and notice that they’re getting the water out of their body through urinating, allow free access to water.

#3: Take your dog to the vet

For maximum clarity and accuracy on your dog’s health condition, visit your vet.

Before you bring your dog to the vet’s office call them and ask if you’ll need to prepare anything. They could ask you to bring a urine sample.

Be prepared to tell them the brand of food you’re feeding your dog with, more about their exercise routine, big changes that might have happened recently. Also, don’t forget to take your dog’s passport.

The vet will then do a physical exam and advice you to run some laboratory tests. These will help to cross off some of the causes and get to the bottom of the issue.

#4: Put a timer on the air conditioner at night

It’d be worth it to test whether the dog is not experiencing severe thirst due to an air conditioner that is running all night long.

Have you noticed how your mouth and eyes get dry because of it? Well, if so, maybe your dog experiences the same.

You can check whether this is the cause of your dog’s thirst by setting a timer. You could go to bed and program the air conditioner to switch off after one or two hours.

Do this for two or three nights in a row, if your dog doesn’t appear to have a health problem after being checked by a vet.

Does your dog still drink tremendous amounts of water? It could have something to do with a behavioral issue.

Carla Lloyd

Wednesday 7th of October 2020

Hallo. It’s 4am!! And Mammys Gorgeous Darling Boy, (aka Bouncy Boy) has jumped up suddenly, Woke Wallace(African Grey) who’s now screaming ‘Help! Get The Police!!’, John Thomas,(Jack Russell) has fallen off bed and I’ve bumped my head on bed side table...glad of all yr info. Thx

Petya Natcheva

Friday 9th of October 2020

Hi Carla,

Great to hear that you appreciate my articles. Let me know if you have any specific questions that I can help you with :)

Cheers, Petya

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