If your dog drinks a lot and urinates a lot at the same time, this is a typical picture of a serious illness.
If your dog drinks a lot of water, this can have a harmless cause. However, if he also pees often and a lot, you should get to the bottom of the causes.
You can find out what these are and how you can react to them in this article.
In a nutshell: Why is my dog drinking so much?
Does your dog drink and urinate a lot? Then two symptoms may meet here, polyuria and polydipsia.
If your dog is very warm or has been physically strenuous, he will drink more and, as a result, urinate more. He needs the liquid to compensate. The same applies to fever or if he loses large amounts of fluid due to diarrhea or vomiting.
Polydipsia derives from the Greek for “much thirst” and means a pathologically increased thirst. Polyuria, also from the Greek, stands for increased urine production.
Both symptoms are usually interrelated. Increased drinking behavior means that your dog has to pee more and more often. Conversely, a dog that pees a lot also has an increased need for fluids.
It’s hard for you to tell if your dog is urinating a lot because he’s drinking a lot or if he’s drinking a lot because he’s peeing a lot. In order to find out the causes here, an examination by a veterinarian is essential.
How much drinking and urination is normal for dogs anyway?
As a rule of thumb, a normal and healthy amount of urine is no more than 50ml per pound of your dog’s bodyweight per day.
For a dog weighing 10 kg, the maximum sales amount is half a liter per day.
It is not necessarily easy to measure the amount of urine your dog has passed. Running after your dog with a measuring cup probably makes little sense.
It makes more sense to measure the amount you drink. Your dog needs about 60 ml of water per kilogram of body weight and day.
On warmer or physically demanding days, this can be up to 100 ml. For a dog weighing 10 kg, this results in a drinking volume of 600 ml to 1 liter per day.
However, these values also depend on the size and breed of your dog as well as its individuality. Although your dog may only be drinking 800ml, their water intake can still be pathologically high.
In principle, the only thing left for you to do is to observe your dog over a longer period of time to determine whether he is drinking and/or peeing more than usual.
In addition to physical exertion and outside temperatures, other factors for an increased but still healthy amount of liquid are the type of food.
Dry food increases the fluid requirement compared to moist and wet food. Here, an increased amount of drinking does not have to be due to a disease.
Stressful situations, vomiting or diarrhea also cause an increased drinking volume without there being an interaction between polyuria and polydipsia.
Dog drinks & urinates a lot: 3 causes
The causes of excessive drinking and urination are widely spread. Essentially, however, these can be concentrated on the three most common causes:
- A chronic kidney failure
- Hyperadrenocorticism caused by too high a cortisol concentration, also called Cushing’s syndrome
- Diabetes (diabetes mellitus)
Regardless of the causes and symptoms, there is relatively little you can do yourself. Only veterinary treatment or therapy will cure or alleviate the following diseases.
Chronic renal failure
This is a condition where the function of your dog’s kidneys progressively deteriorates over a period of time.
The typical symptoms of polyuria and polydipsia usually only occur when more than two thirds of the kidneys have been destroyed.
Other symptoms include your dog losing weight and a poor and listless general condition, as well as vomiting and loss of appetite. Occasionally, pale mucous membranes can also be observed.
Hyperadrenocorticism / Cushing’s syndrome
Smaller dogs up to 20 kg body weight are usually affected by this condition. This is a pathologically increased production of the stress hormone cortisol in the adrenal glands.
In addition to the increased drinking and urinating behavior, affected dogs often have an increased, almost insatiable appetite. Other symptoms include increased and seemingly causeless panting, a barrel-shaped abdomen, and patches of hairless skin on the flanks.
Dark-colored and thin skin and poor performance can also be an indication of Cushing’s syndrome.
One of the most common hormone diseases in dogs is diabetes mellitus. A lack of insulin leads to a pathological increase in blood sugar levels in the affected dogs.
In addition to increased thirst and urination, many dogs lose weight despite developing an increased appetite. Occasional symptoms include a dull and scaly coat and clouding of the lens of the eye. The latter can lead to the blindness of the dog.
If your dog drinks a lot and pees, there may be other causes besides those described. These include hypothyroidism, another hormone condition that should be treated by a veterinarian.
If your dog is already being treated for a known condition and is on medication, the side effects can be a trigger for the symptoms.
Poisoning and liver diseases are also possible.
A diet low in sodium or protein can also increase the need to drink and urinate.
When to the vet?
If you observe increased drinking and peeing behavior, you should consider a vet visit. However, if there are other symptoms, you should act quickly and consult a veterinarian immediately.
- If the symptoms came on unexpectedly and suddenly and your dog is in a very poor general condition.
- If you cannot rule out poisoning
- If other symptoms such as diarrhea and/or vomiting occur.
How can I support my dog?
There’s little you can do for your dog here other than get them veterinary attention and give them the rest they need. In consultation with the veterinarian, you can treat your dog with medication and, if necessary, change the diet.
Sufficient exercise and a lot of attention to your darling also support and alleviate his suffering.
If your dog drinks and urinates a lot, it usually has something to do with hormones or the internal organs. Self-therapy is not recommended here. Specialist medical expertise will help your dog best.