Dog Is Always Thirsty

An unusual amount of water intake could indicate several serious health issues.


Q: I have an 11-year-old Mixed Breed dog who drinks an enormous amount of water, which results in many accidents in the house (good thing I have tile). However, when I am not around to clean up his mess and I find it later, it is sticky. What could be making him so thirsty?

A: Veterinarians are always on the lookout for dogs that are drinking more water, because it could mean there is some serious underlying issue.

The three most common diseases associated with increased water intake are diabetes mellitus, kidney failure, Cushing’s Disease, thyroid disease and diabetes insipidus. These all can be diagnosed with blood and urine tests, but sometimes it is not so obvious.

Does your dog seem sick otherwise? Do the periods of lethargy seem abnormal or increased? It is time for a "geriatric" workup from your vet, where a baseline blood panel and urinalysis will be done. That will rule out most of the diseases listed, as well as others not on the list.

As far as the sticky urine goes, that is pretty typical on a hard surface after the water component evaporates. As long as there is no visible blood or other discoloration, it is most likely not a serious issue.

Good luck and thank you for your question.
Jon Geller, DVM

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