Dogs are messy, hit-and-miss drinkers, so it can sometimes be hard to know just how much water they get in a day.
Most need about an ounce of fluids per pound of body weight per day, so a 10-pound dog needs a bit over a cup of clean water daily. Really active or lactating dogs may need more and puppies generally drink more than adult dogs. If your dog drinks a lot more than that, it may signal a health problem. Read on to learn more.
The word “compulsive” describes the repetitive, irresistible urge to perform a behavior. A dog who displays compulsive behavior repeatedly performs one or more behaviors over and over, to the extent that it interferes with his normal life. The behavior he’s doing doesn’t seem to have any purpose, but he’s compelled to do it anyway. Some dogs will spend almost all their waking hours engaging in repetitive behaviors. They might lose weight, suffer from exhaustion and even physically injure themselves...
Many things can affect how much your dog drinks, from weather to activity level to diet.
Common sense should be your guide when it comes to your dog's thirst. If your canine companion is drinking so excessively you're noticing the change, it's probably time to talk to your vet who, with a few tests, can get at the root cause of your dog's increased thirst.
In the meantime, a few reasons why your dog might be unusually thirsty include:
Hot summer days, play, exercise, illness, infection -- all of these can lead to dehydration in dogs and trigger them to seek water. Along with increased thirst, signs that your pet may be dehydrated include: lethargy; dry gums and tongue; and thick rope-like saliva.
Dehydration can turn life threatening fast, so if you suspect your dog is very dehydrated, seek veterinary care right away. If your dog seems mildly dehydrated but is not vomiting, give your pet small amounts of water -- one teaspoon for a little dog, 1-2 tablespoons for larger dogs -- every ten minutes for a few hours.
Don't let your dog have free access to a lot of liquids when he is dehydrated, as drinking too much too fast could cause vomiting.
Sometimes, however, it may not be the condition itself causing your dog's excessive thirst, but the medication used to treat it. Talk to a vet about your dog's medication and its side effects; if drugs are behind your dog's thirst, the vet may be able to lower the dosage.