Pet Doc: Excessive water drinking


    Tripp joined the Pet Doc to talk about excessive water drinking. (KHGI)

    Pet Doc Dr. Dennis Larsen said you may want to be concerned if your pet is drinking a lot of water.

    “Normal water consumption of a dog is around is one half to one ounce of water per pound per day, so a dog that weighs 10 pounds would drink from five to 10 ounces of water per day; which would be about one cup of water per day. A 60-pound dog would normally drink around 60 ounces which would be about half of a gallon per day. A ten-pound cat on the average will drink about one cup of water per day, the same as a ten pound dog.

    “The term is polydypsia and when a pet drinks more water than normal there is excessive urination, when that happens it is called polyuria.”

    Dr. Larsen said the amount of water a pet diagnosed with polyuria will drink can vary.

    “On the average it is about twice as much or more from what the average water consumption would be, so a 10 pound dog or cat that drinks two cups of water a day or a 60 pound dog that drinks one gallon of water per day would be considered to have polydypsia, and all that water has to be passed through the urinary system and they would have polyuria.

    “The cause of excessive water consumption can be from excessive urination and when too much fluid is being lost through urination the body needs to maintain normal water balance through drinking more and more water.

    “The best way to measure how much water [a pet is drinking] is subtracting how much is replaced for fresh water. Do this for several days to get a daily average. If you believe that is excessive, call your pet’s veterinarian as your pet may have a health issue.”

    Dr. Larsen said it’s not advisable to take a pet’s water bowl away at night.

    “Once the diagnosis has been made for the polydypsia or polyuria it may be possible to limit the nighttime water consumption but it depends upon the reason for the excessive thirst.

    “The most common cause is diabetes, followed by kidney disease or urinary tract disease, other fairly common causes are Cushing’s disease and phycogenic polydyspia, which is compulsive water drinking.”

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