Why is my dog drinking and urinating a lot?

Posted by MyDogDoc on

If you notice your dog drinking or urinating more than usual this could indicate an underlying problem

  • There are many reasons a dog may have increased thirst and urination

  • If your dog has been drinking or urinating more than usual for a few days, contact your vet.

  • Try to take a fresh urine sample, in a clean pot, to your vet appointment.

How much a dog drinks will naturally vary slightly day to day, depending on air temperature and amount of exercise. Dogs eating dry food will drink more than those on wet food. Mothers suckling puppies will also drink more.

Many people notice their dog is urinating more often, but this will be because they drinking more than usual. Drinking more and urinating more usually happen together, since one will cause the other.
Although it can be frustrating to have a dog wanting to go to the toilet all the time, it is important not to withhold water from your dog- they are drinking more because they are losing too much water and it needs replacing!

How can I tell if my dog is drinking and weeing too much?

Signs your dog has excessive thirst and/or urination include:

  • Needing to fill their water bowl more often

  • Drinking from puddles, toilets, and other sources

  • Needing to let them out to urinate more often

  • Accidents in the house

  • Vomiting water

If you suspect your dog is drinking or urinating more than usual, it’s a good idea to measure their water intake over 24 hours, and repeat for a few days. To do this, use a measuring jug to fill their bowl and keep a record of how much they have drunk.

If their 24 hour water intake is more than 100ml per kg of body weight on average (more than 1 litre per 10kg bodyweight) then you need to speak to a vet.

What can cause excessive thirst and urination in dogs?

The medical term for drinking too much is polydipsia and the medical term for urninating too much is polyuria. We call this PUPD for short.

Common causes of PUPD include:

  • Urine infections, these usually present as urinating little and often, straining and bloody urine.

  • Uterus infections in females that have not been spayed (also known as a pyometra), these usually happen 2-3 months after a season and cause vomiting and lethargy. They are a medical emergency.

  • Diabetes, where the blood sugar rises due to a lack of insulin.

  • Kidney disease, which is more common in older dogs.

  • Liver disease

  • Cushing’s disease, a hormonal disease which causes too much cortisol, a stress hormone.

  • Cancer

How is the cause of increased drinking and urinating diagnosed?

With so many possible causes, getting an accurate diagnosis can sometimes mean doing more than one test and may take a little time! Your vet will start by taking a full history, examining your dog, and running some blood and urine tests.

It will help speed things along if you can bring a fresh urine sample to your appointment, caught the same day, in a clean container.

Depending on the results of the blood and urine tests, your vet may be able to make a diagnosis, or may arrange for further tests such as an ultrasound scan.

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