Dogs go through several physiological changes as they grow older. However, excessive water drinking isn’t one of these changes. If you’ve been asking “Why does my old dog drink so much water?” lately, it’s time to pay attention. Unless your old dog has been taking prednisone for medication, a significant increase in water intake usually indicates an underlying disease or medical problem. Such diseases include, but are not limited to, kidney failure, diabetes, and Cushing’s disease.
1. Kidney failure
The kidneys are the organs responsible for filtering waste materials produced by the body. When kidney failure occurs, the kidneys are unable to hold on to their water-concentrating ability. As a result, there is a loss of excess water via the urine. To compensate for this loss, the body sends out the appropriate signals that trigger an increase in water intake. Other than asking “Why does my old dog drink so much water?” you may also wonder why your old dog is suddenly experiencing a change in his urinary habits. If this sounds like you, head to the vet quickly as your furry friend may be having kidney problems.
Yes, dogs can get diabetes too. The condition is called canine diabetes mellitus. This is when glucose levels in the blood shoot past normal. This occurs when the beta cells in the pancreas, or the cells that help regulate the level of insulin in the body, are destroyed. Low insulin levels translate to high glucose levels in the blood. Just like in humans, drinking too much water is one of the first signs of diabetes. When you find yourself asking “Why does my old dog drink so much water?” schedule a trip to the vet to have your four-legged friend’s blood sugar tested.
3. Cushing’s disease
Cushing’s disease is a disease with hormonal causes. This takes place when the adrenal glands—the glands in charge of growth and development, stress-dealing ability, and kidney function—produce an excessive amount of cortisol. Too much cortisol leads to significant water loss through urination, which, in turn, leads to an increase in water intake. To know for sure if your old dog has Cushing’s disease, bring him to the vet for the appropriate diagnosis.
Or maybe your dog isn’t drinking too much water. On an average, dogs require about 30 ml. of water per pound of weight every 24 hours. If you’re concerned about the amount of water your dog is drinking, measure how much she’s drinking and compare that to the average. Yes, she may drinking more than she did when she was younger, but it might still be in the “normal” range. If not, then a trip to the vet is a must.