dog drinking water from red bowl

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

Have you noticed your furry senior companion trotting back and forth to their water bowl more frequently? It’s not just a quirky new habit; an older dog gulping down more water than usual can be puzzling—and a bit worrying—for any pet owner.

Your once moderate drinker may now seem to have an insatiable thirst, prompting the question: why is my senior dog drinking so much water?

One key fact to keep in mind is that changes in drinking habits can be indicative of health issues, particularly in our aging pups. For instance, kidney disease often leads to increased thirst and could be one factor behind this unusual behavior.

Our article explores common reasons for excessive water intake among senior dogs: from medical conditions like diabetes or kidney failure to the effects of certain medications.

As we delve into various causes that might lead your loyal friend to seek extra hydration, we’ll also share how you can identify signs of trouble and take decisive action. By providing fresh insights and actionable advice, our guide will help ensure the well-being of your beloved old-timer.

Key Takeaways

  • Old dogs drink more water if they have health problems like kidney disease or diabetes, or because of their medicine.
  • Big changes in how much water a senior dog drinks can be a sign that they are not well. You should take them to the vet quickly.
  • Some signs that your senior dog is drinking too much include going to the bathroom more often, losing weight, and seeming tired.
  • To help a thirsty older dog, watch how much water they drink and talk about their food with the vet. Make sure they get enough fun and love too.
  • If you see your old dog drinking lots of water all of a sudden, act fast to keep them healthy and happy.

Symptoms of Increased Water Intake in Dogs

Excessive water drinking in senior dogs might indicate an underlying health issue. Keep an eye out for frequent urination, weight loss, or a change in energy level.

Additionally, if you notice your dog panting heavily or showing signs of discomfort while urinating, consult a vet immediately.

golden retriever drinking from plastic container

Why Do Senior Dogs Drink More Water?

Senior dogs often need more water than younger ones. Their bodies are changing, and they can have health problems that make them thirsty.

Drinking lots of water might mean your old friend is not feeling well. It could be something easy to fix or something serious like liver disease or cancer.

Dogs with kidney trouble may drink a lot to help flush out toxins. If a dog has diabetes, there’s too much sugar in their blood, and they drink to stay balanced.

Sometimes medicines can make your dog very thirsty too.

Always watch how much your senior dog drinks so you can spot any big changes right away. If you see them drinking more than usual, it’s smart to talk to the vet fast.

Common Causes of Increased Water Intake in Senior Dogs


Dehydration happens when your senior dog doesn’t have enough water in their body. It can make them very thirsty and lead to drinking lots of water. Think about hot days or after a long walk, your old buddy might pant more and seem extra thirsty.

These are times when they need more water than usual.

But there’s more to it for older dogs. Their bodies might not handle water the same way younger pups do. If you notice your senior dog is always at the bowl gulping down water, this could be a sign that something’s wrong inside where you can’t see, like kidney issues or other health problems.

They may feel thirsty all the time because their system isn’t keeping the right balance of fluids anymore, so they drink excessive amounts of water trying to fix it themselves.

Always give them clean and fresh water to drink and keep an eye on how much they’re taking in – if it seems too much, a trip to the veterinarian can help figure out what’s going on.

Kidney Failure

Kidney failure in senior dogs is serious. It means their kidneys can’t clean the blood well anymore. This can make your dog very thirsty and drink lots of water.

Their body tries to flush out bad stuff through more pee, so they need extra water to do this. Your old friend might also have trouble peeing or feel sick because the toxins build up in their body when kidneys fail.

If you see these signs, it’s time to take a trip to the vet. They can check if kidney problems are causing your dog’s thirst for water.

Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes Mellitus, commonly known as diabetes, can cause a senior dog to drink lots of water. This happens because the high sugar levels in their blood make them feel extremely thirsty.

If your senior dog is drinking more water than usual and also urinating frequently, it’s essential to consult a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment. Diabetes can impact a dog’s overall health, including their kidney and liver functions.

So, keeping an eye on excessive drinking habits can help identify potential health issues early on.

Cushing’s Disease

Senior dogs with Cushing’s disease might show signs of increased thirst and urination. This is because the disease causes an overproduction of cortisol, leading to more water intake and frequent bathroom breaks.

Excessive drinking can be a red flag for this condition, and it’s essential to consult a vet for proper diagnosis and treatment. In some cases, Cushing’s disease can also cause other symptoms like weight gain, potbelly, muscle weakness, and hair loss.

Remember that if you notice your senior dog drinking a lot more water than usual or displaying any concerning symptoms such as increased appetite along with unusual panting, it could indicate Cushing’s disease or another underlying health issue.

old dog drinking from blue bowl

Medication side effects

Keep an eye out for any changes in your dog’s behavior or health when starting new medications. Some medications can make senior dogs drink more water than usual. This increased thirst might be a side effect of the medicine they are taking for other health issues.

If you notice your older dog drinking a lot more water after starting a new medication, it’s essential to talk to your vet. They can help determine if the medication is causing the excessive thirst and suggest alternatives if needed.

Excessive water intake due to medication side effects can impact a senior dog’s overall well-being, so it’s crucial to seek guidance from a veterinarian when observing such changes in their drinking habits.

Uterine infection

Uterine infection can cause increased water intake in senior dogs. This condition, also known as pyometra, occurs when the uterus becomes infected, leading to symptoms such as excessive thirst and urination.

If you notice your senior dog drinking more water than usual and displaying other concerning signs like lethargy and fever, it’s crucial to seek veterinary care promptly. Uterine infections can pose serious health risks for older dogs and may require immediate medical intervention to ensure the well-being of your beloved pet.

High blood calcium

High blood calcium in senior dogs, also known as hypercalcemia, can lead to increased water consumption. Hypercalcemia may be caused by conditions like cancer or kidney disease, which are more common in older dogs.

Excessive thirst can be a sign of these serious health issues. It’s essential to have your senior dog checked by a veterinarian if you notice an increase in water intake alongside symptoms like vomiting or lack of appetite.

This can help identify and address any underlying health problems promptly.

Steps to Take If Your Senior Dog Is Drinking More Water

If you notice your senior dog drinking more water than usual, it’s essential to take the following steps to ensure their health and well-being:

Schedule a Visit with Your Veterinarian

  • Arrange an appointment with your veterinarian to have your senior dog examined and discuss the increased water intake.
  • The vet can conduct tests to identify any underlying health issues causing the excessive drinking.

Monitor Water Intake

  • Keep track of how much water your senior dog is consuming each day.
  • Note any sudden changes or patterns in their drinking behavior.

Adjust Diet and Nutrition

  • Review your dog’s diet with the vet to ensure it’s suitable for their age and health condition.
  • Specific dietary adjustments might help manage excessive thirst in senior dogs.

Assess Physical Activity Levels

  • Evaluate your dog’s exercise routine and overall activity levels.
  • Increased physical activity can contribute to higher water consumption, so understanding their daily movements is important.

Provide Comfort and Support

  • Offer comfort and support to your senior dog as they undergo medical examinations and potential treatment.
  • Ensure they have access to fresh water at all times while being mindful of their increased thirst.
bulldog drinking from glass bowl


In conclusion, understanding why your senior dog is drinking excessive water is crucial. By recognizing the potential causes and symptoms, you can promptly seek veterinary care if needed.

Providing fresh water and monitoring their intake are simple yet effective strategies to ensure your senior dog’s well-being. Remember, early detection of health issues through increased water intake can lead to better outcomes for your beloved pet.

Take proactive steps to address any concerns about your senior dog’s excessive thirst, ultimately promoting their health and happiness in their golden years.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it normal for a senior dog to drink a lot of water?

It’s common for senior dogs to need more water, but if you’ve noticed your beloved senior dog drinking more than usual, it might be a sign that something’s up.

Why might my older dog suddenly start drinking excessive amounts of water?

When your dog starts gulping down water and can’t seem to get enough, they could be dealing with something like a urinary tract infection or other issues that increase their thirst.

How much water should my healthy senior dog drink each day?

Every dog is unique, but a good rule of thumb is about an ounce of water per pound of body weight daily – just make sure there’s always fresh water available!

What should I do if I think my dog is drinking too much?

If your instincts tell you your furry friend’s thirst has kicked into overdrive, take them to the veterinarian. It’s best to check things out and ensure everything’s okay.

Can changes in how much my senior dog drinks point to health problems?

Definitely! If there’s an uptick in how much your pal drinks – way beyond what they normally would – it could hint at health concerns that need checking out.

As a pet owner, what can I do about my old dog’s increased thirst?

Keep tabs on their water bowl and monitor their intake; provide plenty of fresh H2O and chat with the vet if you spot any big shifts in how thirsty they are or trouble when trying to urinate.

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Written by Tom Cashman

I have grown up with pets for almost fifty years. My family has strong ties to the animal shelter community in Chicago. Currently I have two cats: an orange tabby named Zelda, and a gray mixed named Zander. Like all of my pets, they were adopted from a local animal shelter. Pet Zone represents my passion for sharing with the pet community.

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Why Is My Senior Dog Drinking So Much Water?

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