Does your old dog drink a lot of water? As dogs age, they often show changes in habits. Many senior dogs eat and exercise less, but their sleep and water intake may increase.
While a slight increase in drinking is normal, excessive water consumption can be a warning sign of more serious health issues, particularly in their golden years. Read on to understand the signs to watch out for.
Identify excessive thirst in dogs
Excessive Thirst in Dogs, known as polydipsia, can be a concerning health issue for your furry companion if left unattended. If you notice your dog consistently consuming a larger amount of water than usual over several days, it’s crucial to promptly seek the expertise of your veterinarian, particularly as your dog enters its senior years. Timely intervention can help identify underlying causes and ensure the well-being of your beloved pet.
Common causes of your old dog drinking a lot of water
When dogs exhibit excessive thirst or your dog drinks a lot of water, it may be a sign of one or more of the following conditions:
- Common symptoms include increased water intake, often resulting from elevated blood sugar levels.
- Manageable through dietary changes and insulin injections.
- Kidney disease:
- Conditions such as kidney stones, infections, or kidney failure can lead to increased urination and, consequently, heightened thirst.
- Cushing’s syndrome:
- Caused by tumors in the adrenal or pituitary glands, leading to an overproduction of cortisol.
- Treatment may involve medication or surgery, depending on the tumor’s size and location.
- An infection of the uterus is more common in unspayed female dogs.
- Requires immediate surgical intervention, intravenous nutrition, and antibiotics.
Other causes of excessive thirst in old dogs
Several other factors can contribute to your old dog drinking a lot of water, including but not limited to:
- Liver disease
- Medications (e.g., steroids and diuretics)
Keep a close eye on your senior dog’s energy levels, urinary and bowel habits, temperament, and appetite. If excessive thirst is accompanied by other behavioral changes, it further underscores the need for veterinary attention. Try to remain calm, as pets can sense anxiety. Many conditions, when detected early, can be effectively managed or cured.
When to seek veterinary help
It’s crucial to know when increased water consumption in your senior dog warrants a visit to the vet. While some changes in drinking habits are normal with age, certain signs indicate that professional help is needed:
- Persistent changes in drinking habits: If you notice your dog consistently drinking more water than usual for several days, it’s a red flag. This is especially true if the change in water intake is sudden or drastic.
- Accompanying symptoms: Be alert for other symptoms accompanying the increased thirst. These can include changes in urination patterns (frequency or amount), weight loss, changes in appetite, lethargy, vomiting, or diarrhea.
- Behavioral changes: Any notable changes in your dog’s behavior or energy levels, alongside increased thirst, should be taken seriously. Dogs that become more withdrawn or show signs of discomfort may be experiencing internal issues.
- Underlying health conditions: If your dog has a history of health problems like diabetes or kidney issues, increased water intake can be a sign of exacerbation. In such cases, prompt veterinary attention is even more crucial.
- Age-Related concerns: Given that older dogs are more susceptible to various health issues, any significant change in their routine, including drinking habits, should be monitored closely.
- Preventative care: Regular check-ups are important for senior dogs. If it’s been a while since your dog’s last vet visit, schedule one, even if they seem healthy. This can help catch any developing issues early.
What to do before the vet visit
Read more details about preparing for a vet visit from Pet Vet Guide, and here are 3 easy steps for you:
- Keep a Record: Document your dog’s water intake, noting any other changes in behavior or physical condition. This information can be invaluable to your veterinarian in diagnosing the issue.
- Stay Calm: Remember, dogs can sense your anxiety. Stay calm and reassuring around your pet to avoid causing them additional stress.
- Prepare for the Appointment: Gather any relevant medical records or notes about your dog’s health history to bring to the vet. This includes details about any medications or supplements your dog is taking.
Plus, during the vet visits, you might also want to discuss the benefits of a quality dog harness for your senior pet.
A well-designed harness, like our tactical dog safety harness, offers great support and comfort for your older dog, especially during walks and outdoor activities. It can be a great addition to their routine, keeping them safe and happy!
By understanding these signs and acting promptly, you can ensure that your senior dog receives the care they need, potentially preventing more serious health issues. Always remember, when in doubt, it’s better to err on the side of caution and consult with a veterinarian.