Polydipsia in Dogs

If your dog has begun to drink an abnormal amount of water, Polydipsia may to be to blame.

Defining Polydipsia

Polydipsia is a condition that is almost always a symptom to an underlining serious condition. This condition leaves your dog with an abnormal amount of thirst. If this progresses, then your dog will begin to look for water in places other than his water bowl, as such at the toilet.

It is important not to assume that your dog is drinking too much simply because he is hot. A general rule of thumb as to how much your dog should drink is that they should have 2.5 times the amount of water for every pound of dog food that they eat. If your dog is drinking more than this, it is something that you need to get checked out.

Often, Polydipsia will cause your dog to get Polyuria. Polyuria is a condition where your dog urinates too much.

Possible Underlining Causes

There are a number of possible underlining diseases that can cause Polydipsia to form.

  • Cushing's disease. A disease that occurs mostly in older dogs, this is a serious condition that is difficult to diagnose and treat. One of the first symptoms to appear with this disease is drinking too much water and an excessive need to urinate. Cushing's disease is not curable, but can be treated to help your dog become more comfortable.
  • Kidney failure. Another condition that is usually seen in older dogs—though it can happen to younger dogs, as well—this is an irreversible and very serious condition. One of the biggest symptoms of kidney failure is an abnormal increase of water intake. Kidney failure results from a wide variety of things, including poisoning, cancer, parasites or an overabundance of bacteria buildup, such as in the mouth as a result of gingivitis.
  • Diabetes Mellitus. Diabetes is another condition that has a strong symptom of increased water intake. Since diabetes causes your dog to lose nutrients, your dog will drink more than what is normal in an attempt to try to gain some of those nutrients back. The body craves more water in an attempt to lower blood-sugar levels, and the dog urinates more as a result.

Treatments for Polydipsia

First and foremost, your veterinarian must determine what underlining condition is causing the Polydipsia. It is only once this has been determined that the real problem can be treated.

How your dog is treated depends upon what the underlining cause for the condition is. It can range from insulin shots to medication. In most cases, a diet change will be needed to help aid your dog's recovery.


While most of the diseases that cause Polydipsia cannot be cured, they can often be stabilized and symptoms can be treated individually. Catching this condition early on is the most important part of determining your dog's outcome. The earlier that this is caught, the earlier the underlining disease can be recognized and the sooner treatment can begin.