Why Do Older Dogs Drink A Lot Of Water? (Everything You Need To Know)

“Why do older dogs drink a lot of water?” is a common question that confuses many pet owners as their canine companions age. Just like humans, aging dogs may experience changes in their health and behavior, and an increased water intake is often one such notable change.

In this blog post, we’ll explore why do older dogs drink more water and how to address it.

Why Do Older Dogs Drink a Lot of Water (Everything You Need to Know)

As you notice your dog slowly getting older and time passes, you may have noticed that they seem to have a stronger thirst for water. This is undeniably natural in most senior pets, but there are also some things you should be aware of as a responsible pet owner.

Certain excessive drinking habits can simply result from ageing, but there are also some more worrisome things that this can be a symptom of, which we should be aware of.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about why do older dogs drink more water than usual and what you should do about it as their owner.

Why Do Older Dogs Drink More Water: Key Points

An older dog drinking lots of water can be a cause for concern. There are many things we should consider, including environmental changes.

For example, your dog will naturally drink more water as the weather becomes hotter, and vice versa in the winter. It’s crucial to recognize how external factors may contribute to the occurrence of an older dog drinking lots of water.

If your older dog drinking lots of water more than usual for a few days, a trip to your veterinarian is the safest bet.

This is mainly because excessive drinking is a key symptom of many other medical issues, such as bladder infections and kidney disease.

A veterinarian will likely perform a head-to-toe examination of the dog to check for medical issues, likely take blood and occasionally ask for a stool or urine sample.

Having breeding history and other documentation can also be helpful in this diagnosis.

How Much Water Should My Dog Be Drinking?

Why Do Older Dogs Drink a Lot of Water

Before diagnosing excessive or over-drinking, we need to know how much a dog should drink normally. Understanding the question, ‘why do older dogs drink more water?’ becomes crucial in assessing their hydration needs.

How much water your dog may need can depend on a few factors: the level of activity they have undertaken, the time of year, the temperature, and their health.

Generally, your dog should drink around 1 to 2 mililiters per kilogram of body weight per hour. Or 25 to 50 ml of water per kilogram of body weight per day. Let’s look at an example:

A 10kg dog, such as a Jack Russell Terrier, would be expected to drink around 480ml (almost half a pint) per 24 hours. Therefore, a 20kg dog, such as a Standard Poodle, should drink around 1 liter (or 1 pint) of water per day.

Is your older dog drinking lots of water? Let’s take a look at some of the most popular dog breeds and the average maximum amount of water they should be drinking a day.

Dog Breed

Average Weight

Daily Water Intake 

Labrador Retriever



Border Collie






German Shepherd



Cavalier King Charles Spaniel









Golden Retriever






English Bulldog



Dogs regulate their temperature by panting, which happens frequently. A dog often needs to drink a lot of water because they lose it by panting.

Therefore, excessive panting is an example of a possible cause for increased drinking. Consider how this can change based on their environment; a hot day may require more water, for example.

While your dog will naturally start to drink more water as they age, sometimes excessive drinking is a sign of something a little worse worth checking out at a vet.

Why do older dogs drink more water than normal? If there isn’t an apparent reason, then a trip to the vet may be in order. It’s always worth being cautious and catching things before they can get any worse.

Why Do Older Dogs Drink A Lot Of Water: Potential Causes

older dog drinking lots of water

Why do older dogs drink a lot of water? It’s crucial to recognize that an increase in water consumption is a natural part of the aging process for many dogs. Understanding the various factors contributing to this behavior is key to ensuring the health and happiness of our furry friends.

One key factor contributing to an older dog drinking lots of water is the presence of potential health issues. Conditions such as kidney disease, diabetes, and hormonal imbalances can lead to increased thirst in senior canines.

Recognizing the connection between these conditions and an older dog drinking lots of water is essential for timely intervention.

Urinary Tract Infection

Like humans, many dogs are susceptible to urinary tract infections, especially as they get older. A UTI isn’t life-threatening for your dog but can be common and uncomfortable and should be dealt with promptly.

A symptom of a UTI is excessive urination, usually caused by an older dog drinking lots of water.

Although other symptoms can include not urinating enough, difficulty urinating, expressed pain when urinating or potentially cloudy or bloody urine. These latter examples are a cause for concern and should result in a visit to the vet.

Occasionally a UTI can be a symptom of a larger medical issue your dog may be undergoing, or it can simply be the result of senior dogs being more prone to infection.

Kidney Disease

Senior pets can develop kidney issues in later life that can be chronic or develop over time. Chronic kidney disease can occur in senior pets due to hereditary or previous health conditions or even be more common in certain breeds.

Kidney failure can occur due to other issues like cancer or dental disease. A symptom of kidney failure or disease is often excessive drinking due to thirst.

If diagnosed with kidney disease, your vet will advise you, but this is generally treated with minor changes to a pet’s diet, occasional medicine, but also having access to fresh water and easy access to pee outside when needed.

Cushing’s Disease

Excessive drinking can be a symptom of Cushing’s Disease, a condition that commonly affects middle-aged and senior dogs. The question ‘why do older dogs drink a lot of water’ becomes essential in recognizing potential signs of this disease.

If your dog drinks excessively and has also put on a lot of weight, particularly around their abdomen, as well as potential hair loss or consistent skin rash, they may have Cushing’s Disease.

Cortisol is a common hormone produced in dogs, and Cushing’s Disease is associated with a hormonal imbalance caused by the overproduction of cortisol.

Whilst Cushing’s disease can affect a dog quite negatively and lead to other potential medical issues, many dogs can live with Cushing’s Disease, and it isn’t fatal to them.

Diabetes Mellitus

Dogs can get diabetes just like humans, which is often the result of a poor diet in the past. Diabetes is commonly diagnosed as a lack of insulin in the body.

This leads to a build-up of glucose in the blood. The filtering of the glucose is overwhelmed by high blood sugars, and the glucose spills into the urinary tract, which will draw extra water with it as a result.

This extra water and glucose in the urinary tract will naturally lead to increased thirst and urination as a result.

With a properly reevaluated diet, a good fitness regimen, and daily insulin injections, a dog’s diabetes can be managed and not be life-threatening.

Symptom Of A Larger Medical Issue

Beyond the other issues described, an older dog drinking lots of water can be caused by dehydration, which is a symptom of a larger medical issue.

For example, if your dog is having diarrhea and vomiting, often this can, in turn, cause dehydration and excessive urination and thirst.

If it seems your dog is dehydrated and drinking excessively, this can be a symptom of some other medical issue that requires the keen eye of a vet. Awareness on why do older dogs drink a lot of water is crucial for accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

causes of excessive drinking in dogs


Sometimes it isn’t the disease itself, but rather the side effects of a medication used to treat it, that can result in an older dog drinking lots of water. Your vet might be able to switch your dog to an alternate medication.


What your dog eats can play a role in excessive drinking. A balanced diet tailored to the specific needs of older dogs can impact their overall health, including hydration levels. Diet plays a part in understanding the reasons behind an older dog drinking lots of water.


In conclusion, gaining insight into the factors contributing to an older dog drinking lots of water is crucial for responsible pet ownership.

Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, and monitoring your dog’s water intake are crucial elements in dealing with and managing this common behavior in older dogs.

Water is very important to your dog’s overall health; never leave your dog without water. If you are concerned about why do older dogs drink more water than usual, then you should give your vet a call to make sure they aren’t suffering from something detrimental.

So, the next time you find yourself wondering, “Why do older dogs drink a lot of water?” remember that knowledge and care go hand in paw to ensure our senior dog’s quality of life.

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