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11 Odd Reasons Why Your Dog Drinks So Much Water At Night

Why Does My Dog Drink So Much Water At Night

Notice that your dog drinks so much water at night?

It’s a good thing that you’re curious about this occurrence.


It’s because this behavior can be connected to medical issues.

And the sooner you identify which, the better it is for your dog.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • How overhydration can be as serious as dehydration.
  • 11 odd reasons why your dog drinks so much water at night.
  • How to tell if salt poisoning is the cause of your dog’s behavior.
  • And that’s just the beginning…

Why does my dog drink so much water at night?

Your dog drinks so much water at night as an effect of dehydration or a medical condition. UTI, diabetes, kidney or liver failure, bladder stones, or Cushing’s disease are all to suspect. Other times it can be due to dry food, dry and cold air, or salt poisoning.  

11 reasons why your dog drinks so much water at night

#1: Urinary tract infection (UTI) 

Your dog might be drinking so much water due to a urinary tract infection (UTI).

UTI makes your pooch pee more frequently. That’s why it makes your dog drink more water.

What causes UTIs? 

We have a wanderer to blame: bacteria.

When your pooch’s genitals get exposed to dirt, they might catch bacteria. Then, those pathogens go up the urethra and into the bladder.

There, bacteria will contaminate the sterile urine. They will reproduce and therefore cause UTI.

Warning: This infection is a painful experience for your dog. 

You’d notice that when your fur baby pees, they are whining due to the discomfort.

It’s also a threatening infection for your pooch. UTI can develop bladder stones and other medical issues.

According to VCA Hospital, here are symptoms of UTI:

  • Dripping urine.
  • Blood in the urine.
  • Urine has a powerful odor.
  • Constant licking of the genitals.

If you suspect that your dog has UTI, have them undergo a urinalysis. 

Note: Not all UTIs are the same. 

That’s why sometimes the vet will suggest for your dog to undergo other tests. These are laboratory culture and sensitivity tests. 

Culturing the sample will help doctors identify the specific bacteria.

And with that, your dog’s vet can prescribe the right antibiotic. They will also prescribe pain medications.

After the period of antibiotics, the veterinarian will ask for another urinalysis. So that they can make sure your dog’s infection is completely dealt with. 

Editor’s pick: Why Does My Dog Smell Like Ammonia? 5 Questions Answered

#2: Diabetes

Excessive thirst is one symptom of diabetes. 

Your dog drinks so much water in an attempt to regulate their blood glucose levels. It’s also often accompanied by frequent urination too.

There are two types of diabetes in dogs, according to PetMD:

Type 1 diabetes
Insulin-deficiency diabetes
– This is the most common type of diabetes in dogs.
– Cells found in the pancreas that create insulin are dysfunctional or destroyed.
Type 2 diabetes
Insulin-resistance diabetes
– Problematic hormones in the body hinder proper insulin operation.
– Excess body fats can produce the said hormones. That’s why your dog is more prone to developing this type if they’re overweight. 

Symptoms of diabetes include:

  • Seizures.
  • Cataracts.
  • Weakness.
  • Skin infections.
  • Poor quality of coat.
  • Sudden weight loss. 
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Change in appetite. Your dog shows a ravenous attitude towards food.

If symptoms match with your dog, take them to the veterinarian immediately.

There, the vet will suggest a urinalysis and make a proper diagnosis. 

Warning: If left untreated, diabetes can progress, and it’ll risk your dog even more. 

Your pup can develop heart disease. That makes them prone to stroke.

#3: Dehydration

Dog Drinks So Much Water At Night To Avoid Dehydration

During a hot summer day, you can’t resist a cold glass of water.

Any other refreshments would do, as long as it quenches your thirst.

Your dog experiences the same thing during a hot day.

Did you take them for a long exercise during the day?

If ‘yes’, that could be it, too.

There’s a chance your pooch got dehydrated. So they drink so much water at night to make up for what they’ve lost during the day. 

What I described can be a cause of mild dehydration only. 

Here’s what you can do: 

For a small dog, one teaspoon of water every 10 minutes will suffice. For bigger dogs, they have to have 1 to 2 tablespoons of water every 10 minutes.

Caution: The threatening kind of dehydration is accompanied by vomiting. And this can happen very fast.

Consequences may also arise if you don’t follow the recommended amount of water. Make sure to stick to the suggested intervals, too.

A dog that drinks too much water very fast is prone to vomiting. 

Seek veterinary help immediately if you suspect dehydration. Especially if these signs show:

  • Lethargy.
  • Dry gums and tongue.
  • Thick (rope-like) saliva.

You might also be interested in: How to get a sick dog to drink water?

#4: Kidney failure

Understanding the importance of the kidneys is essential.

A healthy kidney is responsible for:

  • Filtering the blood.
  • Maintaining the expected level of red blood cells.
  • Processing protein wastes to eliminate them into the urine.
  • Balancing the amounts of water, salts, and acids in the body.

But what if the kidney fails to do any of these? 

Just one dysfunction among all can cause kidney disease.

Note: More than 1 in 10 dogs develop kidney disease during their lifetime. It gets common as a dog ages.

Sadly, kidney disease is not easily recognized. VCA Hospital says at least a 67% dysfunction should occur before clinical signs show. 

“What does this have to do with my dog drinking so much water at night?”

Well, one of the earliest signs of kidney failure is excessive thirst. Along with frequent urination.

How does a dog get diagnosed with kidney failure?

Send your dog’s urine sample to the vet for a urinalysis. To make sure, your dog can also undergo blood work.

If you don’t do so early on, advanced signs of kidney failure will show. Those are:

  • Diarrhea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Paleness.
  • Oral ulcers.
  • Depression.
  • Weight loss.
  • Reduced appetite.
  • Bad breath (that smells like a chemical).

#5: Dry food

Did you recently make a change for your dog? You might’ve switched from wet food to dry kibble.

That might be the culprit for your dog drinking so much water at night. 

But what’s the best for your fur baby? 

Dry kibble or wet canned food?

It’s up to you to decide what you’ll provide for your dog. However, here’s a pro’s and con’s table to help you assess:

Dry kibble– It encourages your dog to chew their food before they swallow.
Chewing helps your dog clean their teeth.
It can cause mild dehydration. That’s why it makes your dog drink more water.
Wet canned food– It contains more moisture.
– It helps with urinary problems, especially for dehydrated dogs.
– It’s more flavorful.
It requires more storage space, especially if your dog is a large breed.

With all that, this is what PetMD says:

Dry kibble and wet canned food can both provide adequate nutrition to your dog’s diet.  

#6: Dry and cold air

You and your dog sleep in your air-conditioned room.

If that’s the case, it’s only right they’re drinking so much water at night. 

And props to you if you leave a water bowl inside your room. That helps relieve your thirsty pooch.

Your room becomes dry as you use your air conditioner. It makes your dog more compelled to drink water.

Don’t worry. It’s okay for your dog to be in an air-conditioned room. 

You just have to make sure to set the right temperature for your dog. That is between 69°F (20.5°C) to 73°F (22.7°C). 

Too cold in a room can cause dry environmental air. That’s why you should also provide your canine access to water. 

Plus, a dog bed would be nice. This will help them regulate their temperature. It’s because cushions absorb and keep heat.

Warning: Too much exposure to dry air can cause dandruff in your dog. 

Stray dandruff can be seen in your dog’s sleeping area. It’s most present in their back near their tail.

#7: Liver disease or failure

Dog Liver Disease

The liver is one of the most vital organs in the body. 

What does a liver do?

  • Aids in metabolization.
  • Helps break down drugs.
  • Removes toxins from the blood.
  • Assists in digestion by producing bile acids.
  • Helps prevent blood clotting by manufacturing essential proteins.

The mentioned functions are crucial to one’s body. 

That’s why dysfunction of the liver could cause problems. These complications are a risk to your dog’s health.

So say your dog begins to drink so much water as a result.

Of what?

Of their liver not being able to absorb toxins anymore. 

These toxins stay in your dog’s system. Then, it can build up in their bloodstream.

Possible causes of liver disease:

  • It’s genetic.
  • Fatty foods.
  • A result of aging.
  • Infection or trauma in the liver.
  • Medications that your dog’s taking.

Symptoms of liver disease:

  • Diarrhea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Weight loss.
  • Frequent urination.
  • Decreased appetite.
  • Unusual stool color.
  • Jaundice. It’s the yellowish appearance of the skin, eyes, gums, and ears.

Notice these symptoms plus excessive drinking of water? 

Consult your dog’s veterinarian as soon as possible. They will suggest a blood test, ultrasound, or biopsy.

#8: Bladder stones

In your dog’s bladder, crystallized minerals and other materials can accumulate. 

These collections create the so-called bladder stones. They are like tiny rocks that often vary in size. 

How do bladder stones affect your dog?

These stones create urinary obstruction by blocking the urine flow.

If untreated, it can cause damage to your dog’s urinary tract lining. That will cause inflammation and develop UTI.

Signs that your dog has bladder stones:

  • Straining to urinate.
  • Presence of blood in the urine. 
  • Frequent urination in small amounts.
  • Discomfort around the abdominal area.

So your dog raises their water intake. They start to drink so much water at night.

Note: More water intake is actually a recommended response or prevention in this case.


Research tells us that increased water intake reduces the risk of these stones forming.

Read more: 13 reasons why dogs arch their backs

#9: Cushing’s disease

Cushing’s disease (CD) or hyperadrenocorticism is underdiagnosed in dogs. 

It’s usually due to the formation of a tumor in the pituitary glands.

What causes CD?

Here’s what experts from AKC say:

The typical application of steroid-containing ear drops can be its root. It’s because the drops get absorbed through the skin.

CD is found to develop on dogs that are eight years or older.

Moreover, certain breeds have a higher risk of acquiring CD. 

According to research, these breeds are:

  • Boxers.
  • Poodles.
  • Dachshunds.

Dogs with CDs drink tremendous amounts of water. And because of that, they urinate more frequently, too.

Other symptoms of CD include:

  • Potbelly.
  • Hair loss.
  • Constant panting.
  • Hungrier than usual.
  • Thinning of the skin.
  • Inactivity and tiredness.
  • Presence of lesions in the skin.
  • Weakened dog due to muscle loss.

#10: Medication side effects

Frequently, doctors remind us that meds can cause excessive thirst.

And it’s the same for your dog.

Some medications for Fido make them drink a lot of water. 

It’s alright. This shouldn’t spark you some worry. 

After all, your dog’s vet should tell you that these side effects are only natural. And that it will all go away once your dog’s medications are done.

Is your dog on any of these medications?

Those are all examples of medicines that have thirst as a side effect.

Warning: Don’t discontinue your dog’s medications because of this behavior. Give the vet a call if you have any concerns. 

If after medications you still notice this behavior, let the vet know right away.

#11: Salt poisoning

Most of the time your dog would deal with this themselves.

That may be why your canine drinks so much water at night.

They might have consumed too much salt during the day. 

I’m talking about sodium chloride, more commonly known as table salt.

As a result, Fido will drink a lot of water to fight the incoming damage.

But what if your dog doesn’t have access to fresh water?

Well, that can be detrimental to their health. That could lead to salt poisoning, which is deadly.

Within 3 hours of salt poisoning, vomiting can start. Along with other symptoms like:

  • Coma.
  • Nausea.
  • Seizures.
  • High fever.
  • Low energy.
  • Muscle spasms.
  • Watery diarrhea.
  • Lack of appetite.
  • Evident weakness.
  • Frequent urination.
  • Swelling of the tongue.

Now when does salt become toxic for your dog? 

You might want to take note of this. According to PPC, here’s the amount of salt that can cause poisoning for dogs:

Size and weight of the dog Toxic salt level
1 lbs (0.45 kg) to 10 lbs (4.6 kg)
0.025 oz (0.7 grams)
11 lbs (5 kg) to 25 lbs (11.4 kg)
0.25 oz (7 grams)
26 lbs (11.8 kg) to 40 lbs (18.2 kg)
0.65 oz (18.4 grams)
41 lbs (18.6 kg) to 70 lbs (31.8 kg)
1 oz (28 grams)
71 lbs (32.3 kg) to 90 lbs (40.9 kg)
1.75 oz (49.6 grams)
91 lbs (41.4 kg) to 110 lbs (50 kg)
2.25 oz (63.7 grams)

People also ask:

Should I stop my dog from drinking water at night?

You should only stop your dog from drinking water at night if they’ve had enough to drink.

The key is being sure.

It’s because the reason for this behavior could be an underlying medical condition. 

If you observe that your dog drinks more water than usual, better continue keeping track. 

Note how much your pooch is drinking. 

If you see that they’re drinking more than usual, set an appointment with their veterinarian. 

It’s essential to consult a doctor as they can properly make a diagnosis.

On the other hand, overhydration is as serious as dehydration, too. 

Here are signs of overhydration in dogs: 

  • Bloating.
  • Lethargy.
  • Pale gums.
  • Dilated pupils.
  • Loss of coordination.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Excessively salivating.

For puppies, the rule changes a little bit.

According to AKC, there should be water rules during house training. 

Experts tell us to stay consistent with giving the puppies water. Just like feeding them.

Plus, a pup with a small bladder is a frequent goer. Overhydrating your pup can cause them to pee more during the night.

Take away access to food and water at least 3 hours before their bedtime. By doing so, you can make sure of their last potty and wee break.

Disclaimer: This shouldn’t lead to dehydration of your pup. You have to make sure that they drink enough water before you take away their bowls.

Also, make sure to give them water again first thing in the morning. 

But to be sure, how much water does a dog really need?

A dog needs 1 oz (1.4 mL) per 1 lb (0.45 kg) of their body weight.

What does it mean when an older dog starts drinking a lot of water at night?

If your senior dog starts drinking a lot of water at night, it could be a medical condition symptom. Kidney failure, diabetes, and Cushing’s syndrome (CD) are common in senior dogs.

The conditions above prompt your senior dog to drink more frequently. It also results in peeing more than usual.

All mentioned conditions tend to develop as a dog ages.

The best advice for this will be from your dog’s veterinarian. Schedule an appointment with them.

As you wait for the day of your appointment, take notes of other unusual behaviors they show. That can help with the vet’s diagnosis.