Monday, 13 July 2020

Pet Hydration Awareness Month: Does my pet have a drinking problem?

Pet Hydration Awareness Month: Does my pet have a drinking problem? Why is my pet drinking so much?


Pet Hydration Awareness Month: Does my pet have a drinking problem? Why is my pet drinking so much?

Ontario has been hit by a heatwave and it's not going away any time soon. We are in for a sweltering summer, and this means we are all going to be thirsty- our fur-family included. It's normal for your pet to drink more during the summer months, but how much is too much? If you notice your pet drinking more, there could be an underline health concern causing hyper-hydration. 



How much water should my pet drink a day?

It's hard to know exactly how much water your pet should have every day. A good guide to follow is to make sure your pet has one ounce of water for every pound of body weight. So if your dog is 10 pounds, that dog should have a minimum of 10 ounces of water per day. The best way to ensure this is to measure. You can either measure each serving of water you add to the bowl or measure how much water the bowl holds when it is full. If your pet is drinking a lot more than this, then you need to consider that there could be a reason for the increased thirst.

Pet Hydration Awareness Month: Does my pet have a drinking problem?


Water intoxication (hyponatremia) in dogs

Believe it or not, your dog can have a drinking problem! It's rare that a dog suffers from water intoxication, and it usually happens to dogs who love playing in the water. The dog ingests too much water when swimming, playing, or retrieving in the water, and it negatively affects the sodium balance in the dog's body. Diving in the water can cause a dog to ingest large amounts of water quickly. Sometimes it can happen when a dog ingests water to fast from a sprinkler or pressurized hose.


Symptoms of water intoxication include bloating, vomiting, lethargy, loss of coordination, seizures, difficulty breathing, anxiety, and in some cases, coma. It happens so quickly that seeking immediate veterinary care if you suspect that your dog is suffering from water toxicity is the only option. Even then, with fast and aggressive treatment, many dogs do not recover. The body's cells swell with water, and if it reaches the brain it is almost always fatal.





Possible reasons your pet is drinking more water

There could be a perfectly normal reason for your pet to have excessive thirst. Switching to a food that is high in sodium can cause your pet to drink more. Some medications cause increased thirst. If the medication causes dry mouth, then your pet will likely drink more to relieve this. Steroids and diuretics cause increased thirst in pets. A hot day and an increase in activity are normal reasons your pet may drink more than usual. Knowing the signs of heatstroke can really help on a hot day.  


There could also be abnormal reasons why your pet is drinking more than usual, and they can be very concerning. Some health concerns that cause your pet to drink more include diabetes, Cushing's disease, kidney failure, cancer, diarrhea, and dehydration. If your pet is drinking more and you suspect it is for an abnormal reason, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. If left untreated, health concerns like these escalate and turn into costly emergencies. 


Summer is the time when we all want to beat the heat, but in a healthy way. Keep an eye on your pet's drinking habits. If you are observant and vigilant, your fur-family can stay safe in the sun!


Pet Hydration Awareness Month: Does my pet have a drinking problem? Why is my pet drinking so much?


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