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Dog Drinking Lots of Water Suddenly and Panting: Is This Normal?

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Excessive thirst and panting are signs of dehydration. Your dog can also be suffering from medical conditions causing pain and fluid loss. Drinking lots of water is not normal for dogs, except during extreme heat or after exercise. Deal with this as soon as possible.

Short water breaks are common for dogs throughout the day. They help dogs remain hydrated and active. 

But If your dog is drinking lots of water suddenly, there can be an issue that requires your attention.

Things can be more serious if excessive thirst is coupled with panting. This article discusses the various reasons for sudden thirst and panting in dogs and provides you guidelines to stop this behavior.

Dog Drinking Lots of Water Suddenly and Panting

Warm weather can cause excessive thirst in dogs due to the high rate of evaporation. Dogs also pant when they are feeling hot. Dehydration is one of the most common causes of these behaviors in dogs.

The most common reason for excessive thirst and panting is overheating. This can either be due to extreme heat, or recent exercise.

Occasional obsessive thirst is nothing to worry about. If the behavior remains unchanged for more than a day, it signifies a problem that requires a visit to the veterinarian.

Dehydration is one of the biggest causes of Polydipsia in dogs which refers to extreme thirst level[1]. If the weather is hot, you can expect your dog to pant heavily. Heavy panting helps dogs cool themselves down.

Dog Drinking Lots of Water

Dog Wakes Up Panting and Thirsty

Diabetic dogs are prone to dehydration and thirst. Dogs with diabetes drink excessive amounts of water and urinate a lot throughout the day.

If your dog wakes up panting and thirsty, it’s a sign of diabetes. On top of that, excessive thirst can also be a symptom of Cushing’s disease. 

Visit a veterinarian to get your dog properly checked for any medical issues.

Older Dog Drinking Lots of Water and Panting

If your older dog is drinking lots of water and panting, it can be a sign of Cushing’s disease[2]. This is a condition that usually affects dogs of middle and senile age.

Cushing’s is caused by a tumor in the pituitary gland and results in excessive thirst and urination. Look for signs of this disease on your dog and visit a vet to get a proper diagnosis.  

6 Reasons Dogs Drink Lots of Water Suddenly and Pant

Common reasons why dogs drink lots of water suddenly and start panting include dehydration, illness, kidney failure, Cushing’s disease, diabetes, and nausea.

It is normal for dogs to drink water heavily and pant after a run or exercise. But, excessive thirst and panting over prolonged periods are not good signs. This indicates an underlying problem that needs to be resolved.

Here are six reasons why dogs drink lots of water suddenly and pant:

1. Dehydration

Dehydration

The most common and obvious reason for obsessive drinking and panting in dogs is dehydration. Dogs dehydrate for several reasons. The most common are frequent urination and excessive panting due to hot temperatures or excerisicee.

Dogs pant to reduce their body temperature during hot summer days or after an extensive workout. Heavy panting results in heavier dehydration.

Minor dehydration is nothing to worry about. If the dehydration becomes severe, it can cause complications:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Excessive panting
  • Not drinking enough water
  • Excessive urination

Consult a vet if your dog is suffering from severe dehydration for guidance on how to proceed.

2. Illness

Like humans, dogs are prone to sickness. Fever causes your dog’s body to heat up, making it yearn for water. Sickness also leads to panting in dogs. If your dog is suffering from sickness, it can be panting to relieve some of the stress.

Your dog’s excessive thirst should subdue after a couple of days. If the behavior remains the same, take your dog to a veterinarian to get proper medical care.

3. Kidney Failure

Dog Frequent Urination

Older dogs are prone to kidney failure. Kidney failures cause excessive thirst and urination, which is frustrating for dogs. Observe for signs of kidney failure in your dog:

  • Obsessive urination
  • Drinking lots of water
  • Blood in urine
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression

If you notice any of these symptoms, take your dog straight to a veterinarian to provide it with proper treatment.

4. Cushing’s Disease

Cushing’s Disease
Image Source

This condition affects older dogs more than young pups. It is usually caused by a tumor in the pituitary gland in the brain. Due to underdiagnosis, Cushing’s disease is less commonly reported.

This condition makes older dogs drink heavy amounts of water and urinate excessively. 

Other symptoms of Cushing’s disease to look for in your dog:

  • Loss of muscle
  • Lethargy
  • Thin skin
  • Hair loss
  • Skin lesions
  • Obesity

Cushing’s disease is usually treated with medicines instead of an outright surgical procedure. Consult a vet to get a better understanding of your dog’s condition.

5. Diabetes

Diabetic Mellitus leads to insulin deficiency [3]. Insulin is a hormone created by the body to absorb glucose from the blood. In case of a deficiency, glucose accumulates in the bloodstream.

Excess amounts of glucose results in excessive urination to remove the glucose from the body. This leads to dehydration. Dogs with diabetes drink lots of water daily to replenish their water requirements.

6. Nausea

Nausea

Nausea is one of the biggest causes of panting in dogs. There are various causes of nausea in dogs[4]:

  • Eating food too fast
  • Overeating
  • Diet changes
  • Eating unhealthy or spoiled food
  • Licking chemicals and cleaning supplies
  • Motion sickness

Nausea is usually not fatal and can be treated at home. In severe cases, an IV fluid may be required.

Dogs pant to relieve the discomfort of nausea. Drinking large amounts of water can help your dog stay hydrated:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Dry heaving
  • Licking lips
  • Shaking
  • Heavy breathing

If you notice any of these symptoms, it is possible that your dog is suffering from nausea. Nausea can usually be treated with home remedies, but it is advised to visit the veterinarian if the condition worsens.

How to Stop Dogs from Drinking Lots of Water Suddenly and Panting

To stop your dog from drinking lots of water and panting, observe your dog’s behavior and look for signs and symptoms of underlying conditions. Keep your dog hydrated and let it rest under shade on hot summer days.

Watching their dogs pant heavily and drink water continuously can become worrisome for dog owners. The first step in solving a problem is to identify the main reason for it.

Some causes of this behavior are harmless, while others require prompt veterinary care and attention.

Look for signs and symptoms indicating a medical issue. It is possible that your dog is drinking lots after playing in the heat.

How to Stop Dogs from Drinking Lots of Water Suddenly and Panting

Here are some steps you can take to stop your dog from drinking lots of water and panting:

  • Keep your dog hydrated.
  • Ensure your dog drinks small quantities of water after short breaks.
  • Provide proper medical care to your dog if it is sick.
  • Observe your dog’s urine. If it contains traces of blood, it is possible that your dog is suffering from kidney failure.
  • Give your dog its insulin medications on time to prevent excessive urination.
  • Ensure your dog does not eat anything spoiled or rotten.
  • Keep an eye out when your dog is playing in the yard. Eating grass is not healthy for dogs and can make them develop nausea.
  • Keep all the cleaning supplies and chemicals away from your dog.
  • Make no changes to your dog’s diet without consulting a veterinarian.

Take your canine friend to a clinic if the condition worsens.

Conclusion

Drinking lots of water is common for dogs after a run or exercise. If your dog likes to lay under the sun or play in extreme sunlight, it can pant heavily to lower its body temperature.

Identify the root cause of the problem and take the necessary steps to provide proper treatment to your dog.

Occasional excessive thirst and panting are normal and not a cause for concern. If the condition persists over time, consult a veterinarian to identify the best way forward.

FAQs

Why is My Dog Thirsty and Panting?

If your dog likes running and playing a lot, it can make it dehydrated. Your dog can be thirsty and panting due to the loss of water. Hot weather can also make dogs drink excess amounts of water. Panting helps dogs lower their body temperature and cool down.

Why is My Dog Shaking and Drinking Lots of Water?

Illness can make your dog shake with discomfort. If your dog is sick, it can be panting to relieve some of the stress. Vomiting and diarrhea can make your dog dehydrated. Drinking lots of water can help your dog replenish its bodily fluids and remain healthy.

About Dennis Stapleton

Dennis Stapleton has a passion for animals, especially dogs, and their relatives. He’s intrigued by their social structure and loves to write and teach about the world's most popular pet animal.

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