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Dogs/water drinking


Our nine-year old fox terrier is experiencing a change in his water drinking habits. We have consulted our vet and it is not an emergency situation. His blood and urine analyses have not shown anything wrong. Here's what has happened: About two weeks ago we gave our dog a beef bone that had a lot of fat on it. After he worked on it there was frequent stomach gurgling for two days. That stopped. Then - and this is what my question is about - he began to drink 4-5 cups of water per day. In other words he drinks for about a minute, several times a day. His water consumption for the past nine years has been about a half cup of water mixed into his food. He rarely used the water bowl. Although 4-5 cups a day might be normal for a small dog (26 lbs.) it is way different from his normal pattern. Do you think there is cause for concern?


Hi David,

You said your vet did a urinalysis, but was your dog checked for diabetes?

If the excessive drinking continues, I'd recheck for diabetes, and also discuss with your vet ruling out Cushings Disease, pituitary tumor, kidney disease, liver disease and hyperparathyroidism, as these conditions can all have the symptom of excessive drinking/thirst.

If your dog's blood and urine tests continually come back negative, then you might just chalk it up to "psychogenic polydipsia", which just means that the dog likes to drink water excessively. There is nothing wrong with your dog, you might say he has a drinking a habit! It may just be a coincidence that the excessive drinking started after eating the bone. But you shouldn't jump to this conclusion without rerunning the tests, as that could mean overlooking a potentially serious problem.

I hope I've been a help.
Best of luck,



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To date, I've owned 7 dogs, all of which have lived into old age. Having cared for them in all stages of life, I feel I can offer sound advice to other pet owners, and people considering getting a dog. I am knowledgeable about the AKC (American Kennel Club) dog breeds, training and exercise, caring for sick and elderly pets, feeding, as well as many holistic treatments pets can benefit from. My only request is that you write me using standard English and punctuation.


My life experience in this field is more like "on the job training" rather than an actual degree in animal welfare. You may benefit from my experiences over the past 30 years. Aside from the dogs I've owned, I'm also involved in "breed rescue" and have fostered several dogs, all of which have been adopted to wonderful "forever homes". I find helping people who want a dog very rewarding.

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