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D2005-31

Dear Daisy Dog

During my dog’s annual physical, the veterinarian asked if she was drinking excessively. I said no, but after the appointment, I questioned my response. Is there a general rule about how much dogs should drink?

Daisy Responds

Yes. Most dogs drink up to an ounce of water per pound of body weight per day.

For example, if your dog weighs 35 pounds, her maximum daily water consumption should be 35 ounces, or about a quart.

If she eats canned food, which is nearly 80 percent water, she should drink less than that, because the moist food contributes to her water intake.

You should be concerned if your dog’s daily water consumption is more than an ounce per pound of body weight, or if she begins to drink more than whatever amount is customary for her.

Increased water consumption, and therefore increased urination, is sometimes the first indication of a medical problem.

Diseases such as diabetes, kidney dysfunction, Cushing’s disease and even some types of cancer can increase thirst.
But so can mischief, like the time my brother Sam drank more than usual the day he ate an entire box of salted pretzels.

If your dog drinks more than normal, and you can’t attribute it to a romp in the summer sun – or a box of pretzels, make an appointment with your veterinarian for a checkup and some lab work.

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