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Excessive drinking

Water intake normally increases in hot weather, in animals that eat dry food or in animals that exercise a lot. But there are also a variety of diseases that may make an animal drink more than usual. If you think your pet is drinking excessively, the first step is to determine exactly how much he or she is drinking so that we can make an assessment of whether or not it is actually an abnormally high water intake.

To test your pet's water intake accurately, you must keep him or her separate from other pets that may drink from the same water source. Once you have done that, follow these steps:

  1. Empty out all bowls that your dog normally drinks from, inside and outside the house.
  2. Measure and record exactly how much water you add to each bowl.
  3. Ensure that the bowls never become empty. Each time you add water, record the volume you have added.
  4. After 24 hours, measure exactly how much water is left in each bowl.
  5. Subtract the amount left over from the total amount added to the bowls throughout the day to obtain a value for the total amount of water your pet has drunk.
  6. Repeat over two more 24-hour periods.

A normal animal will drink up to 50 ml of water per kilogram of body weight in a 24 hour period (for example, a 20 kg dog may drink up to a litre in a day). If your pet is drinking significantly more than this, see us for a checkup.