Dogs Who Drink Excessively Not Necessarily Ill

Basset Hound may drink out of boredom or to keep cool.

Q. My Basset Hound Jack drinks water excessively. I’m not sure how much in a 24-hour period, but he will drink at least 40 ounces at a time. He is as active as any 7-year-old Basset is expected to be: Lazy, but not lethargic. He is an indoor, under-the-air-conditioning kind of guy, but this goes on summer and winter. Is this normal? 

A. How much water should a dog normally drink? Fortunately, the math is fairly easy: Figure about 1 milliliter per pound per hour. So for a 40-pound dog, water intake should be about 40 mL/hour. Since there are 236 mL in a cup, this is about 1/6 of a cup every hour, or a cup every 6 hours. This will increase in hot or humid weather.

However, there is rarely a need to measure your dog’s water intake if he is not showing any symptoms of disease. Some dogs just like to drink, perhaps to allay boredom or for the cooling effect.

Signs of disease that might be related to excessive water intake are frequent urination, including accidents in the house, weight loss, vomiting, or loss of appetite. If any of these occur, your veterinarian may ask you to measure how much water your dog drinks, but otherwise, just keep the water bowl full.

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Dogs · Health and Care