My dog is drinking all the time

Q. Hi. My dog Molly is drinking way more than she used to. She’s a 10 year old Border Terrier, hasn’t had any medical problems before. Over the last few weeks I’ve been filling up the water bowl 4 or 5 times a day, whereas I used to do it maybe every other day. I’ve heard this could be a sign of kidney disease, I’m thinking of taking her to the vet anyway but wanted someones opinion on what it might be abd whether I should be worried. Thanks 🙂

A. Definitely this is one to see your vet about! Polydipsia (increased drinking) is a common symptom in an older animal and is usually an indication that something is wrong. Your dog may be drinking because of a pyshological change, but in my experience this is rarely the case. Other causes are kidney disease (you are absolutely right there), liver disease, diabetes, or hormonal inbalances such Cushing\’s or hypothyroidism. Your vet will probably want to start by taking a blood test for a routine profile and if you arrive to the appointment with a urine sample too, then your vet will be very pleased! Diabetes is one condition that can be easily tested for in the urine. Other information useful would be to know exactly how much your dog is drinking over a 24hr period. Try measuring it – a dog will drink anywhere between 40-60ml per kg per day, so guessing that Molly is about 10kg in weight, would mean that over an average day she would drink about 600ml water (roughly one pint). Armed with this information, go and see your vet but try not to worry – although these conditions aren\’t always curable, with the right treatment or diet change, they can often be very well controlled. Good luck!