Why Does My Australian Shepherd Drink So Much Water?

Usually dog owners leave bowl of water for their pets and think that the dog will consume as much as he needs. However, monitoring and controlling a dog‘s water intake can help improve his health, protect against disease, and secure an adequate supply of water.

Some dogs naturally feel how much water they need, but some tend to reduce that amount or consume too much water. Too little water can cause dehydration, provoke organ dysfunction. And too much water can strain the stomach, upset the electrolyte balance and can lead to water poisoning.

The amount of water to be consumed depends on individual characteristics – the condition of the animal, its physical load, ambient temperature and humidity. It is always best to rely on a feeling of thirst rather than certain specified amounts.

How Much Water Do Dogs Need?

The amount of water that your dog needs depends on many reasons:

  • Food: the amount of water consumed may vary depending on whether your dog eats dry or wet food. If your dog is fed with dry food, he probably drinks more water, as the swollen granules absorb liquids.
  • Physical activity: working capacity increases a lot if your dog gets water during exercise
  • Ambient temperature and humidity: during summer or hot weather dogs usually drinks 2-3 times more water than in winter
  • Pregnancy: female dogs that are pregnant might drink more water than regularly
  • Stress or illness: thirst increases when an animal is stressed or having illness (it is necessary to consult a veterinarian)

The dog needs to be given constant access to water so that it can regulate the amount of fluids it drinks. One kilogram of a healthy dog‘s body needs about 40 (30-60) ml of water per day. The puppy should be given a drink every two hours from the fourth week of life, older dogs naturally tend to take care of themselves.

When animal feel bad, they stop drinking. Fever or other problems increase the need for water. It is important for your pet to get enough water when they have diarrhea, vomiting, or other illnesses that cause fluid loss. In some cases of vomiting, it is possible not to give not only food but also water a day to rest the stomach, but you should never leave your dog without water for more than 24 hours. If the animal vomits for more than a day, consult a veterinarian immediately. Restoring lost fluids and protecting against dehydration is one of the most important aspects in the treatment of all patients. If the pet is unable to drink, fluids are given subcutaneously or intravenously.

If you notice that your Aussie is drinking less water than usual, but there are no signs of serious ailments, check his mouth – maybe there are painful sores or foreign bodies in the mouth.

Also, if your Australian Shepherd is taking medication at the moment, talk to your veterinarian about whether to increase or decrease water intake.

Excessive thirst resulting from excessive desire to drink is called polydipsia. This, in turn, leads to more abundance – polyuria. These two signs may indicate that the animal has kidney problems, diabetes mellitus, thyroid hyperactivity, uterine infection (pyometra), liver disease, increased calcium in the blood, or an abnormality in the pituitary gland. It is worth worrying if, for a clear reason, your Aussie suddenly starts drinking more water. If this happens, consult your veterinarian.

Too Much Or Too Little Water

If your Australian Shepherd will not drink enough water every day or his body loses fluids (overheating in the sun, vomiting, diarrhea), dehydration can occur. Animals with various diseases (kidney or thyroid disorders, cancer, diabetes, infectious diseases) are more prone to dehydration. Older dogs and pregnant females are at higher risk.

Signs of dehydration include heavy, watery or numb eyes, lethargy, loss of appetite, dry mouth, increased heart rate, decreased skin (it is difficult for the body skin to return to its original position when it is squeezed by the fingers). If the animal shows signs of dehydration, take it to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Water, like any other substance, can be poison if consumed in excess. Too much of it can cause bloating, electrolyte imbalance, or hyponatremia. Hyponatremia is an electrolyte disturbance in which the serum sodium level is lower than normal. It usually occurs in the presence of excess water in the body. Signs include nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, loss of appetite, muscle spasms, seizures or even coma. Intoxication, or water poisoning is a potentially fatal disorder of brain function caused by the body‘s normal electrolyte imbalance.

Flatulence is the filling of the stomach with air and fluids. It is important to prevent bloating as it can result in stomach upset. Feed your dog small amounts of food and do not allow him to touch a lot of water immediately after a meal, and give your dog ice cubes and some water after training so that he does not drink too much immediately.

Subtleties Of Watering

It is best to give your pet water that the owner also drinks – fresh, cold, clear, from the tap. Many dog owners, it the source of their home is of dubious quality, give their pets water from bottles, but even the best water in the world won‘t help if poured into a dirt bowl. Hold the bowl in such a way that as little dirt as possible gets into it, change the water daily – there are animals that suffer from thirst, but still do not look to the side of the stagnant water.

Ideally, the water bowl will be easy to wash, stainless steel or stone mass, heave, so the dog will not turn it so easily. You need to buy a good quality bowl, and when it wears out, replace it. The bowl of water should be kept in an easily accessible place.

If the animal has to be left alone for a long time, install an automatic waterer. If you are traveling somewhere, take an extra bottle of water and a pet. Do not let him drink from the toilet, lakes, rivers or sea.

Do not give pets limonades or alcoholic drinks. Avoid giving milk to dog as well – some adult dogs, as well as humans, do not digest the lactose in milk and this causes digestive problems (from abdominal pain and bloating to diarrhea). Even if pets love and tolerate milk, it should not become a substitute for water.

If your Aussie doesn‘t drink water, you can praise or encourage him to taste when he drinks, or eventually offer him a salt-free broth by gradually diluting it with water. If the pet still does not want to drink, water can be poured on his dry food.

Sometimes there are sensitive pets for whom even changes in drinking water cause upset stomach. If you have such a sensitivity, mix the old water with the new one for a few days until the digestive system adjusts.

Final Thoughts

Remember that the most important thing is clean, healthy water, neat bowls and moderation.

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