Why does my pet drink so much water or urine?

Why does my pet drink so much water or urine?


Two very common symptoms in dogs and cats are polyuria (urinate when in quantities larger than normal) and polydipsia (when they are thirsty, ingesting more water than normal). They are symptoms that owners notice at home, but often slow to realize that it is a disorder and needs treatment.

But what is this abnormal amount of water and urine?

Regarding water intake when a dog has polydipsia eat more than 90ml / kg / day of water and a cat when ingested more than 45ml / kg / day . Regarding the urine, polyuria dogs have when they produce more than 45 ml / kg / day of urine and cats when they produce more than 40 mL / kg / day of urine.

It is possible to measure the volume of water consumed in 24 hours. Just measuring the volume placed in the container (or containers) from its animal water, wait 24 hours and measuring how much is left. Calculating the difference between the initial volume and the final volume was left at the water fountain know how much was ingested in one day. Dividing this value by the animal’s weight, it should not exceed 90 ml / kg for dogs and or 45ml / kg for cats.

To do this measurement you need to know if your pet does not drink water from other sources, for example, the plates of ornamental plants, pots in the yard or even on the street. We must also take into consideration factors such as ambient temperature, type of feed, etc.

Of course, at home, it is very difficult to measure the amount of urine produced by your pet.

Sometimes, you do not need to do these calculations when it is clear that there is a higher intake of water or production of higher volume of urine.


As stated above polyuria and polydipsia are SYMPTOMS and not a single disease. So if you suspect that your dog or cat is “drinking a lot of water” or “doing much pee,” he need an evaluation by a veterinarian to confirm the occurrence of these symptoms and to do what we call differential diagnosis, that is, differentiate which specific disease is causing this event.

These diseases interfere with various physiological mechanisms controlling water consumption and urine production and involves a number of hormones and organs. The agencies involved are the hypothalamus, pituitary, kidneys, adrenal glands, pancreas, among others.

We can list several causes of polyuria and polydipsia:

Diabetes mellitus : a disease in which a lack of insulin or insulin resistance causes hyperglycemia, increasing the amount of sugar in the urine, and to remove this sugar is the need to urinate more. To compensate urinary fluid loss, the animal consumes more water ( polydipsia compensatory ).

– Diabetes insipidus center : deficiency in the production of a hormone called antidiuretic hormone (ADH) , which is responsible for controlling the amount of urine produced. Because of this lack is polyuria and polydipsia compensatory. Diabetes insipidus , nephrogenic : inability of the kidneys to respond to ADH.

– can occur for a congenital cause or secondary to other hormonal or metabolic disorders, the following:

– Chronic Kidney Disease : loss of kidney function.

– Hyperadrenocorticism: disease in which there is increased production of the hormone cortisol.

– hypoadrenocorticism : disease in which there is less production of cortisol.

– Pyelonephritis : upper urinary system (ureters and kidneys).

Pyometra : infection of the uterus.

– Hypercalcemia : high amount of calcium in the blood.

– Hypokalemia : low amount of potassium in the blood.

– Hyperthyroidism : increased production of thyroid hormones, common in cats.

– Hepatic impairment : serious diseases that culminate in failure of liver function.

All of these diseases related to diabetes insipidus , nephrogenic relate directly or indirectly to renal failure to respond to antidiuretic hormone (ADH).

In dogs the most common causes are chronic kidney disease, hyperadrenocorticism and diabetes mellitus. In cats the most common are chronic kidney disease, hyperthyroidism eao diabetes mellitus.

In addition to these causes the use of certain drugs (diuretics, corticosteroids, etc.) lead to polyuria and polydipsia.


With such a large list of possible causes for these symptoms, only a veterinarian can come to the conclusion of what is happening with your dog or cat.

Other related symptoms (weight loss, increased or decreased appetite, skin lesions, vaginal secretion, increase activity, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.) will help a lot for the diagnosis of each case.

To reach the final diagnosis will require different laboratory tests, laboratory and imaging, assessing if your pet has any of these diseases.

screening tests will direct the diagnosis: blood count, kidney and liver biochemical profile, blood glucose, dosage electrolytes, urinalysis, triglycerides, cholesterol, abdominal ultrasound.

According to the results of these tests, the vet will ask more specific tests that can confirm the diagnosis.


The treatment of polyuria and polydipsia depend on a well-directed diagnosis. Most cited disorders treatment has (not necessarily cure) and can control satisfactorily the symptoms as well as intercurrent symptoms.

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