Thirsty at Night in Dogs

Why is my dog thirsty at night?

What is Thirsty at Night?

Dogs must have access to fresh water at all times in order to remain hydrated and healthy. Dogs drink several times a day, maintaining hydration and allowing them to flush toxins out of their system. If you notice, however, your dog is drinking more than normal at night, this could be a concern.

If your dog is very thirsty at night, and is waking up to continue to drink water, carefully observe how much he is drinking. If you feel he is drinking too much or significantly more than before, you should make an appointment with your veterinarian. The reason your dog may be thirstier at night could be due to several factors, a few more serious than others. Reasons may include:

  • Dehydration
  • Diabetes
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Cancer
  • Diarrhea
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease

Why Thirsty at Night Occurs in Dogs

There are several different reasons why your dog may have a tendency to drink more water at night. Causes can be:


If your dog has been outside on a hot summer day or has had a bout of diarrhea and vomiting, he could be dehydrated. He may be drinking water at night to make up for lost fluids during the day.


Diabetes happens when a dog has a lack of insulin or an abnormal response to insulin. This causes his levels of blood sugar to increase, thus making him thirstier. He may be drinking more during the day, and urinating often, thus causing him to need more water at night as well.

Cushing’s Disease

Cushing’s Disease is characterized by an over production of glucocorticoid within the body. When too much glucocorticoid is produced, your dog may develop specific symptoms. Increased thirst is one of the main symptoms of Cushing’s Disease, alongside muscle wastage and panting.

Kidney Disease

The kidneys are the gateway to getting rid of toxins in the body through urination. If your dog has an abnormality in the kidneys or a specific type of kidney disease and if the kidneys are just not functioning properly, he may have the need for more water.

Liver Disease

If your companion’s liver is working abnormally, or if he has liver failure, he may have increased thirst. The liver is also responsible for the removal of toxins from the body, and one symptom of an inadequate liver is increased urination. This may lead to your dog needing more water in his system.

What to do if your Dog is Thirsty at Night

If your dog is having increased thirst at night, make an appointment with your veterinarian. Your veterinarian will perform an extensive examination of your companion including a complete blood count, urine and fecal analysis, and overall wellness profile to check for abnormalities or infection. These tests can provide prompt, specific results allowing the vet to move on to the next step in finding out why your dog is wanting to drink more at night. 

Once the laboratory results come back, your veterinarian will have more knowledge as to what may be causing your dog to have increased thirst at night; there may be a need to perform more laboratory tests to check liver and kidney function, check for diabetes, or other illnesses that could be causing this to occur.

For many dogs, having increased thirst at night may be the result of sleeping a lot during the day, thus not getting enough water intake.  Your veterinarian may, in fact, determine that this is the reason for the increased need for water at night.

Prevention of Thirsty at Night

Many of the conditions that cause an increased water intake at night may be prevented; however, your dog may have a condition or disease which cannot be avoided.  Increased thirst at night may be lessened by being sure your dog drinks plenty of water during the day. If your dog is a “day sleeper” then it may be to your benefit, as well as his, to try to offer him water during those times when he is awake.

Another way to prevent your dog from being so thirsty at night due to a condition or disease is to be sure to keep abreast of any veterinary appointments that he may need. Regular appointments and checkups are crucial in keeping your dog healthy. Your veterinarian may be able to diagnose the onset of specific diseases before they become impactful or critical.

Cost of Thirsty at Night

The cost to diagnose and treat Cushing’s Disease, which has a symptom of increased thirst, could reach $2000. The expense to diagnose and treat an illness such as diabetes may be approximately $3000.

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Thirsty at Night Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals







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0 found this helpful

My pet has the following symptoms:
Thirsty At Night, Licks Feet
My dog has increased her need for water in the middle of the night, she urgently cries at the bedroom door to be let out to drink water. She also has an obsession with licking/nibbling the tops of her feet. I am curious what other symptoms I should be looking for. I imagine a visit to the vet is the right move.

Sept. 28, 2020

Answered by Dr. Michele K. DVM

0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I do think that a visit to her veterinarian wold be a good idea. They will likely want to do a little lab work to see why she is so thirsty. Once they know more, they will be able to tell you more what might be causing this, and how to treat it.

Oct. 9, 2020

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Coton de Tulear




11 Years


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0 found this helpful

My pet has the following symptoms:
Won'T Eat
Won'T Eat, Drinks Alot
About a month ago my dog started vomiting and did about 10 times. Took her to vet they gave her a shot to stop it. For a few days was better then she started losing control of her bladder while asleep. She started drinking excessive amounts of water for her and peeing alot. Has accidents in the house if only gone 2 hours. She has had several more accidents during the night. She has always been a very routine type dog but she is changing all her routines. She will not eat her usual food, so we moved her to WD wet food, ate that a few days now wont. Switched to another wet gastric food she ate it a few days now won't. Started feeding her boiled chicken, brown rice carrots, very bland people type food, vomited that up. She now won't eat chicken, turkey or anything. Vet is stumped. urine test showed a little glusoe in urine but other than that fine. Her blood work doesn't look out of line. Any idea what could be wrong?

Sept. 25, 2018

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