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What is Thirsty at Night?

Dogs must have access to fresh water each day in order to remain hydrated and healthy. Dogs drink several times a day, as it is essential for them to drink and urinate. 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 normal, 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:

Dehydration

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

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 too much 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.

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 abnormal, 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.

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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 steps 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.

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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 may not 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 keep him awake during the day and offer him his daily dose of water.

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.

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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

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Annie

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Coton de Tulear

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11 Years

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

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Serious severity

Has 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

Annie's Owner

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Zoey

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Rat Terrier

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3 Years

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Mild severity

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1 found helpful

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Thirsty

I have a 3 year old jack Russell rat terrier mix.She has been an excessive water drinker her whole life. I got her at 6 months, and by a year I got a blood/urine/stool test to make sure nothing was wrong and everything came back clear. But she still loves her water and will wake me up in the night for a drink. I try to pick up her bones/food by 7pm because I believe those make her thirsty but is there anything else I can do to help? She's never had any other symptoms and the vet didn't seem concerned. I let her have as much as she wants during the day, but she'll drink so much at a time that she pukes some back up! How can I stop the thirst?!

June 29, 2018

Zoey's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

There are many different causes for an increase in thirst and urination, normally hormonal conditions or diet are responsible; however in other cases it may be a psychological disorder stemming from boredom or another cause. Without examining Zoey and going over everything myself I cannot say for certain what the specific cause may be; however, if your Veterinarian has otherwise cleared her as being fit I wouldn’t be too concerned. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM https://wagwalking.com/condition/psychogenic-polydipsia

June 29, 2018

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Luther

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Black Lab

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3 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Thirst

My lab mix (about 75 lbs) drank 3 big bowls of water after dinner. He ate and played well today and it was extremely hot today, but I’m concerned. Should I monitor for a couple days or should I go to the vet ER tonight?

June 19, 2018

Luther's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

Luther may have just been thirsty from the hot weather, however without examining him I cannot say whether or not you should be concerned; if you’re concerned you should visit a Veterinarian to be on the safe side and to put your mind at ease. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

June 19, 2018

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Sheila

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Jack Russell Terrier

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14 Years

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Excessive Thirst And Peeing

My jack Russell is 13. She does have a tumour and the vet has given her a few months. This past week she's been drinking 4-5 bowls of water a day instead of her usual 1/3 bowl. There's not much point in taking her to the vet for testing as she hasn't got long left anyhow. my question is can I take her water bowl away at night so she's not needing to pee as much? I'm not getting much sleep these days!

June 10, 2018

Sheila's Owner


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3320 Recommendations

Withdrawing water is an option, but you need to make sure that Shelia doesn’t get dehydrated as she may continue to produce urine but isn’t replacing the lost fluids due to no access to water. Keep an eye on hydration if you withdraw water and allow free access if it becomes an issue. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

June 11, 2018

I think the doctor should have at least expressed a little bit of passion, before offering the reply.

June 19, 2018

Faryn W.

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Piper

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Chocolate lab

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5 Years

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Fair severity

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1 found helpful

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Peeing A Lot At Night
Drinking A Lot At Night
Doesn'T Go Back To Her Bed
Waking Up At Night

My 5 year old dog Piper, is consistently waking up, drinking a lot of water, and peeing, and then never goes back to her bed. I have stayed awake for nights now, comforting her. I m really worried. She takes pills for her thyroid, and has had 2 knee surgeries.Someone plz help Piper!

May 3, 2018

Piper's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

It would be a good idea to have a screening blood panel and urinalysis done for Piper to make sure that she does not have an infection or an underlying health problem that needs to be addressed. If all of that is normal, than perhaps it is a behavioral issue, but those things would be my top priority to figure out, first. I hope that all goes well for her.

May 3, 2018

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Boo Radley

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Weimaraner

dog-age-icon

6 Years

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Moderate severity

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1 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Thyroid

My 6yr old Weimaraner has thyroid issues (takes meds for). He is CONSTANTLY thirsty. He drinks gallons daily—we keep him hydrated for sure! But nothing we do (leave water out, or take water away at night) curbs his need to go out 2-3 times each night (which means 4-6 times I'm up letting him in and out). I'm exhausted! Any recommendations on how to meet his needs but also allowing me to go back to full night's sleep? #tiredmama

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Drake

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Goldendoodle

dog-age-icon

1 Year

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Fair severity

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2 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Thirst At Night
Excessive Peeing

Drake has water available to him all day and does drink, but at night between 8-10PM he chugs water. Probably close to 2 bowls full. Once he's had about 2 bowls he stops. His dinner is same as breakfast and activity is the same at night compared to day. He is 14 pounds, 1 year (estimate) and otherwise healthy. We've only had him 3 months, though, so there could be something going on that we don't know. He does have diarrhea on and off that we can't pinpoint why. When he chugs water at night he has multiple accidents at home because he can't hold all the water he's drinking (when he is potty trained). Because its only for about 1.5-2 hours and only 2 or so bowls then stops, I'm wondering if he's just thirsty or if there's a health-related issue?

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