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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

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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.

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.

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.

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.

Thirsty at Night Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Chico
Chihuahua
13 Years
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Waking at night
Thirst
Whining

Our chihuahua mix dog has been acting strange almost a year. Growling at our other dogs and at night even us, picky about eating-but hasn't lost weight, wanting to be held a lot, won't sleep in his crate at night. Now he's started waking me every few hours to drink water and go outside. Also recently has dark tear stains on his face. He was at the vet last month and given a clean bill of health.

Michele King
Dr. Michele King, DVM
265 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. If he didn't have a blood panel done at your last visit, it would be a good idea to have a recheck and have some bloodwork done. If he isn't feeling well, that can make him grumpier and clingier, and may explain the drinking and peeing more at night - they will be able to check his kidneys, his liver, and general systemic function to make sure that there isn't something going on to explain all this behavior. I hope that he is okay.

Thank you. We'll get him checked out again.

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Klaus
Rottweiler
12 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Drinking lots of water at night

Could the dog not like hose water? Or maybe hisnoutisde bowl? My dog doesn’t seem to drink his water during the day but as soon as he comes in at night he drinks and entire bowl full.

Michele King
Dr. Michele King, DVM
265 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. It is very possible that Klaus doesn't like the taste of the outside hose water, or something about his outside bowl isn't palatable to him. Since he seems to be thirsty all day and outside without drinking water, it would be a good idea to change his bowl and give him the water that he likes, so that he has enough to drink during the day.

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Rosie
Corgi Pit
10-13
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Thirst

My dog has had bad teeth since we got her 3yrs ago but the vets always said they were scared to put her under to pull her teeth. So we recently moved to iowa. And they pulled her teeth cheaper and she made it out alive. Now they always said that her teeth could cause damage to her kidney/liver/heart. Late last nite she kept waking me up 12:00, 2:00,5:00 am to get water and she would drink water from the bowl for a whole minute. So now I think what if we took her teeth out late? Is there something we can give her to stop the kidney/liver from going to far in the process

Callum Turner
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1811 Recommendations
There are many reasons for an increase in thirst including urinary tract infections, stones, kidney failure, hormonal conditions, dietary changes among other conditions. If you are concerned about kidney or liver disease you should have a blood test done just to check Rosie’s age especially given her age. Once the blood test has been done, your Veterinarian can advise you on any dietary changes or supplements to help manage any anomalies. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Baxter
Beagle
12 Months
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

My 1 year old beagle seems to be thirsty a lot! He is always looking for water in his bowl and has started waking at night looking for water. He also seems unsettled at night, pacing up and down the stairs but will settle after water.

Callum Turner
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1811 Recommendations
An increase in thirst may be caused by a few different causes which may include diet, hormonal conditions (diabetes, Cushing’s Syndrome, Addison’s Disease), poisoning, dry environmental air among other causes. Without determining an underlying cause, I cannot really recommend anything that you can do at home; a visit to your Veterinarian would be the best course of action. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Eleanor
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
1 Year
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Thirsty
Hungry
Itching

What could be the cause of her drinking 4 times the normal amount of water she usually does. Wakes up multiple times during night drinking two whole bowls of water. She is wanting more food than normal and have noticed increased itching throughout day.

Callum Turner
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1811 Recommendations
There are various causes for an increase in thirst and hunger which may also be coupled with itching which may include hormonal conditions, dietary chances, poisoning, infections among other causes. Given the dramatic increase in thirst, I would highly recommend you visit your Veterinarian for an examination, blood tests (as required) and urinalysis to check for any anomalies which may be causing these symptoms. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

I have the same observation with my dog. Just had a blood test and all came back negative. So I have no idea why her water intake has increased, or why the appetite increase.

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Laika
Mixed
13 Years
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

UTI

For the past week, my dog has been waking up around 3AM and barking incessantly. As soon as I let her out of her pen, she runs to the water bowl, drinks the entire thing, and then I take her outside to pee. She will be 13 yrs old in October and is a mut (approx. 32lbs, supposedly husky / lab mix, but clearly something smaller). About a few months ago, she started to "leak". The vet said she has a UTI, so she is on meds for that. Could that or her meds be contributing to her night thirst?

Callum Turner
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1811 Recommendations

An increase in thirst may be due to side effects of medication or due to an increase in urination due to the urinary tract infection; other conditions which may cause an increase in thirst are hormonal conditions (diabetes, Cushing’s Disease), dietary problems, poisoning among other causes. This level of thirst is unusual and you should visit your Veterinarian to see if there is another underlying condition which may explain this behaviour; also check the package insert of the medication prescribed for side effects and adverse reactions to see if an increase in thirst is written there. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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