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How much water should a puppy drink?

Species: Dog
Breed: golden
Age: Less than 3 mon
Dr Marie,

This is more a precautionary question.

Max is 4.5 months old, 37 lbs, eats 4.5 cups Hills p/d a day.
I've watched him drink sometimes and to my uninformed eye he seems to be drinking an awful lot. He will drink 7-8ish cups of water a day.
His biggest exercise is a 1 hr walk at lunch every day.

Is he drinking too much?

Jay


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi Jay.

Are you sure he is drinking 7-8 cups?

We do have a formula that tells us how much a normal dog should drink based on his weight. And that formula tells us that anything more than 4 cups a day is a lot.

With that being said, some dogs will drink more than others, so it may be normal. Some dogs just like to drink.

Does he urinate a lot as well?

It would be great to accurately measure how much water he is drinking each day. If it really is 7-8 cups it's not a bad idea to have your vet run a urinalysis on his urine just to be sure there is no issue.




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Customer reply:

I read it should be 1-1.5 oz per lb. But thats just from the Internet.

Im sure I put 2 cups out at least 4 times a day. Some of it is lost to evaporation.

In the evenings he does pee several times some small some large amounts.



Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I generally use a formula of 45-65ml/kg over the day. So, 65 mL per kg would be 1093 mL which is just over 4 cups.

You can likely take a urine sample into your vet and have them run it. They may not need to see Max.

They'll determine whether he is concentrating his urine well.

It's really uncommon to see a serious problem in puppies that causes them to drink too much. It may be something called psychogenic polydypsia which means that the dog just likes to drink a lot.

There are a few cases occasionally of juvenile diabetes, or congenital kidney disease, but this is really unlikely.

It's probably a good idea just to have his urine checked but he likely is going to be just fine!



Customer reply:

thank you


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

You're welcome. I'd love to know what the urine results are.



Customer reply:

Hi Dr,
Max's urinalysis results yielded spec. gravity of 10.20 (a bit low) from the morning sample.

According to the charts drinking anything above 7.5 cups/day is polydipsia so yesterday he was slightly over at 8 cups. Today I've been monitoring it and since 6am today (its 3:30 pm now) he's had 5 cups.

Liver test was normal: (alp 167, alt 31, bun 5.4 cre 55, glu 6.7 [2 hrs after lunch], tp 57)

Looking for why the sudden onset polydipsia the vet is sending the urine to the lab for more complete culture thinking maybe its a UTI.

Thanks,

Jay





Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Interesting. Yes, 1.020 was a little low, but not alarmingly so. I think the culture is a good idea. Again, it's not likely to be anything serious, but it sounds like there may be something going on.



Customer reply:

I know I'm probably just over worrying but shouldn't healthy kidneys always concentrate their urine? Could this be the start of kidney failure either due to ingested poison or congenital defect?
Is the heavy drinking diluting the urine irvine other way around?
Thanks

Jay


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I see LOTS of dogs that have slightly dilute urine like Max does that are absolutely healthy. If the kidneys are not concentrating then the specific gravity is almost always between 1.008 and 1.012.

It really doesn't sound like kidney failure.

You may want to ask your vet about psychogenic polydypsia. This happens when a dog just decides that they want to drink a lot of water. Then, because they drink a lot, the electrolytes get "out of whack" in the kidneys. This results in the dog feeling more thirsty and so they continue to drink and pee a lot. It is most common in puppies. It's not serious and your vet can guide you on treatment if they think this is what it is.

But really, I don't think there is anything terribly serious going on.



Customer reply:

Hi,
Just a bit more information:

lab results:
white blood cell 10-20
ph 5
red blood cell 2+
Waiting on the culture.

Jay



Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Interesting. This level of white cells with some red cells usually means infection, but normally the pH will be higher. The culture should be the final answer though.

How is Max doing?



Customer reply:

Keeping him to eight cups. Maybe urelated but tried to dry heave at five am. Also since Sunday been very very hyper


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Well the fact that he is hyper is good!

From every conversation we have had so far I can tell that you have good vets. It sounds like they are doing all of the same steps I would do to get to the bottom of this.

Most likely we will find there is an infection and treat him with antibiotics and he will be fine.

You may also want to ask your vet about the possibility of leptospirosis. It is unlikely, given that Max is so bright, but it may be worthwhile to look into if the culture comes up negative.

Dr. Marie.



Customer reply:

I think in the end they will find an obsessive pet with a neurotic owner.

No cure for that!


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

LOL! This may be true! Keep me updated!



Customer reply:

The vet also said it could be a "sterile cystisis".

I will let you know how it comes out.

Jay


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Interesting. It's not common in dogs, moreso in cats, but possible. The culture will tell us.

Related question: My dog eats too fast




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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

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