DEAR PAW’S CORNER: My golden retriever mix, “Benny,” seems to be drinking a lot more water lately. Every time we’re near a water dish or a running tap he is lapping water like crazy. This doesn’t seem normal, even though the weather is now much warmer. What could be wrong? – Lane Y., Columbia, Md.
DEAR LANE: While it could just be excess thirst due to the hot weather, anytime you feel something is not right with your pet, you should act on that feeling. I recommend taking Benny in to see the veterinarian as soon as possible.
A number of health issues can cause excessive water drinking among dogs and cats. I’m not going to speculate about Benny’s health, because he could be just fine. Diseases like diabetes can make pets thirsty, as can emergencies like bloat (which can occur in dogs that eat too much at once, and must be dealt with immediately by a veterinarian). A number of other conditions can cause excessive thirst, too.
The vet will check for any immediate causes of concern, and may do blood tests to determine if anything systemic is going on. If Benny seems OK, he will tell you to keep monitoring his water intake. You may want to keep a journal – carry around a small notebook or use your smartphone’s note-taking app – to jot down the time and place that Benny takes a drink and how long he drinks. You also might want to note any changes in Benny’s coat, his behavior (overly excited or lethargic), or even if everything seems normal.
If Benny’s excessive drinking continues or worsens, his overall condition worsens or if you still just don’t feel right about how things are going, contact the vet again to continue testing and monitoring him.
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