Too much of anything can be a bad thing. If a dog is drinking lots of water, this can be a sign of an unnoticed health issue.
Water intoxication, also known as hyperhydration, water poisoning, or water toxemia, can be fatal.
When dogs’ bodies are overwhelmed with water intake, their sodium levels become depleted, which causes the body to increase fluid intake even more in an attempt to restore balance. Organs like the brain cannot handle the increased volume, especially in smaller dogs, and the results are dire.
Preventing a dog from ingesting too much water in one sitting is the best way to look out for the health and safety. Here are a few ways pet parents can protect dogs from water intoxication and a few signs to be on the lookout for.
What do I do if my dog drinks lots of water?
Many water intoxication cases are caused by dogs ingesting too much water while swimming. For dogs who enjoy time in the pool or at the lake, it’s important they’re monitored and given frequent breaks - both to rest and urinate excess fluids. This also gives their parents a chance to observe their physical characteristics.
What are symptoms of water intoxication?
- Glazed eyes or dilated pupils
- Stumbling or falling
Dogs exhibiting any of the above symptoms after ingesting large volumes of water should be be monitored closely. Severe cases of water intoxication can cause brain damage, the effects of which are irreversible. If a pet parent suspects their dog may be suffering from water intoxication or sodium depletion they should consult a veterinarian immediately.
Have more questions about how much water is too much for your dog? Fuzzy's team of veterinary experts is always available via 24/7 Live Vet Chat for pet parents' questions.