Old dog not eating drinking lots of water

Is it normal for an old dog not to eat food? What about excessive water consumption? To answer these questions, this blog post will talk about the main diseases that can affect the old dog, which already shows changes in its health, physical and behavior.

Old dog not eating drinking lots of water

As they get older, some dogs can develop manias such as eating specific foods, or eating in specific places or even in specific bowls. These manias can cause these dogs to stop eating, but there is no loss of appetite, because when the tutor is going to offer some tasty snack these dogs tend to eat.

Loss of appetite in dogs can be a symptom of some diseases, especially when it is associated with other symptoms such as excessive water consumption by dogs.

The dog’s water consumption must be measured to confirm if the dog is really drinking too much water. Excessive water consumption can indicate changes in the environment, and high temperatures or can be associated with other symptoms indicating a disease.

Causes of increased water intake and reduced food consumption

With age, many organs degenerate, such as the heart and kidneys. One of the main diseases that can affect elderly dogs is kidney disease.

In addition to kidney diseases, other diseases can increase water consumption such as diabetes and hypothyroidism, but these diseases maintain the dogs appetite. Below we will talk about the diseases that reduce food consumption and increase water consumption by elderly dogs.

Some diseases of the old dogs that drinks too much water and stops eating:

  • Hyperthyroidism;
  • Kidney diseases;
  • Hypoadrenocorticism;
  • Pyometer.


Hyperthyroidism is a disease that is characterized by the hypersecretion of thyroid hormones due to an enlarged thyroid gland.

Hyperthyroidism is rare in dogs and is related to tumors or tumor metastasis that affect lymph nodes near the thyroid gland.

Clinical signs are appetite loss, increased water consumption, difficulty swallowing, coughing, weight loss, dyspnea, hoarseness and vomiting.

Treatment can be done with the surgical removal of tumors from the gland and tumors adjacent to it, and the dog must be supplemented with thyroid hormones.

Kidney diseases

Kidney diseases are characterized by the inability of the kidneys to perform their physiological functions. Kidney disease can be classified as acute, when there is a sudden and rapid loss of kidney function, or chronic, when the kidney loses function slowly, progressively and irreversible.

The causes are related to Kidney cell damages. As in the case of some genetic alterations, natural degeneration caused by dogs old age, some infections such as leptospirosis, parasites that can replicate in the kidneys and the ingestion of toxic products.

The most frequent symptoms are appetite loss, vomiting, increased water intake, increased urination, in more advanced cases, mouth and nose ulcers, strong odor breath, weight loss and seizures can be observed.

The treatment is conservative and should be done immediately after the disease diagnosis. Usually the dog is hospitalized and receives medication to reduce symptoms in addition to hydration and food supplements.


Hypoadrenocorticism is an uncommon disease in dogs. Hypoadrenocorticism is characterized by a reduction in the production of the adrenal gland hormones.

The disease can be divided into primary, when there is aggression of the adrenal gland itself, or secondary, when there is damage to other glands such as the pituitary gland, which reduces the production of hormones that stimulate the adrenal hormone production.

In dogs, primary hypoadrenocorticism is also known as Addison’s disease. This disease has no well-defined cause, but it is already known that some autoimmune disorders can lead to damage to the adrenal gland, thus affecting its hormone production.

The most frequent symptoms are appetite loss, vomiting, lethargy, weight loss, increased water intake, increased urination and hypothermia.

Treatment needs to be started quickly and basically consists of hormone replacement and conservative care such as animal hydration and food supplementation.


Pyometra is an infectious disease that occurs in the female dog’s uterus. Pyometra can be characterized as open, when the animal’s cervix remains relaxed, leading to drainage of uterine secretion (usually a purulent secretion); and closed pyometra, when the animal’s cervix remains closed, keeping the secretions contained in the uterus.

Pyometra happens after heat, when the uterus of the female dog prepares to receive an embryo, thus it suffers an immunosuppression that causes bacteria to proliferate causing pyometra.

The most frequent symptoms are appetite loss, vomiting, increased water consumption, increased urination, fever, listlessness, weight loss, and diarrhea.

After diagnosis, treatment needs to be started as soon as possible. The treatment is surgical, with the removal of the affected uterus. And in the post-surgical period, the animal can be under observation, receiving the necessary hydration, food support and medications such as anti-inflammatory and antibiotics.

Elderly dogs care

Elderly dogs must change some routines, such as switching to a specific diet for elderly dogs, practicing non-intense physical activities, periodic consultations with the veterinarian, avoiding going up and down stairs, among others.

Elderly dogs should not walk on slippery floors, as with age some dogs may have bone diseases such as osteoporosis. Many senior dogs should receive some food supplements when suggested by a veterinarian.

Patience is important, as many dogs can change their routines and behavior. In general, elderly dogs like to be quieter and alone, avoid getting another puppy at this stage, as only elderly dogs can be more stressed and end up getting sick.


Elderly dogs are animals that are more predisposed to the onset of some diseases, especially degenerative ones. Constant visits to the veterinarian are indicated, thus avoiding the aggravation of diseases that can lead to the death of the animal. Elderly dogs begin to show major behavioral and physical changes, thus requiring specific care.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Old dog not eating drinking lots of water

What does it mean when the old dog drinks a lot of water?

Excessive water consumption can be a sign of illness in dogs. And it is usually associated with imbalance in the animal’s body and organs. As also the dog drinking a lot of water can be the result of climate changes or even changes in the animal’s environment.

What can it be when the old dog drinks a lot of water and pees a lot?

Excessive water consumption with increased urination can indicate some diseases such as kidney disease, urinary infection and hormonal diseases such as:

  • Diabetes;
  • Hyperadrenocorticism;
  • Hyperthyroidism.

If these symptoms are observed, the dog should be taken to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

What to do when the dog drinks too much water?

It is important to measure the amount of water that the dog is drinking per day, so that it is confirmed that he is drinking more than he should. The dog should be taken to the veterinarian. Diagnosing as soon as possible the possible health problems that can result in a dog drinking too much water can help in the treatment of the dog.


Bartges, J. W. (2012). Chronic kidney disease in dogs and cats. Veterinary Clinics: Small Animal Practice, 42(4), 669-692

Emanuelli, M. P., Lopes, S. T. D. A., Schmidt, C., Maciel, R. M., & Godoy, C. L. B. D. (2007). Hipoadrenocorticismo primário em um cão. Ciência Rural, 37, 1484-1487.

Lins, J. H. A., Gomes, R. R., Bogdanov, G., Nhan, R., Ferreira, N. M., Carvalho, F. F., & Pinto, C. F. (2013). Carcinoma de tireóide em cão–relato de caso. Revista de Educação Continuada em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia do CRMV-SP, 11(2), 70-71.

Noakes, D. E., Dhaliwal, G. K., & England, G. C. (2001). Cystic endometrial hyperplasia/pyometra in dogs: a review of the causes and pathogenesis. Journal of reproduction and fertility. Supplement, 57, 395-406.

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