Can dogs die from too much water?

While it may be hard to believe, drinking too much water can be fatal to your dog. Ingesting too much water while playing in a pool or lawn sprinkler or retrieving toys from a river causes electrolyte levels to drop (hypoatremia) which thins blood plasma and leads to swelling of the brain and other internal organs.

Whether you are a first-time pet owner or a seasoned veteran, it is important to understand that water can be dangerous to your pup. Despite its importance for hydration, it can be easy to get too much water in a short amount of time. In this blog post, we will explore the question of whether dogs can die from too much water. We will discuss the impact of water intoxication on a dog’s health, symptoms to be aware of, and the key steps you should take if you suspect your pup has consumed too much water. As a pet owner, it is important to be mindful of the risks of water intoxication and to understand how to recognize and prevent it.

Symptoms of Water Intoxication in Dogs

Symptoms of water intoxication include:

  • lethargy
  • bloating
  • vomiting
  • loss of coordination (including stumbling, falling, or staggering)
  • restlessness
  • drooling
  • pale gums
  • dilated pupils
  • glazed eyes
  • The dog may have breathing issues, experience seizures, or enter a coma as the pressure in the brain rises and its cells start to die off.

    Clubs Offering:

    Staying hydrated is the modern adage, and your dog is no exception. Especially in hot weather, make sure there is a lot of clean, fresh water available. Is it possible for your dog to overhydrate though?

    As crucial as it is to prevent dehydration, there is such a thing as having too much of a good thing. Many owners, as well as some veterinarians, are not aware that having too much water in a dog’s system can cause terrifying symptoms, as well as death.

    There are many names for water intoxication, such as water poisoning, hyperhydration, and water toxemia. Whatever you call it, the issue can arise suddenly and have fatal consequences.

    What occurs when the body is overloaded with too much water is as follows The first symptom is hyponatremia, which is a depletion of sodium levels outside of the cells. The body reacts to low blood sodium levels by increasing cellular fluid intake in an effort to rebalance itself. The increased volume of their swelling cells can fit in some organs, like the liver, but others, like the brain, which is enclosed in bone, cannot.

    The most common causes of water intoxication in humans are excessive water consumption following strenuous exercise or participating in water-drinking contests. (In 2007, a 28-year-old Sacramento, California mother of three passed away as a result of guzzling two gallons of water during a radio contest called “Hold Your Wee for a Wii” Dogs frequently drink too much water when swimming, diving, or retrieving objects from the water. Even play-biting a garden hose or sprinkler’s water stream can cause a dog’s system to become overloaded and result in water intoxication. Toy and small dogs are more vulnerable than larger ones because their bodies must work harder to eliminate the extra water in their systems.

    Veterinary Treatment

    Reacting quickly is of utmost importance.

    Your dog may not be drinking water anymore, but his body will still absorb any that he has already consumed.

    Dogs can suffer from brain damage disturbingly quickly.

    While treatments can quickly reverse the effects of water intoxication, the damage that has already occurred is more difficult to repair.

    You can anticipate one or a combination of the following three treatments if you have to take your animal companion to the vet because of water intoxication:

  • Administering an IV to replenish electrolytes
  • Diuretics to encourage urination
  • Mannitol is sometimes given to decrease cranial pressure
  • Although dogs with minor water intoxication may recover on their own, it is not advisable to leave them at home to recover because there is a chance they won’t survive.


    What can happen if a dog drinks too much water?

    Lethargy, nausea, bloating, vomiting, dilated pupils, glazed eyes, light gum color, and excessive salivation are all signs of overhydration (water intoxication). There may also be death, coma, seizures, difficulty breathing, and loss of consciousness in extreme cases.

    How much water is too much for a dog?

    Over 50ml/kg/24 hours may be suspicious of polydipsia, but over 100ml/kg/24 hours is unmistakably polydipsia. Polyuria refers to an abnormally high urine production. Why is my dog or cat drinking so much water?.

    How long does it take for water intoxication to happen in dogs?

    How quickly does water intoxication occur in dogs? Although the symptoms may not appear for several hours in some cases, their onset can be as quick as less than 30 minutes. Once the signs begin to show, they progress very quickly.

    How do I know if my dog has water intoxication?

    Symptoms of Water Intoxication in Dogs
    1. lethargy.
    2. bloating.
    3. vomiting.
    4. loss of coordination (including stumbling, falling, or staggering)
    5. restlessness.
    6. drooling.
    7. pale gums.
    8. dilated pupils.