dog drinking water from bowl

Question: Why is my dog drinking excessive water and drooling a lot, and what can I do to help her?

My dog has been acting differently, drinking a lot more water than usual, drooling a lot (she’s never drooled before), and sleeping a lot more. Her nose is also running. She’s seven years old. I’m wondering what could be wrong and what I can do to help her.



Dear Jessica,

I am sorry to hear that your pup is not feeling well, and thank you for sending in your question. Anytime a dog starts drinking a lot of water, there is likely an underlying medical condition causing the problem. Drinking a lot of water, lethargy, a runny nose, and drooling excessively could mean that your dog has a curable illness such as a tooth infection or something more serious like kidney disease. I would recommend that you take your pup to a veterinarian as soon as possible to diagnose what is wrong and give appropriate treatments. While you are waiting for your appointment, here are a few possible causes for your pup’s symptoms and what you should do about it.

The 4 Causes for Dog Drinking Excessively and Drooling

1. Tooth Infection

A tooth infection could potentially cause a dog to drink more water, drool excessively, sleep more, and have a runny nose. Tooth root abscesses and infections are very common in dogs and can cause all of these symptoms. Often, it is difficult to tell if a tooth is infected, so I would recommend having your veterinarian do a thorough oral exam to see if the teeth are the culprit of your pup’s symptoms.

2. Kidney Disease

Kidney disease can also cause excessive thirst and drooling. Dogs can develop kidney disease as they age, or their kidneys can become damaged by bacterial infections or toxins. Kidney disease will cause your dog to drink more and pee more. Also, if they are feeling nauseous because of kidney disease, this could make your dog drool. This disease can also cause dogs to feel pretty crummy.

3. Liver Disease

Liver disease can cause multiple symptoms including decreased appetite, increased thirst, nausea (which would potentially cause drooling), and lethargy. Liver disease is more common in middle-aged and senior pets. Liver disease can be ruled out by a simple blood test by your veterinarian.

4. Cancer

Certain oral cancers could cause drooling and drinking more water. The most common oral cancers in dogs include melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma. These cancers can usually be detected when your veterinarian does an oral examination on your dog.

What Can You Do To Help a Dog Drinking a Lot of Water and Drooling?

The first step to helping your pup get better is to schedule a veterinary appointment. There are many possible causes for drinking excessively, drooling, runny nose, and lethargy in dogs. It sounds like your dog could have a tooth infection or a more serious illness that should be addressed right away. I would recommend asking your veterinarian to do a thorough oral examination and run some other tests including a urinalysis and a basic blood panel to rule out other diseases.

Final Thoughts

Excessive drinking and drooling in dogs is a sign that there is an underlying medical condition that needs to be addressed by a veterinarian. Hopefully, your pup just has a tooth root infection that can be treated by a simple dental procedure and not something more serious. I wish you the best of luck with your sweet pup and thank you again for submitting your question to me.


Addie Reinhard, DVM

Disclaimer: Your use of the Ask The Vet feature is subject to the Ask The Vet Terms of Use. Content is for informational and educational use only and should not replace professional veterinary advice.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay