How to Make a Dog Drink Water (When He Doesn't Want to)
How to Make Your Dog Drink Water
Healthy dogs are usually good at managing their own water intake, although this is less true of young puppies and elderly dogs. Unless there are signs of serious health issues, your dog will most likely get enough water after a few minor changes to water bowl placement and diet.
Addressing Serious Dehydration
Look for signs of dehydration.Most healthy dogs are pretty good at managing their own water consumption. Check for the following signs of ill health or dehydration before you get too concerned:
- Gently pinch a fold of the dog's skin at the back of the dog's neck or between the shoulder blades, and let go. If the skin doesn't immediately return to the original position, your dog may be dehydrated.
- Gently press your finger against your dog's gums until the color lightens, then lift your finger. If the gums don't immediately return to the original color, your dog may be dehydrated.
- Other possible signs of dehydration include lethargy, loss of appetite, or a change in the amount or color of your dog's urine. By themselves, these are not cause for urgent concern unless they are severe or last more than a day.
Know the risk factors.Life stages and medical issues can increase the frequency and severity of dehydration. Err on the side of caution if any of the following apply to your dog:
- Just as hot weather can dehydrate a person, it can also dehydrate your dog. If it's hot, make sure that your dog is drinking enough.
- Vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive panting or drooling can all cause dehydration if the dog does not drink more water to compensate.
- Similarly, kidney disease and other chronic illnesses can cause dehydration.
- If your dog is diabetic, pregnant, nursing, very young, or very old, take the dog to a veterinarian at the first suspicion of dehydration.
Visit the veterinarian.If your dog demonstrates one of the above symptoms, and refuses to drink water, visit a veterinarian as soon as possible. The veterinarian may give the dog a saline IV or a subcutaneous fluid injection to rapidly restore fluids to the dog.
- A veterinarian will also be able to test for medical problems that could be causing dehydration, such as kidney disease. After diagnosis, the vet may prescribe medication or a special diet.
Give the dog rehydration fluid.If your dog shows symptoms of dehydration and you can't get to a veterinarian immediately, dilute Pedialyte rehydration fluid with an equal amount of water and give about 1 cup (240 mL) of the mixture to your dog once an hour.Pedialyte is available at drug stores.
- Do not mix this with any other ingredients, or you could cause further damage to the dog.
- While other rehydration fluids are available, consulting a veterinarian before using them is recommended whenever possible.
- Inhabitants of the US can use the to locate the nearest store that carries it.
Add flavor and electrolytes to the water.If you can't find any Pedialyte, pour in a little low-sodium chicken broth or diluted carrot juice to the water. This can help replenish electrolytes lost to dehydration, and may make the water more enticing to your sick dog.
Use a syringe if necessary.If your sick dog completely refuses to drink, fill a plastic, needle-less syringe with water and squirt it into your dog's mouth. Squirt in the dog's cheek, not directly down the throat, to prevent choking.
Part 1 Quiz
If your dog is seriously dehydrated but you don’t have Pedialyte, you should give it:
Exercise the dog.Dogs need daily exercise, such as a brisk walk or playing in a park or backyard. If your dog doesn't get enough exercise, it may not be losing much moisture to panting, and so won't be as thirsty as a healthily active dog.
- On long walks, bring along water and give the dog a swallow every ten minutes or so. This can help get the dog in the habit of drinking regularly at home.
- You should only exercise a previously healthy dog. If your dog is elderly or ill, ask your vet about better options.
Feed the dog wet food.Wet food contains a great deal of water already, usually marked on the can as "% moisture content." Replace some or all of the dog's dry food with wet, checking the label or a vet's recommendation to determine how much food the dog needs.
- Alternatively, soak dry food in a bowl of water for 30–60 minutes before giving it to your dog.
Make food only available at mealtimes.Feed your dog once or twice a day, according to your vet's recommendation or the label of your dog food. If food is constantly available, some dogs will mistake thirst for hunger.
Let the dog out to pee whenever necessary.If your dog is stuck indoors for eight hours at a time, it could be avoiding water because it's learned that causes an uncomfortably full bladder. Let your dog out to pee every few hours or train it to use a puppy pad.
Part 2 Quiz
How does exercising your dog daily make it thirstier?
Arranging the Water Dish
Give the dog constant access to water.In a multistory home, put a bowl of water on each floor the dog has access to. If the dog spends part of the day outdoors or shut in a room, put an additional bowl of water in these locations.
- Try to keep these "water stations" in the same place so your dog knows where to look for water.
- A dog tied outside may get its chain or rope tangled, preventing it from accessing the water dish.If there is no alternative to tying it up, keep the area free from obstructions and place the water dish next to the stake. The water bowl may also get knocked over by the rope or chain, so check it often, replenishing the water as necessary.
Change the water frequently.Empty the water bowl daily and rinse out any debris before refilling it, then wipe the sides with a paper towel. Change the water again whenever you notice hair or dirt floating in it, or whenever the water level is getting low. During hot weather, you may need to check the bowl every couple hours.
- Thoroughly wash and dry the water bowl at least once a week. If the bowl gets dirty, wash it more often.
Consider a pet fountain.These bowl-sized fountains may be more attractive to dogs that prefer running water, or young puppies who aren't used to drinking from a bowl. These are also easier to find for dogs with vision problems.
Add ice cubes on hot days.Many dogs prefer drinking cold water. Toss in a couple ice cubes. Do this while the dog is watching, and it may come over to investigate.
Make the water more exciting.If you don't want to buy a fountain, try shaking the bowl of water instead, or waving a toy over it. Dropping blueberries or other small treats in the water can also convince a dog to drink as it fishes them out.
- If the dog still isn't interested, try again after replacing the doggie bowl with an ordinary cup or bowl with a different shape or color.
Part 3 Quiz
Why should you consider a pet fountain?
QuestionCan we feed milk to dogs and cats?
Doctor of Veterinary MedicineDoctor of Veterinary MedicineExpert AnswerNo, you should not feed milk to dogs and cats. They cannot properly digest cow's milk and may get diarrhea.Thanks!
QuestionIf your dog drinks any milk will it kill them or make them very sick?
Doctor of Veterinary MedicineDoctor of Veterinary MedicineExpert AnswerIf the dog consumes a lot of milk, it may get diarrhea. However, the dog will otherwise be okay. You shouldn't feed milk to your dog.Thanks!
QuestionCan I give my pug juice?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo, some juices are toxic to dogs, such as grape and cherry. Even juices that are made of ingredients nontoxic to dogs are not healthy, as the sugar content is too high. Some juices can also give a dog an upset stomach due to high acidity.Thanks!
QuestionWhy does my dog drink more water from a trug in my garden than the bowl in my house?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt may be that the water in your garden is rainwater, while the water in your house is tap water. If your tap water has high amounts of chlorine, your dog will choose non-chlorinated water every time. Consider filtering the indoor water and see whether that makes any difference; it can also help to let the tap water stand for 24 hours after filling a container, to allow some of the chlorine flavor to dissipate.Thanks!
QuestionMy dog or cat won't drink out of an automatic water system. What can I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf your dog likes fruit such as blueberries then add a few to the water, or a few ice cubes or even small apple cubes (not the core) and see if that'll help. Remember to always provide a clean bowl or fountain to eliminate debris, dirt, or bacteria. Use filtered water opposed to tap.Thanks!
QuestionIs it okay for my dog to drink unsweetened tea?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo! Tea contains caffeine, which is very, very bad for dogs. Similarly, dogs cannot drink coffee as well.Thanks!
QuestionCan I mix milk with water for my puppy?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerDo not give your dog cow milk. If you have a puppy that was taken too soon from its mother, or needs additional nutrition, get a supplement (puppy formula) from your vet.Thanks!
QuestionWhat should I do if my dog won't drink on his own for days?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf your dog won't drink for even one day, you need to take him to the vet. Dehydration can become a serious issue in pets.Thanks!
QuestionCan I add a very small amount of milk into the water instead?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo, this would not be a good idea. Dogs are lactose intolerant, and even the smallest amount of milk can give them digestive issues. Try adding a little bit of low-sodium chicken broth instead.Thanks!
QuestionIs it true that the drinking water may go to the dog's lungs if improperly given? Our dog is currently undergoing medication, so I am occasionally giving her water via syringe.Top AnswererYes, it can make your dog choke when the water gets through to its windpipe. To correctly apply the water, you should aim for the cheek instead of spraying it directly down your dog's through/tongue. If you follow the procedure correctly, you will not be at risk.Thanks!
What can I or is there something I could do to make my dog drink more water.
To get your dog to drink water, make sure it has constant access by placing a bowl on all floors of your home. Change the water whenever you see it getting dirty, and add ice cubs on a hot day to make it more enticing. If your dog is showing signs of dehydration, like lethargy or low urine levels, take it to the vet right away and help it rehydrate by giving it diluted Pedialyte or water with a bit of chicken broth or carrot juice.
- Don't leave your dog's bowl in the sun. Most dogs find warm water less pleasant to drink.
- If your dog finally starts drinking after much convincing, let it drink in peace instead of praising it. Too much attention can distract the dog from the water bowl.
- Don't let the dog drink from the toilet; this can be a source of illness-causing bacteria.
Sources and Citations
Upload a picture for other readers to see.
In other languages:
Français: , Nederlands: , Deutsch: , Bahasa Indonesia: , Español: , Português: , Italiano: , Русский: , Čeština: , 日本語: , العربية: , 中文: , ไทย: , Tiếng Việt:
of How to Make Your Dog Drink Water was reviewed by on April 27, 2019.
Aug 24, 2019
Apr 18, 2019
Jul 10, 2019
Oct 14, 2019
Jun 6, 2019
Jan 7, 2019
Nov 4, 2019
Jun 5, 2019
Jun 7, 2019
Jul 15, 2019
Dec 20, 2019
Aug 26, 2019
Mar 16, 2019
Aug 19, 2019
Aug 9, 2019
Oct 26, 2019
May 18, 2019
Jul 28, 2019
Aug 3, 2019
Jan 2, 2019
May 30, 2019
Jul 19, 2019
Video: How to get your dog to drink water
Are There Any Real Benefits to Using a SaltLamp
4 Signs You Need a New Bookkeeper Right Now
Study says wait a year between giving birth and getting pregnant again
How to Get Bouncy Beach Curls
Chrissy Teigen Opens Up To Tyra About Fertility
How to Cook Green Bananas
How to Obtain a Prenuptial Agreement
A Woman Shot in the Head During Vegas Attack Emerges From Coma, Takes First Steps
How to Pack for a Festival
Fairness with baking soda Skin glow tips with baking soda
Is casual dining dying
6 Reasons Men Fake Climaxes