It’s hot outside and you’ve been trying to cool down.
You get a glass of water and pour some in your pooch’s bowl.
But they don’t touch it.
Not one bit.
And it makes you wonder, “Don’t they feel hot and thirsty?”
Maybe they have a built-in air conditioner in their tummies?
If you’re worried about why your pooch isn’t drinking water…
Read on to learn:
- 3 reasons why your pooch doesn’t do it.
- 19 crazy simple tricks to get your dog to drink more water.
- Best water flavor (yes, these exist) to get your dog drinking.
- And a lot more…
How do you trick a dog into drinking water?
You can trick a dog into drinking more water by cleaning their water bowl. Your pooch will also want to drink more if their water has flavor, or is readily accessible. Giving them rewards when they do drink will encourage the behavior. Offering your dog ice cubes will make them drink water too.
19 tricks to get your dog to drink more water
#1: Place bowls near their hangout spot
Keeping their fluids within their reach will help your dog drink more.
Try to look for spots they like staying in.
These could be either of the following:
- Under the bed.
- Inside the kitchen.
- Beside your couch.
- Near your shoe rack.
Keep the distance your pooch has to walk short.
This way, they won’t be tired.
I mean, you would also eat in the restaurant branch that’s nearest to you, right?
Putting their water bowls near them can also help them if they have lethargy.
This happens when your pooch just doesn’t feel energetic as usual.
Even if you give commands, they don’t listen to you.
According to PetMD, these are the possible reasons why your dog has lethargy:
- A disease has entered their body.
- Muscle pain and general soreness.
- They are suffering from an infection.
Observe your dog if they are currently experiencing this.
If it lasts longer than 2 days, bring them to the vet.
They can give your pooch a check-up and see what caused their lethargy.
#2: Put flavor in their water
There are some dogs who are picky when it comes to their food.
A small sniff is all it takes for them to reject a certain type of food.
This applies to water, too.
If your pooch doesn’t like its scent or taste, they’ll walk away.
“What can I do to make their water more appealing?”
You can add water flavoring to their bowls.
Check out Nulo Hydrate for Dogs Water Flavoring on Amazon.
It has pork flavoring which can make your pooch want to drink water.
Especially if they love eating bacon and ham.
As an added benefit, you can also try buying ones that have electrolytes.
Since this can improve hydration in dogs.
It would be a great help if your pooch doesn’t like drinking water.
If you can find one that contains vitamins and minerals, that’s awesome, too.
According to research, eating food with essential nutrients can help dogs live healthier.
It can even stop canine obesity.
Who knew drinking water can be tasty and healthy too?
#3: Encourage the behavior
Dogs like it when they receive rewards from you.
It can be in any form:
- Belly rubs.
- Positive words.
And all these can be used to encourage certain behaviors in your pooch.
Including drinking more water.
You can think of it as part of their training.
Giving rewards is a form of positive reinforcement according to the AKC.
When you choose the rewards, make sure that your dog values these a lot.
If your pooch doesn’t like the prize that much, it would be useless.
They still won’t drink as much water as you want them to.
To add, the wrong choice of reward can also make your dog hate training.
For example, you reward them with head rubs.
If your dog is merely tolerating this, they’re not going to drink more water.
Your pooch might even grow to avoid drinking water because of the “punishment”.
“But I didn’t scold them.”
Well, dogs might interpret any action from you that they don’t like as a punishment.
Like unwelcome hugs.
Choose the right reward.
You might also be interested in: 13 Effective Tips To Get A Sick Dog To Drink Water (Fast)
#4: Use a different bowl
Just like humans, dogs have preferences, too. As I mentioned, some pooches will even refuse to eat food they don’t like.
It could be due to its smell or texture.
Or any other aspect that can repel them.
This also happens with their drinking bowls.
And probably is the reason why they don’t like to drink.
We usually buy dog bowls based on our preferences.
Looking at the material, color, and its price are some of things that affect our choice.
However, we sometimes forget that our pooch has an opinion too.
If your dog doesn’t like drinking water, try putting their fluids in a different container.
Start by choosing by its material.
There are several types to choose from:
- Stainless steel.
The bowl’s weight, color, and smell can all affect your dog’s drinking habits.
When you do let them try new bowls, introduce it to them slowly.
Follow these simple steps:
- Show them the bowl.
- Let them sniff around and study it.
- Allow your dog to feel the bowl.
- Once they get acquainted with it, set the container and put water inside.
#5: Change their water regularly
Your pooche’s water can store dirt and bacteria over time.
And yes, even if it doesn’t have anything visible on it.
You’ll never know what happened to your dog’s water bowl.
Let alone which germs live there.
A lot of things can happen to your dog’s bowl when you’re not around.
Animals can walk on it and maybe even drink from it.
Especially if it’s located outside.
One particularly dangerous creature touching your dog’s water are rodents.
These animals can bring leptospirosis.
Well, not all dogs would have negative reactions when exposed to the bacteria.
But those that do, it can be extremely dangerous.
Here are some of the diseases your pooch might get from dirty water:
- Kidney failure.
- Loss of energy.
- Decreased appetite.
#6: Make sure their water bowl is clean
This is related to #5.
Dogs are hygienic by nature.
You can see them groom themselves and others, too.
And this cleanliness applies to other parts of their life too.
Including their drinking water.
Sometimes your pooch will avoid taking their water because of dirt.
Their noses are also very strong.
If they smell something they don’t like, it can repel them.
Keeping a clean bowl will have benefits for your dog, too.
It helps keep bacteria and other harmful residues away from your pooch.
These things might grow on your dog’s bowl if not cleaned regularly:
- E. Coli.
#7: Give them ice cubes
Can’t give your pooch water in liquid form?
Transform it into something solid – like ice.
“But I heard it can hurt them”
Generally speaking, it can’t. It’s safe for them to eat it.
As Dr. Klein says, ice is only as good as the water you used to make it.
Warning: Ingesting too much water can do harm to your dog. This is because they can take in air with it. And it can cause bloating.
Ice, on the other hand, can slow down your dog’s water intake because they can’t lap it up quickly.
It’s also helpful for dogs who don’t drink a lot.
Veterinarians even use ice to slowly introduce water to recovering dogs.
Your pooch might also love chewing on ice cubes.
Its coldness can help your dog’s temperature too.
Especially if it’s hot out.
#8: Feed your dog wet food
Another trick you can do is to give meals that have high water content..
You can do this by giving canned dog food to your pooch.
Soaking their meal in water
There are several options for wet meals you can give your pooch.
A well-reviewed one is PEDIGREE Choice Cuts in Gravy Adult Wet Dog Food from Amazon.
This is a tasty solution in increasing your dog’s water intake.
Eating canned dog meals resembles eating raw meat.
In that it is wet in nature.
Here are other plus sides to feeding your dog wet food:
- It can give them their nutrient needs.
- The taste of wet dog food is better to some canines compared to dry food.
- Because of the water content, your pooch will feel more full compared to kibble.
Note: Once a canned dog food is already opened, it is best to refrigerate the remaining. Especially if your fur baby can’t finish all of its content.
#9: Make a game out of it
Have you ever seen dogs try to “bite” water that comes out of hoses and sprinklers?
Look at these funny pooches trying to eat it:
If you live somewhere with sprinklers and a water hose, then this trick is perfect for you.
Dogs love playing games.
They see it as time spent well with you.
“How can I make games out of it, then?”
You can try sprinkling water in short bursts.
If you see them get interested, give them rewards such as treats and pets.
Spray some more water and encourage them to try and “bite” it.
If they do, follow up with rewards.
Try to say praises and vocal cues such as, “Good boy!” and “Go get it!”
Through this, you’ll be building a good relationship with your dog.
Getting them to move and jump around is also helpful for their joints.
#10: Take them out for an exercise
Another trick you can try is to get them tired.
A quick exercise can keep them in shape. And make them thirsty.
What’s more, dogs love physical activities.
Well, there’s a specific reaction in their brains when your pooch engages in exercise.
This is because dogs’ endorphin levels increase when they have physical activities, research says.
And they’d be the ones looking for water from you.
Going out for a run while the sun is up will help too.
If the weather is cold, they might not get warm enough to ask for a drink.
When you plan for a quick exercise with your pooch, always bring water.
You can put it in a bottle and serve in a collapsible bowl.
Open the link and check out SLSON Collapsible Dog Bowl with Carabiners before it runs out.
Bringing portable items like these will ensure that your pooch gets water quickly.
#11: Place it in a new area
Sometimes a quick fix to your pooch not drinking water is to relocate their bowl.
When they see it in a new spot, they might get excited and drink.
As stated in #4, you can do this with a new bowl.
One reason why your dog isn’t drinking is because of bad experiences.
Yep, they sometimes associate things with unwanted memories.
Your pooch might have experienced the following while drinking in a certain spot:
- Got punished by another family member e.g. got screamed at, or worse, they were physically punished.
- An outside animal hurt them in the area.
- They heard a loud noise in the spot caused by a heavy object falling.
Keeping them away from these places would encourage your dog to drink more.
You also need to find a place that isn’t a pathway for people.
When canines get disturbed a lot, it can discourage them from drinking.
You might want to avoid these areas in your house. An example of this would be your hallway.
#12: Keep the bowl near their food
Do you drink water after a meal?
Your fur baby likes to refresh themselves after a hearty meal, too.
And if they can immediately see water beside their food, it’s easier for them to drink.
I, for one, love to get a glass first before sitting down to eat.
That way I have quick access to water.
You can apply this to your pooches, too.
As soon as they finish eating, their urge to drink could be increased.
You can also opt to purchase feeders that have bowls for food and water.
An excellent option would be the Neater Feeder Express Elevated Dog Bowl – Raised Pet Dish from Amazon.
#13: Bring a bottle familiar to them
If you’re going out with your pooch, this might be helpful for you.
Traveling with a dog can be challenging.
Especially when it comes to their food and water consumption.
When they are in an unfamiliar place, their drinking habits might become poor.
Their sense of smell is way better than ours.
And because of this, they can smell whether they aren’t in their homes.
To counter this, bringing something that smells like home would be helpful.
If they have a favorite bowl, bring it with you during your trip.
#14: Let them pee
This seems pretty obvious.
But there are fur parents who sometimes are too busy to help their pooch out in peeing.
When this happens, the water in their system won’t be flushed out.
They wouldn’t need to drink more due to this.
It would be good if you can train your pooch to pee at specific times of the day.
This will be faster if you assign a designated pee area in your home.
Here are a few steps to help you make your dog wizz:
- Choose a vocal cue like, “Go pee” and determine the times when your pooch would usually go.
- Set a schedule that you’d want your dog to take a leak. And when that time comes, take them to the designated area.
- Wait for them to pee.
- When they do, say the vocal cue in the middle of this activity. This way, they’ll associate the command with peeing.
- After they wizz, give them rewards such as treats, pets, and positive words such as, “Good boy”.
- Repeat this training routine until they can already go pee on command.
#15: Use a water fountain
Drinking isn’t interesting for your pooch?
Then make the presentation attractive.
I mean, there’s a reason Gordon Ramsey judges plating in cooking contests.
And if you make your dog’s water as exciting as possible, they just might drink more.
What you can do is purchase a small water fountain.
A good choice from Amazon would be the Veken Pet Fountain Dog Water Dispenser with 3 Replacement Filters & 1 Silicone Mat
Water fountains also have added benefits such as:
- Improved filtration system which helps clean their water.
- Some brands offer multiple level fountains to accommodate several dogs.
- Consistent fresh water supply.
- Can hold a higher amount of water. The one in the link above carries 84.5 oz (2.5 l)
#16: Put small bits of food in their bowl
Here’s another simple yet effective trick: putting food in their water bowl.
Especially ones that are of high value to your dog.
Us, fur parents, know that our pooches do have favorite meals.
When you do decide to do this, try to use their most beloved food.
But before you give them the food, lure them.
What you can do is give them a few bites.
This would work better if they are feeling hungry e.g. meal times.
When they get a taste of their favorite treats, they’ll usually ask for more.
The next ones that you give, put it in their water bowl.
But make sure that they’ll see you drop it in there.
The assumption here is that when your pooch tries to reach for the treat, some water would go with their bites.
Some might even drink the water first just to get to the food you put in the bowl.
If you don’t know what your pooch’s favorite food is, you can try feeding them high-value treats.
These are usually frozen and extra smelly.
Examples of these are:
- Pieces of chicken.
- Xylitol-free peanut butter.
#17: Feed them fruits that are rich in water
Summertime will always be more refreshing when there are fresh water-filled fruits around.
Have you ever tried eating watermelon while getting a tan on a beach?
That, to me, is the definition of a relaxing day.
Well, aside from cuddling up with your pooch while it’s raining outside.
Nonetheless, water-rich fruits will get your dogs to drink more.
On top of that, they also get nutrients and minerals that can be found from these fresh fruits.
Here are a few that you can feed to your pooch, according to the AKC:
And these are the nutrients and minerals that your pooch will get from snacking on fresh fruits:
- Vitamin A.
- Vitamin C.
- Vitamin K.
- Vitamin E.
You can also offer the fruits cold to add a cooling effect, especially during hot days.
#18: Let them drink from your hands
Another good trick would be to put a more up close and personal touch to your pooch’s drink.
Your dog would love to get near you.
This can be observed by your pooch running towards the bathroom everytime you enter.
Your fur baby doesn’t do this?
How about the joy you see in their face when you come home?
That right there is proof enough of their love for you.
And you can use this affection to get them to drink more.
For starters, you can try to cup water with both of your hands.
Then try calling them and offering a drink.
Encouraging them would help a lot.
Vocal cues like, “Drink” and “Go get it” will also motivate them to take a sip.
But this would only be effective if they are already trained to listen to these words.
If this doesn’t work, you can try drinking from it first – but make sure you use clean water for this.
#19: Lightly increase their sodium intake
High sodium in a pooch’s body is generally bad for their health.
It can destroy their kidneys just like it would damage yours.
When you increase their sodium intake with just a little bit, it will make their bodies want more water.
It’s their system’s way of trying to correct the rise of salt in their meals.
The sodium in their bodies will then pass through their liver.
It’s your pooch’s main filtration tool.
According to PetMD, the liver’s job is to remove toxins and other impurities in their system.
And when it detects an increase of sodium, it will tell your pooch’s brain to drink more water.
“So what’s the limit?”
According to a study, you can feed your pooch up to 3.75 g of sodium/1,000 kcal metabolizable energy (ME).
Since this amount is what the FEDIAF considers safe.
Check if your dog’s current kibble is a low-sodium meal and switch to something that has higher amounts of it.
Just make sure it doesn’t go beyond the maximum.
What would happen if my dog didn’t drink water?
Making your pooch take their fluids can be tiring, right?
But don’t give up, this is for their own good.
Water is essential to a healthy life for your pooch.
And if they don’t drink enough of it, they’ll suffer from dehydration.
“How do I know if my dog is dehydrated?”
Here are a few things that your pooch would do if they are suffering from this condition:
- Dry nose.
- Poor appetite.
- Frequent panting.
- Avoiding playtime.
- Thick saliva consistency.
- Deep and dry-looking eyes.
- Their gums are dry and sticky.
Dr. Klein suggests using your dog’s skin elasticity to check for dehydration.
Here are the steps:
- Gently grab your dog’s skin near their shoulder area.
- Slowly lift it up. Make sure it’s stretched.
- Immediately release your hold.
- Check if their skin goes back into place almost instantly.
If their skin does spring back into place quickly, then they’re well-hydrated.
Otherwise, it’s a sign your pooch needs more water.
“I think my dog is dehydrated. What should I do?”
If you notice that it is in its early stages, you can try to do the tricks to get your pooch to drink listed above.
However, if it has already been ongoing for quite some time, here’s what you can do:
- Give them drinks that have electrolytes. It’s best to go for non-flavored ones. Your pooch might not like those with flavor.
- Pedialyte Electrolyte Solution, Unflavored Hydration Drink is an excellent choice from Amazon
- Slowly introduce fluids to your pooch. Giving them a lot of water immediately can cause them to vomit. Which will make them more dehydrated.
- If the dehydration is severe, bring them to your vet immediately. They’ll be given intravenous fluids to hydrate them.
Sometimes, dehydration can be a symptom of a more serious condition.
By bringing your pooch to the vet, they’ll be getting a full check-up.
Your fur baby could receive x-rays and blood work.
Warning: If severe dehydration is left untreated, canines may experience severe organ damage.
But don’t worry – as long as you always keep them in check, your dog will always be healthy and hydrated.