When we think about dogs, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? It’s probably that they need to drink a lot of water. It is important for your dog to stay hydrated because water helps to move nutrients into and out of the cells of the body. It is also essential for cooling them down so they can maintain a regular body temperature, as they do not have sweat glands like humans.
I’ve noticed there are several reasons for why my dogs have stopped drinking which has made me think, “Why won’t my dog drink water?” Luckily, I’ve been able to fix each reason either with the help of store-bought products or their veterinarian.
You can now take advantage of my experience and use these tested and proven methods to motivate your dog to drink more water. I will help you understand the causes for dogs avoiding water, what you can do to help them, and what steps you can take to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
1. Dealing with a Picky Drinker
It’s easy to blame an illness or some type of discomfort for your dog not drinking water, but in all actuality, it could be something as simple as your dog being a picky drinker. I remember when my first Beagle Marlie was a puppy; she wouldn’t have anything to do with a regular bowl of water.
After consulting a couple of friends about her strange behavior, I decided that it would be beneficial to explore other methods that she could use to get the water she needed – especially puppy water bottles. You might have seen these before, as they’re typically installed in cages for small animals such as hamsters and pets.
A puppy water bottle is unique in the fact that it allows your dog to get water when they want from a convenient location. Also, they’re far cleaner than a typical bowl that you would put on the floor. All you have to do is remove the bottle, refill it with refreshing water, and place it back on their kennel or mount it to the wall near their eating area.
2. Pain While Drinking and Eating
Marlie, my dog, loves to chew on sticks; it’s been a habit that she’s had ever since she was a puppy. Unfortunately, even though it might seem harmless for them to play around with things in nature, certain things can damage the inside of your dog’s mouth. In my case, the sticks began to irritate her gums to the point where getting her to eat or drink anything was a chore.
Typically you should be able to do a quick oral exam of your dog’s mouth on your own, pay attention to any signs of damage such as bleeding, cuts, or scrapes. Make sure to pay special attention to their tongue, side of the mouth, and their gums. If you notice an item stuck in an uncomfortable spot, you’ll need to have it removed. Depending on how comfortable your pet is, you can either remove it yourself, or you can visit the vet.
3. The Age of Your Dog
Most commonly, pet owners can sometimes forget that as they age, so do their pets. We know that as dogs get older regular daily activities get harder and their appetite decreases. Age is also a common factor for your dog refusing to drink as much water as they used to and sometimes they won’t drink any at all. It’s important to remember that just like humans, if not more, dogs require water because otherwise they will dehydrate and become very ill.
One way to deal with an older pet refusing to drink water is to place their water bowl closer to where they spend most of their time. For example, if you own a dog that enjoys lying down in front of the couch, try putting their water and food bowls in that area.
Another alternative is to consider switching to wet food or to begin adding a pet-friendly bone broth to their dry food. Even though it might not be as hydrating as an entire bowl of water, wet food and bone broth have some added moisture and will give you peace of mind.
4. Disease and Illness
Infectious diseases are the primary cause for dogs not drinking water if they’re ill and rabies is the most common. Other diseases and illnesses to take into consideration include: Periodontitis, Distemper, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, Leptospirosis, and Parvo.
If you’re concerned about the overall health of your pet and you’ve noticed they’re exhibiting signs of an illness, it is important that you take them to their veterinarian and request a physical workup.
With the help of the above tips and tricks, you won’t have to worry about why your dog won’t drink water and you’ll start to notice a happier and healthier pet in your home. With the combination of healthier chew toys, easy to eat wet food, and a change in the way your dog drinks, it can be simple to ensure they’re getting the perfect amount of hydration throughout the day.