dog won't drink water

What to Do If Your Dog Won’t Drink Water

Just like humans, dogs can’t survive without water. Your dog needs to drink enough water every day to stay hydrated. So, what do you do if your dog won’t drink water? Keep reading to learn the effects and solutions to your dog refusing to drink water.

6 Reasons Why Your Dog Doesn’t Drink Water


It’s not normal for a dog to refuse to drink water, especially for a prolonged period. It’s a clear sign of trouble and therefore it should be addressed immediately to avoid tragedy. Here are some of the main reasons why your dog may refuse to drink water.

1. Consumption of Bad Food or Poison

Dogs are opportunistic eaters. This means that your dog will eat almost anything available to them when they are hungry. Therefore, it might end up ingesting bad food or poisonous items without your knowledge.

This could leave your pooch very sick and incapacitated. In such a situation, your dog might lose appetite and avoid eating or drinking anything. This is one of the main symptoms you should look out for in your dog.

You should also look out for signs of nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting in your dog. If you see any of these symptoms, take your dog to the nearest vet for tests and treatment. Don’t try to force her to drink water.

2. Infected Bladder

Bladder infections are known to prevent dogs from drinking water because they are very painful when the bladder is full. Furthermore, a bladder infection can make your dog lose appetite.

So, how do you know if your pup has an infected bladder? The first sign to look out for is a change in your dog’s urinating habits. For example, your dog might start to urinate more often than normal.

You might also notice that your dog is urinating in different places around the house, even where it shouldn’t be. If these changes are accompanied by loss of appetite and refusal to drink water, then it’s time to see a vet.

3. Growing Old

Older animals, especially dogs, tend to become disinterested in food and water. This can be attributed to disruptions of the dog’s normal signals that make her thirsty and hungry. It could also be due to loss of appetite.

Just like humans, dogs tend to develop various medical conditions as they grow old. These conditions can cause numerous symptoms, including nausea, loss of appetite, and pain in different parts of the body. This can cause a loss of interest in water and food.

When this happens, take your dog to the vet immediately for tests and treatment. There are various types of medications that your dog can take to manage the symptoms of the underlying conditions. This will restore its appetite and interest in drinking water.

4. Dirty and Smelly Water

Before you move to a new house or location, check the quality of water to ensure that it’s fit for human and animal consumption. Although dogs aren’t very choosy when it comes to food and water, your dog may have trouble drinking dirty or smelly water.

Sometimes your dog will refuse to drink water in your new house if it smells or tastes different from what it is used to. In some instances, your dog will refuse to drink the water if it comes from a different well.

So, you might have to add a safe flavor to the water to encourage your dog to drink it. Reduce the amount of flavor in the water progressively as your dog gets used to the water. If the water is dirty clean it up with the right water cleaning products.

5. Anxiety

Did you know that dogs suffer from anxiety? Research has shown that some dogs are highly susceptible to fear and anxiety. This can lead to loss of appetite and thirst. If your dog gets scared while drinking water, it may become anxious and lose interest in drinking water.

The anxiety and fear could come from fights with other dogs and animals in your home. You or other family members could also scare the dog, especially if you scold her when she urinates in the house. This can cause the dog to lose interest in drinking water.

You can address this by trying to reassure the dog and making her feel comfortable around you. If other animals in the house are cruel to the dog, separate them or find ways to foster a cordial relationship between them.

6. Dental Problems

If your dog has a sore mouth or painful gum, it’ll lose interest in food and water. So, you have to address the dental problem first to enable your dog to eat and drink water. Some dental problems require the intervention of a vet.

Therefore, consider taking your dog to the vet for medical checkups and treatment. Ignoring dental problems in your dog could lead to other serious health complications, especially if they prevent the dog from eating and drinking.

How to Make Your Dog Drink More Water

Drink More Water

Sometimes your dog may refuse to drink water completely or cut down on the amount of water it drinks every day. Either way, you have to figure out the best solution to this problem before it becomes catastrophic.

Please note that your dog should drink an ounce (1/8 of a cup) of water per every pound of its body weight. Therefore, if your dog isn’t drinking this amount of water every day, you have to find out why and deal with it immediately. Here are some of the steps you should take to make your dog drink adequate water.

1. Keep the Water Clean

As mentioned above, some dogs are quite picky when it comes to food and water. They won’t drink water if it contains impurities. Therefore, you should always ensure that the water in your house is clean.

Sometimes the impurities in the water could come from the bowl or cup you serve the food and water in. Therefore, always ensure that your dog’s bowl and cup are clean. Check the amount of chlorine in your water regularly as it could prevent your dog from drinking water.

2. Make the Bowl Accessible

Your dog may refuse to drink water simply because it’s unable to reach the drinking bowl. So, make sure the bowl is placed in a position where your dog can comfortably drink to its fill.

Instead of having one drinking bowl, you should have several of them placed in different locations, especially if you have several pets in the house. This will reduce conflict among the pets, allowing each animal to drink enough water from the bowls that are readily available to them.

3. Flavor Your Dog’s Water

Your dog can refuse to drink water if it has an unfamiliar smell. This happens when you move to a new house or your local water supplier changes their source of water. In this case, you should add your dog’s preferred flavor to the water to encourage it to drink.

Do this until the dog gets used to the taste and smell of the water. You can also add water to your dog’s food. Some dogs aren’t comfortable drinking pure, tasteless water. You can ensure your dog drinks enough water by adding water to its food.

4. Install a Fountain

Dogs love playing in running water. So, if your pooch isn’t interested in drinking water from the bowl, get a small fountain. It’s a fun way to keep the pooch stay hydrated.

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