Why Won T My Dog Drink Water?

Your dog wont drink water and youre wondering why? Dont worry, you are not alone! Under most circumstances, dogs will drink sufficiently and they will remain well-hydrated with no encouragement, but sometimes our dogs just arent thirsty. This article may help you to understand why your dog wont drink water and what can you do about it. If your dog is also not eating, discover the reasons why a dog wont eat.

As a general rule, the amount of water a dog needs to drink in a day is equal to: Dr. Jrgen Zentek, head of the Institute for Animal Nutrition at the University of Berlin, created several formulas which take into consideration the size of the dog, activity level, temperature, and food type.

A slight decrease in water consumption due to reduced activity is no cause for alarm . And thanks to their acute sense of smell, dogs know how to distinguish between familiar and unfamiliar sources of water. However if the smell of the water is not recognized as familiar, your dog may simply refuse to drinkit .

In some cases, illnesses such as diabetes and kidney disease may cause a dogs appetite for water to diminish completely. So if you think your dog wont drink water because of a disease, you should contact your vet immediately. Its a good idea to write your dogs drinking behavior down to help the vet figure out the problem.

It could simply be that getting to the water requires too much effort, or that the sense of thirst may be diminishing along with its appetite. However, older dogs need to maintain adequate hydration levels, so if drinking seems to be an issue, switching to a moist food might help. If they experience fright or pain, they typically associate those negative feelings with the circumstances in which they first experienced them.

At puppy age, many animals produce the lactase enzyme, responsible for decomposing the lactose. Good to know: Therefore its important to stop feeding your dog milk as soon as he is no longer a puppy! Fermented products, such as hard cheese, yogurt or buttermilk, contain a smaller amount of lactose.

During the fermentation process, various supplements such as bacteria are added to the milk, which turns the lactose into a more digestible form. Get a good orientation on how much water does your dog really need, depending on his weight, food diet and activity level :

What do I do if my dog won't drink water?

Place water bowls everywhere. To encourage your pet to drink more water, place more than one water bowl in the house. ….Consider feeding your pets wet food. ….Add flavor to water. ….Test different bowls. ….Consider Contacting an Expert.

How long is too long for a dog not to drink water?

If he is indoors, cool, and in good health, he will be fine. The general rule of thumb is that your dog can survive approximately 72 hours without water, but after the first 24 the effects of dehydration will start to present. Beyond that, you could be causing irreparable damage.

Why will my dog eat but not drink?

And it may be due to a variety of reasons, ranging from picky eating habits to a serious illness. Here are some of the most common reasons why a dog might stop eating: An upset stomach for any reason (for example, eating spoiled food, garbage, sweets, poisonous plants, or table scraps). Finicky eating habits.

How can I get my dog to drink more water?

Provide More Water Bowls. Your dog may not drink enough water if there’s just one water bowl in your home. ….Get A Doggy Drinking Fountain. ….Make A Doggy Smoothie. ….Add Water To Your Dog’s Food. ….Make Doggy Ice Pops. ….Wash Water Bowls Daily. ….Get A Bigger Dog Bowl. ….Offer Water From Your Hand.

There are a number of possible reasons why a dog might refuse water, including illness, aging, an upsetting experience, or a change in surroundings or water source. There are also a number of tactics and tricks that can be employed to persuade a dog to drink again. If, however, the cause cannot be established, or the dog cannot be persuaded to drink, the animal should be taken to a veterinarian without delay, as dehydration is a serious condition.

These animals have an extremely acute sense of smell, and just a small difference in the composition of the local water may be very noticeable to them. Although dogs may seem unfussy about water quality they will often drink out of ponds and puddles, for example they may be very suspicious of anything that smells unfamiliar.

Older dogs especially need to maintain adequate hydration levels, so if drinking seems to be an issue, switching to a moist food might help.

Dogs need to stay well-hydrated, so a dogs refusal to drink water might be cause for concern. You should expect your dog to drink water freely and enthusiastically several times a day. If your dog doesnt drink for a day or more, and turns its head away when offered water, there is probably a problem.

Aging Tainted water Dehydration Urinary tract infection Oral illness or injury Dogs that go more than a day without drinking may become dehydrated, which is a dangerous condition that may require veterinary care.

Compare plans Drinking water is a cornerstone of any dogs health, and a disturbance in normal drinking patterns can indicate a wide variety of problems. Older dogs also may not feel as thirsty, as they typically exercise less, and might have an overall lower level of thirst. It may help your dog to provide meals with higher water content, such as switching to canned food instead of kibble.

They can detect odors and tastes that are imperceptible to most humans. If your dog is panting or drooling more than usual, has red, dry, or sticky gums, problems with normal coordination, or skin that does not retain its normal moisture and elasticity, your dog may be suffering from dehydration. While any illness may disrupt a dogs normal consumption of food and water, urinary tract infections and oral injuries are sometimes more likely to turn a dog away from water.

The pain of a urinary tract infection can cause a dog to refuse to drink water. Oral injuries can include periodontal disease, tooth root abscess, dislocation, loss or fracture, or mouth cancer. Both periodontal disease and tooth root abscess are typically related to poor oral hygiene, while tooth root abscess, dislocation, loss, or fracture occur when there is trauma to the teeth, such as the dog biting something hard enough to break a tooth.

Issues of aging and clean water can usually be handled with common sense, but dehydration, urinary tract infections, and oral illness and injuries require immediate veterinary attention. While a dehydrated dog should drink water or another dog-friendly oral rehydration fluid, it also may need more advanced interventions. Under a veterinarians supervision, the dog may receive fluid therapy, such as subcutaneous administration of lactated Ringers solution.

Urinary tract infections require a veterinarians immediate attention. If left untreated for any period of time, they can quickly worsen. Sometimes a dog can develop a recurring condition, where the infection becomes resistant to an antibiotic, or comes back repeatedly.

When you notice an oral abnormality of any kind, take your dog to the vet immediately. A tooth root abscess can be initially treated by gently cleaning out the dogs mouth with salt water, but a veterinarian must supervise the clearing of any kind of pus buildup. The dogs teeth should be professionally cleaned, and tooth extraction will be required in more serious cases.

The tumor may be removable by surgery, but the dog may also require radiation therapy. Your dog must never be left in a hot confined space, such as a locked car with the windows rolled up. Monitor your dog carefully to familiarize yourself with his regular habits of drinking and urination.

Provide safe chew toys and have your dogs teeth regularly cleaned by a professional. The causes of a dog‘s refusal to drink can be expensive to treat. To protect your dog and prevent high vet care costs, start searching for pet insurance today .

Wellness lets pet parents compare insurance plans from leading companies like PetPlan and Trupanion . The cost of treating a dogs refusal to drink depends on the cause. It would be best to have her seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine her, see what might be causing this problem, and get her treatment so that she feels better.

Not really eating much and her water bowl is always fun These past 3 days but she hasnt touched it. There are a number of things that might cause this problem in a 15 year old dog, and it would be best to have her seen by a veterinarian.

Sometimes your dog will refuse to drink water. Whether he’s recovering from surgery or just not feeling well, you need to know how to make a dog drink water when he doesn’t want to. It sounds simple, but as the old saying goes, you can lead a horse (or dog, in this case) to water, but you can’t make him drink.

In turn, a doing being dehydrated for only a couple of days can lead to more serious health problems. If you’ve noticed a sudden change in your dog‘s water intake (whether he’s drinking more or less) that lasts for more than 24 hours, it’s best to seek the advice of your veterinarian.

Unfamiliar surroundings Aging Illness or disease Negative experiences or fear Inactivity and overall lack of exercise As I demonstrate in my video above, the first thing to do is pinch the skin on the back of your dog‘s neck, then let it go. To do this, gently press your finger on the dog‘s gums until the pink color fades.

If your dog is showing signs of dehydration, seek veterinary care immediately . If your dog is dehydrated, waiting just a few hours could be the difference between a quick treatment with IV fluids and a much more serious health problem, and sometimes even death. There’s a popular drink for humans suffering from dehydration called Pedialyte .

Pedialyte is specifically formulated to help replenish fluids and electrolytes more effectively than other drinks, and it’s completely safe for dogs. When learning how to make a dog drink water to prevent dehydration, Pedialyte liquid is a the best and most effective tool to have in your arsenal. So if your dog wont drink the Pedialyte mixture, you can administer it in small doses via syringe .

Ensuring that your dog is drinking enough water could be an everyday battle with some pets. A couple of tablespoons of broth should be enough to entice most dogs to drink because it smells good to them and tastes better than water. Your dog may not want to drink older, stagnant, warm water and these fountains prevent it.

Ice cubes If you’re using a traditional dog bowl, make sure the water is always fresh, clean and cold. For example, some dogs are afraid of the noise of metal water bowls. Vomiting Pale gums Nausea Lethargy Staggering Loss of coordination Dilated pupils Bloating Excessive salivation

Some examples include kidney issues, diabetes, Cushings disease, or uterine infection. If you have other questions about how to make a dog drink water, the following information should help. If your dog doesnt want to drink water, you may be tempted to offer him milk instead.

If you give your lactose-intolerant dog milk, he can have stomach aches, diarrhea, and flatulence and may feel generally unwell. If your dog still wont drink water even with the above advice, you should talk to your vet.

Things to Check

Perhaps the first thing to check if a dog is not drinking water is that the animal is not suffering from an obstruction in the mouth that makes it painful or difficult to drink — sometimes it can be something as simple as a small stick or burr. If the dog is recovering from surgery or an injury, it is not uncommon for it to be reluctant to drink for a while. Switching from dry to wet food may result in a pet drinking less water, as it is getting more moisture from its food. Illness could also be a cause, and if the animal shows any other signs of ailment, such as unusual lethargy, or seems to be in pain, it should be taken to a veterinarian. If none of these seem to apply, the reason could be psychological, rather than physical.

Unfamiliar Places and Smells

Many dogs will avoid drinking water in strange places because the water smells different from what they are used to at home. These animals have an extremely acute sense of smell, and just a small difference in the composition of the local water may be very noticeable to them. Although dogs may seem unfussy about water quality — they will often drink out of ponds and puddles, for example — they may be very suspicious of anything that smells unfamiliar. It might be a good idea to try giving the dog bottled water instead of tap water.


Anxiety and some pain might occur when dogs are dealing styes. As we mentioned above the area around the eye can get irritated either ue to bacterial infection or debris that has gotten very close to the eyelid and caused irritation.


Sometimes, a change in surroundings in itself can have an upsetting effect on an animal. Some dogs are quite adaptable and will settle into new accommodation very quickly. Others, however, may be nervous or very set in their ways, and will initially be unhappy in their new surroundings. Usually, if this is the case, the pet will settle down and start drinking again after a day or two.A change in circumstances at home can also cause this problem. Such changes might include the pet having to spend more time on its own due to a change in working patterns, or someone leaving the home permanently. Often, an animal that is lonely or upset will refuse to eat or drink. Again, it may settle down after a day or two, when it has become used to the new routine. If you notice your pet is anxious or not comfortable it could help to give them something that helps calm them down.Our favorite products for anxiety are natural remedies like: