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What to Do If Your Dog Is Not Drinking Water

What to Do If Your Dog Is Not Drinking Water
This article contains: Dog

What to Do If Your Dog Is Not Drinking Water

Is your dog not drinking water? This could be a sign of distress – and should be addressed straight away.

Like humans, dogs need a regular intake of water to stay happy and healthy. A critical component of several core body processes – including digestion, blood circulation, and waste removal – it is especially concerning when your dog refuses to drink water. There are a few things you can do to get your pet back on the right track however, if you are worried it’s always best to check with your vet to rule out anything more serious before trying any of the suggestions below.

We look at some sure-fire ways to help with your dog not drinking enough water...

1. Always keep water fresh and clean

You wouldn’t drink water that’s not good for you, so make sure your pup doesn’t either. Change the water in your dog’s bowl regularly throughout the day. Provide filtered water that’s chilled and refreshing for them to enjoy. This will also help to limit the chances of harmful bacteria from breeding and upsetting their tummy.

Also, many dogs prefer outside water to domestic supply due to the chlorine it contains, so always have filtered / bottled water to hand where possible.

2. Buy more bowls

Having multiple bowls can come in handy; sometimes, dogs who roam a large house are simply too lazy to take the walk to their sole drinking source. Try placing a single bowl near the entrance of the rooms your dog spends the most time in. Aim for at least one bowl on each level of your home, especially around spaces they associate with food and play.

3. Make sure water is accessible

As well as putting lots of bowls around your home, you should also think about how to make drinking water an easy, comfortable experience for your dog. This is because our furry friends are more likely to forgo tasks that they find too challenging, even if it means not meeting their basic needs. For example, consider switching to an elevated bowl if yours is an older dog, so they don’t have to stretch as much.

4. Add some to their food

If your dog is not drinking enough water, adding a bit to their food can be a good way of ensuring they still get some of their daily intake. If your pet eats mostly dry food, this is a particularly important solution to adopt. Add a little at first then work your way up, indirectly accustoming them to the habit of having water with every meal.

5. Offer from your hand

There are occasions when dogs just can’t stand drinking out of their bowl(s), even if they’re dangerously dehydrated, so it’s important to come up with a viable alternative if this ever happens to your pet. If they’re refusing to drink outright, your dog might lap up a small amount of water from your cupped hand. Teaching them to do this is also a great way to encourage them to engage and bond with you, their owner.

6. Wash bowls daily

No-one likes a dirty plate; it’s not healthy and can lead to diseases. Your dog’s water bowl is the same. If you notice it turning slimy or looking just generally off, be sure to clean as thoroughly as possible – preferably with an antibacterial soap and warm water. It could even be that the bowl itself being dirty is the primary reason for your dog not drinking water to begin with!

7. Flavour the water

If there’s one proven way to make a dog drink water, it’s through flavouring. Popular choices among responsible pet owners include low-sodium chicken broth and goat milk in powder. Just be sure that the flavouring enhancing your dog’s water doesn’t interfere with their regular diet and is something you know will taste good to them.

8. Have water to hand when you take them out

Dogs have been known to refuse water after exercise. Yes, even if they’re panting and look in desperate need of a drink. Always be prepared during outings by carrying around a travelling water bowl, bottle or cup. This is especially crucial during the summer months, when your dog is more likely to catch sunburn and/or heatstroke.

9. Get a pet fountain

For a pet who struggles with drinking water, you’re onto a real winner here. Especially seeing as many dogs love moving water! On top of that, most models only provide filtered water, so you don’t have to change the supply or check on your dog’s daily intake as frequently.

10. Visit your local vet

If you are still struggling, you should take your dog to the vet for a check-up. They will conduct a thorough physical examination of your pet, so be sure not to leave out any details about their day-to-day habits and routine. The information you give may help result in a quicker diagnosis, leading to more effective treatment – if it’s needed.

Another way to help ease the stress and anxiety of your dog not drinking water is to ensure they’re protected with the right pet insurance. View our dog insurance policies to see how Petplan can help.

Do you have any other advice on getting your dog to drink more water? Let us know in the comments below...

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