My Dog Doesn’t Want to Drink Water: Reasons and Solutions



If your dog generally doesn’t want to drink water, especially on summer days, you are facing a problem that must be solved.

Water, a fundamental component of every organism, should always be in supply. In this article, you will find the reasons why your dog drinks little water, the consequences of dehydration, and how to help your pet drink the right amount of water in order to keep its body healthy and hydrated.

There are some things you can do with the dog food and the recipient you choose for water in order to make your dog drink more. Water is the most important component for all living beings. It is vital for both dogs and humans.

Up to 80% of the body is water: It is good for blood circulation, detoxification, and digestion. The body needs water every day to avoid dehydration. Vomiting, diarrhea, or other illnesses can lead to significant loss of water from the body. That is why it is important to rehydrate your dog immediately after one of these occurs. But if your dog does not drink water, it is advisable to take urgent measures to prevent its body from getting dehydrated.

Dog Size

The need for water depends on the size of the dog. Certainly, a small dog needs less water than a large dog. In addition to the physical size, the dog food you choose for your loyal friend also plays an important role. For example, wet dog food may contain up to 70-75% water. Consequently, the dog will be less thirsty. But if you give it dry food which contains about 8% water, you will notice that your pet will get thirstier.

Weather conditions are another key factor that influences your dog’s need to drink water. If temperatures are high, you should pay attention and try to give more water to your dog since it will feel the urge to drink it more often. The same thing can happen if you let it do a lot of physical activity.

How much water should a dog drink? The proportion can be calculated according to its weight. If we take a context in which there are moderate temperatures and that the dog is not sporty and is not always in movement, it could require approximately 30-40 mL of water for each pound of weight. This means that we have to relate the proportion according to the lifestyle and the environment in which the dog lives.

Why Is My Dog Not Drinking Water? Here Are Some Possible Reasons

If your dog drinks little water or does not feel the urge to do so, it may have a physical or psychological problem. The most common causes include:

  • An illness,
  • Aging,
  • A trauma,
  • A change of environment,
  • Unclean water.

Older dogs may have less appetite and less thirst: The need for water can be reduced considerably. This is also due to the effort that the act requires. The hydration of an older dog is always essential. You can try feeding it a moister diet to help it consume water without forcing it to do so.

If the absence of thirst is caused by a disease, then the dog will also have other symptoms such as fatigue. If the dog has just had surgery and is recovering from a disease, it is normal that it is less thirsty than usual.

You should also check that there is nothing in its mouth that bothers it and causes pain when it drinks water.

A dog is a creature of habit, that is to say, it has its own routines: a change of environment, for instance, affects its habits and can be traumatic to the point of causing it unhappiness to live elsewhere and leading it to not want to eat and drink. In this case, it usually go back to normal in a few days.

Dogs are also very influenced by their surroundings and are not willing to drink water anywhere. If they don’t like a place, they may refuse to drink it. Don’t forget that dogs have a very developed sense of smell and if they smell something they don’t like, they may refuse water because they don’t like it.

Even our four-legged friends have their preferences when it comes to tastes and flavors. Dogs recognize by their sense of smell whether they like something or not.

How to make your dog drink water? Here are some tips

Does your dog drink little? Try a few simple tricks to help the dog drink more. It is essential to provide it with a recipient with fresh and clean water: change water frequently and clean the recipient to prevent residues from settling.

Plastic recipients are more difficult to clean. Choose recipients made of steel since they are more practical and last longer. Consider using those recipients with a bent edge since they are more stable.

If the dog doesn’t drink, change the place where the recipient is or change the type of the recipient. Maybe another color will motivate it to drink more.

If you are close to him and you have forgotten the recipient, don’t worry. Your dog will be happy to drink even from your hands. If you find a source of drinking water, let it run and the dog will be able to drink the running water.

What should the dog drink? Water is the best option

Water is the best option to satiate and hydrate the dog’s body. It contains mineral salts and does not cause side effects. However, you should know that your friend would like to have other drinks such as unsweetened fruit juices or salt-free vegetable broth which is also rich in vitamins.

Except for soy milk for puppies, milk is not recommended because it is difficult to digest. Obviously, carbonated drinks and drinks with caffeine are not recommended. Sometimes, a dog does not drink water because it is not cold enough. Change it regularly, especially if the temperature is high and, if necessary, cool it with an ice cube.

If your dog has never been used to drinking from a water recipient, it will have to be trained to do so. Leave it near the doghouse or the food recipient and you will see that, sooner or later, it will start to get used to it.

If the dog refuses to drink and puts its paws in the recipient, it wants you to change the water because it is probably dirty. If you are traveling, choose a recipient that you can take with you so that you can quench your dog’s thirst during the trip.

If you notice signs of fatigue, little desire to move, excessive salivation, dry jaws, dry skin, sunken eyes, and loss of appetite, your dog may be dehydrated and in more extreme cases could collapse.

If your dog drinks more water than normal, you should take him to a veterinary control, because it is probably suffering from diabetes or other diseases, such as kidney problems.

If in doubt, please consult a professional who will give you good assistance and answer all your questions.

You may be interested in reading another article related to the behavior of our friends such as:

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