How to Get My Dog to Drink Water? Unlock the Secret and Keep Them Hydrated!

how to get my dog to drink water

Water plays an essential role in maintaining the well-being of all living beings, pets included.

Just like humans, dogs need an adequate intake of water to maintain proper bodily functions and overall health.

However, some dogs may be reluctant to drink enough water. It can lead to dehydration and various health problems. So how to get my dog to drink water?

If you’re wondering how to get your dog to drink water, this comprehensive guide is for you! We will provide you with practical tips and tricks to encourage your canine companion to stay hydrated and happy.

Understanding the Importance of Water for Dogs

Water is not only important for human beings but also for our canine companions.

Just like humans, dogs rely on water for their overall health and well-being.

Water is involved in numerous vital functions within a dog’s body. It is an essential component of their daily lives. Here are some primary roles of water in dogs:

1. It aids in digestion.

One of the primary roles of water is aiding in digestion.

Dogs require water to break down food, absorb nutrients, and eliminate waste properly.

The digestive process can be hindered without sufficient water. It may lead to issues like constipation or difficulty in passing stools.

2. It regulates their body temperature.

Furthermore, water plays a significant role in regulating a dog’s body temperature.

Dogs do not have an effective cooling mechanism like humans do, such as sweating.

Instead, they rely on panting and evaporating moisture from their tongue and respiratory tract to dissipate heat.

This evaporation process helps cool down their body temperature, preventing overheating.

However, this cooling mechanism can only be effective if dogs have an ample supply of water to replenish the moisture lost through panting.

3. It lubricates a dog’s joints.

In addition to digestion and temperature regulation, water also lubricates a dog’s joints.

Dogs have joints that require proper lubrication, just like us. It helps to maintain smooth movement and reduce friction.

Sufficient water intake ensures that a dog’s joints remain well-hydrated. It contributes to their overall mobility and joint health.

4. It is essential for physiological functions within a dog’s body

Water is also essential for various physiological functions within a dog’s body.

It is involved in nutrient transportation, waste removal, and cell function.

Water helps deliver essential nutrients throughout the body. It also aids in the elimination of waste products through urine and feces.

It also plays a crucial role in maintaining cell function, as water is a primary component of cells and bodily fluids.

As responsible dog owners, it is our duty to prioritize the availability of clean and fresh water for our furry friends.

Dogs rely on us to provide them with a constant supply of water to meet their hydration needs.

Always ensure that your dog’s bowl is clean, the water is fresh, and it is easily accessible to them.

Regularly monitor their water intake. Consult with your vet immediately if you notice any significant changes or signs of dehydration.

Recognizing Dehydration in Dogs

Dehydration can be a serious concern for dogs. It may occur due to various reasons such as insufficient water intake, excessive heat, illness, or certain medications.

Recognizing the warning signs of dehydration in dogs is crucial for prompt intervention.

Common symptoms include:

  • Dry gums,
  • Lethargy,
  • Sunken eyes,
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Excessive panting, and
  • Loss of skin elasticity.

If you suspect your dog is dehydrated, contact your veterinarian immediately.

How to Get My Dog to Drink Water? 9 Useful Tips

Tip #1: Ensuring the Availability of Fresh Water

One of the simplest ways to encourage your dog to drink water is by providing a constant supply of fresh water.

Ensure that your dog’s water bowl is clean. Replace the water regularly, preferably multiple times a day.

Clean water not only enhances palatability. It also prevents the growth of bacteria or other contaminants that may deter your dog from drinking.

Tip #2: Choosing the Right Water Bowl

The choice of a bowl can influence your dog’s drinking water habits. Opt for a sturdy, non-toxic, and easy-to-clean bowl.

Stainless steel and ceramic bowls are excellent choices as they are hygienic and resistant to bacterial growth.

Avoid plastic bowls. They can retain odors, and develop scratches that harbor bacteria. It may also cause allergic reactions in some dogs.

Tip #3: Optimal Placement of the Water Bowl

The location of your dog’s water bowl can also affect their drinking behavior.

Place the water bowl in a quiet and easily accessible area of your home. Avoid placing it near their food bowl or litter box. Dogs instinctively prefer to have separate areas for eating, drinking, and elimination.

Also, if you have many dogs or a large home, having multiple bowls and water bowls strategically placed can encourage hydration.

This allows each dog to have easy access to water without competition or territorial issues. Place water bowls in different areas, ensuring that each dog has a convenient option nearby.

This way, dogs won’t have to travel far to quench their thirst, promoting regular hydration.

Tip #4: Encouraging Drinking Water Through Routine

Establishing a consistent routine can help encourage your dog to drink water regularly.

Dogs thrive on structure, so try to provide water at specific times during the day. For example, offer fresh water after your dog wakes up in the morning, before and after meals, and before bedtime.

By associating water intake with a routine, your dog will develop a habit of drinking water more regularly.

Tip #5: Enhancing Water Palatability

Some dogs may be picky about the taste of water. Enhancing the palatability of the water can entice them to drink more. Here are a few tricks to make water more appealing:

  • Ensure the water is fresh and clean.
  • Filtered water may taste better for some dogs.
  • Use stainless steel or ceramic bowls.
  • Consider using a pet-friendly water fountain that provides a constant flow of fresh water. This can be more enticing to some dogs.

Tip #6: Adding Flavorful Enhancements

If your dog is still hesitant to drink plain water, you can try adding flavor to make it more enticing.

However, it’s important to use safe and dog-friendly options. Here are a few examples:

Low-sodium chicken broth

Add a small amount of low-sodium broth to your dog’s dry food or water bowl to give it a mild flavor. This can be especially helpful for dogs transitioning from wet to dry food.

Bone broth

Bone broth can be a nutritious and flavorful addition to your dog’s water. It provides essential minerals and nutrients while enhancing taste.

Lactose-free milk

Some dogs enjoy the taste of lactose-free milk. However, keep in mind that not all dogs tolerate dairy well, so monitor your dog for any signs of digestive upset.

Remember to use these enhancements sparingly. Gradually introduce them to your dog’s water to avoid digestive issues.

Tip #7: Using Ice Cubes to Promote Hydration

Many pooches enjoy the refreshing sensation of chewing on ice cubes. This can also help increase their water intake.

Add a few ice cubes to your dog’s water bowl or offer them as treats on hot days.

The cool temperature and the added novelty can encourage your dog to drink more water.

Tip #8: Incorporating Wet Dog Food into the Diet

Incorporating wet dog food into their diet can increase their overall water consumption.

Wet food has a higher moisture content, which contributes to hydration.

The type of dog food you provide can also influence your dog’s water consumption.

Dry kibble has a lower moisture content compared to wet or canned dog food.

If your dog primarily consumes dry food, they may need to drink more water. This is to compensate for the lack of moisture in their diet.

Consider mixing a portion of wet food with their kibble. This is to increase their water consumption and overall hydration.

Consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate amount and type of wet food to add to your dog’s diet.

Tip #9: Incorporating a Pet Water Fountain

A pet fountain is a great investment for encouraging dogs to drink more water.

The flowing cold water from the fountain attracts dogs and stimulates their instinct to drink.

The constant circulation also helps keep the water fresh and oxygenated, making it more appealing to dogs.

Additionally, the sound of running water can be enticing to some dogs. It may pique their curiosity, leading to increased water consumption.

How to Properly Hydrate Dogs on Hot Days

On hot days, dogs are more susceptible to dehydration. To ensure your dog stays hydrated:

  • Provide access to shade and cool areas.
  • Keep their water bowls in a shaded spot to prevent the water from becoming too hot.
  • Consider using a pet fountain or a water bowl with a built-in cooling system to keep the water fresh and cool.

Additionally, you can offer your dog an ice cube or even freeze treats in ice for them to lick and enjoy while staying hydrated.

Monitoring Your Dog’s Water Intake

It’s essential to monitor your dog’s water intake to ensure they are drinking enough.

Keep an eye on the water level in their bowl throughout the day and note any significant changes.

This will help you identify if your dog’s drinking habits have changed, which could be an early sign of an underlying health issue.

Encouraging Drinking Water During Exercise

Physical activity and exercise can increase a dog’s water requirements.

Encourage your dog to drink water before, during, and after exercise. Take short water breaks during longer walks or play sessions to allow them to hydrate.

Always carry a portable water bottle and a collapsible bowl when you’re out and about with your dog.

Managing Water Consumption for Dogs with Health Problems

Some dogs may have underlying health conditions that affect their water intake.

For example, dogs with kidney disease may have increased thirst. Also, dogs with certain urinary tract infections may avoid drinking due to discomfort.

Consult with your veterinarian if you suspect any health problems impacting your dog’s water consumption. They can provide guidance on managing your dog’s drinking water intake and address any specific concerns.

Are you suspecting a urinary tract infection in your dog? Read our article How Do I Know If My Dog Has a UTI?

Promoting Hydration for Puppies and Senior Dogs

Puppies and senior dogs have specific hydration needs.

Is your puppy drinking enough water? Puppies are more active and may require more frequent access to water.

Ensure that water bowls are easily accessible to them. Monitor their water intake to avoid dehydration.

Senior dogs may have reduced thirst sensation or mobility issues that can hinder their water intake.

Make sure water bowls are within their reach. Also, consider adding a water bowl to each floor of your home to facilitate easy access.


Ensuring that your dog drinks an adequate amount of water is essential for their overall health and well-being.

By following these tips, you can encourage your dog to drink water and maintain optimal hydration.

Remember to provide fresh water and choose suitable water bowls. Also establish a routine and enhance water palatability. Lastly, use techniques such as ice cubes and wet food to promote hydration.

Additionally, monitor your dog’s water intake, especially on a hot day. If your dog consistently refuses to drink water or shows signs of dehydration, seek veterinary care for a thorough evaluation.

Remember, each dog is unique, and what works for one may not work for another.

Be patient, observe your dog’s preferences, and make adjustments accordingly. With a little effort and care, you can ensure that your furry friend stays hydrated, healthy, and happy for years to come.

Cheers to your dog’s good health and hydration!

FAQs on How to Get My Dog to Drink Water

How do you hydrate a dog that won’t drink?

It’s important to address any underlying health concerns and consult with a veterinarian if your dog won’t drink water.

In the meantime, you can try offering wet food. You can also try adding low-sodium chicken broth to their water bowl to entice them.

Additionally, using a pet fountain or offering ice cubes can make drinking water more appealing for some dogs.

Why is my dog refusing to drink water?

There can be various reasons why a dog may refuse to drink water.

It could be due to an illness, pain, stress, or a change in environment or routine.

Dental problems, medication side effects, or a dislike for the water source or bowl type could also be factors.

If your dog refuses or consistently refuses to drink water, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues.

How can I encourage my dog to drink more water?

To encourage your dog to drink more water, make sure fresh water is always available and the bowl is clean.

Some strategies include:

  • Placing bowls in multiple locations,
  • Using stainless steel or ceramic bowls, or
  • Investing in a pet fountain to provide a constant flow of fresh water.

Adding flavor to the water, such as with low-sodium beef broth or bone broth, can also entice your dog to drink more.

What are the signs of dehydration in dogs?

Signs of dehydration in dogs include:

  • Dry gums,
  • Lethargy,
  • Sunken eyes,
  • Excessive panting,
  • Dark-colored urine, and
  • Loss of skin elasticity.

Other symptoms may include a dry nose, dry and sticky gums, decreased urination, and a general lack of energy.

If you notice these signs, it’s important to address your dog’s hydration immediately and consult with a veterinarian for proper evaluation and treatment.

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