What to do if your dog won’t drink water? Reasons & Solutions

What to do if your dog won’t drink water? Reasons & Solutions

Like humans, dogs need to drink water every day, so they don’t become dehydrated. The amount of water a dog needs to drink in a day is equal to 25-50 ml water for every kg of body weight. If your dog is well-hydrated, they should have nice, bright eyes and moist gums, on the other hand sunken eyes and “sticky” gums may indicate dehydration.

But keep in mind, dogs only drink water when they are thirsty and much of their water intake comes from their food. But that doesn’t mean your dog will always drink enough water. On hot days, or when your dog is playing, they may need extra water, and they may or may not drink more. Encouraging your dog to stay hydrated will help prevent kidney problems, urinary tract infections, and other health issues. 

In this blog you will get to know what to do when your dog isn’t drinking enough water and what could be the reason for that.

Reasons why your dog won’t drink water

  1. Aging

An older dog may start to drink less water. It could be because it takes too much effort to go to the other room, or his sense of thirst may be diminishing along with his appetite. They also exercise less, so you can expect that your dog won’t drink as much water.

  1. Weather change

In summer, dogs drink a lot more water, because of high temperatures. Weather change is another reason that your dog may not be drinking as much water. When fall comes around, many dogs just aren’t that thirsty because of the cooler temperatures.

  1. Unfamiliar places

Dogs may behave a little differently if you’re in an unfamiliar or new place. They might not eat or drink as they normally would. If they smell a water source that they aren’t used to, your dog may simply refuse to drink it. So, when you go on a trip, bring a bottle of water that they are used to. 

  1. Lack of exercise

Like weather change, the lack of exercise can also be the reason for your dog to drink less water. Especially if on top of that the weather is cooler, your dog just won’t be that thirsty.

  1. Health issues

Sometimes dogs will start drinking less water because of certain health problems. Diabetes, kidney disease, bladder infection and urinary tract infections may reduce a dog's appetite and water intake. In that case you should contact your vet immediately. Make sure to keep track of how much water your dog is drinking so that the vet has an idea of what’s going on.

  1. Mouth injury and teeth damage

If you notice that he’s not drinking, check his mouth for splinters, plastic, or rocks. Go to a vet if it’s something you can’t easily remove. Teeth damage could be another reason why your dog won’t drink water. Cold water can cause pain on sensitive teeth, so he will avoid drinking it.

  1. Negative experiences

Because dogs learn by association, bad experiences while drinking from the water bowl can cause him to not drink from there. In that case, you can try using a new water bowl or change the position of the bowl. 

5 Ways to help a dog that won’t drink water:

  • Wet food: A good way to add additional liquid to your pup's diet is switching to a wet canned dog food which is higher in moisture, instead of dry kibble. You can also try adding water to your pet’s food.
  • Try out different bowls: Having a variety keeps things interesting.  If the pet has a favourite, slowly move to using that one most of the time.
  • Clean the bowl: Double-check that your dog’s water bowl is clean. Maybe he doesn’t want to drink from it because the water is dirty. Also make sure to swap out the old water for clean water at least once a day. 
  • Switching position: Sometimes changing the position of the water bowl may do the trick. You can also try adding more water bowls to your house. Having water bowls in different rooms will encourage the pet to stay hydrated.
  • Contact vet: If you aren’t getting anywhere within 24 hours, you should contact a veterinarian as soon as possible, and discuss what’s going on. They will be able to provide additional advice.