How to Get A Dog To Drink More Water

How to Get A Dog To Drink More Water

Davinia eating her frozen yogurt cube

Every year when the weather cools down and most of the world has to turn the heat up people worry about how to get a dog to drink more water. That is because they know that the dry heat makes us more thirsty and most likely has that effect on our dogs too. We wrote a post back in February of 2011 in reponse to one of our long time reader’s questions called 5 Ways to Get Your Dog to Drink More. Since I am currently contemplating putting the heat on I felt that this would be a great time to touch on the subject again.

how to get a dog to drink more water

Davinia and Indiana are picky drinkers. They prefer to drink out of a small animal water bottle. They lick the tube control ball and begin drinking I leave it hanging in their crate filled with water at all times with the door open so when they are not in their crate they can just walk over and drink. This is the exact water bottle we have and I think it would be fine for a dog up to at least 30 pounds. It has a rather wide ball that they lick to get the water which means a dog under 10 lbs is probably better off with a water bottle meant for bunnies or other small animals that has a smaller licking ball. For really big dogs they make water ball attachments that can go right on the outside or inside spigot that allows your dog to get water directly from the tap anytime they would like.

Davinia and Indiana will both drink out of big giant bowls where their ears get soaking wet. There are a ton of different kinds of bowls that are on the market now that help keep your dog’s ears out of the water that might work for your family. Sometimes it is a matter of experimenting to find what works for you. From Spaniel Bowls to no slobber bowls each dog will have their own preference.

If if figuring out how to get a dog to drink more water is medically related try adding water to their food. You can either just pour some water into their food last second before serving it to them or you can let the food soak in the water until it is all soaked up by the kibble. You can then bake it in a pan like a meatloaf let it cool and pour some more water on top before serving. Another option is to give a little carrot juice with their food or on the side as a substitute for water will give your dog extra vitamins and minerals. Which in turn will help your dog heal and the sweet carrot taste will make them drink more.

Have a really stubborn pup that will just not drink water? You can make them chicken soup. Throw some chicken into water and boil if you are feeling really adventurous you can throw in some chopped up carrots and celery and maybe even a little bit of powered garlic (DO NOT ADD ONIONS OR SALT). Boiled chicken is great for a dog with an upset stomach or a dog recovering from surgery or you can pull the chicken out and just give the broth over their normal dinner. Make a big batch and store in an airtight container so you just need to warm it back up for later or let it sit out at room temperature before serving. You can put some warm (not hot) broth out on a cold day as a special treat just remember that your dog will need to go out to potty more often.

What tips do you have to help people figure out How to Get A Dog To Drink More Water?

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  1. These are all great tips. I used to have this problem with my dog. She was getting urinary infections. But fortunately she loves tomato’s and carrots which seem to have enough water in them.

  2. I think the water bottles are great aids, especially for crate trained pups- but it can be hard to get them to transition to larger portions when they can easily become dehydrated. Great tips!

  3. My Sheltie is a picky drinker. He makes me nervous as he’s so high energy but even when he’s panting hard after playing, he won’t always drink. For some reason, he does prefer to go outside and drink out of that water bowl. However, if at all possible he waits until he can either eat snow or lick water off one of the cars! We have found one bowl that he’ll drink from more often, especially at agility class- the road refresher from jolly pets. It only allows in a bit of water at a time. If that’s what attracts him to it, maybe the water bottle would help too. Thanks for the suggestions!

  4. that is such a great idea! I really wonder if this would work for a cat? Our cat does not drink enough water, because his water dish is in his room. But he is stubborn and doesn’t like to leave the family to go for a drink. But we can’t move the water dish because our toddler get it and makes a big mess of it. Maybe something like this might tempt him enough to get more liquid. I will need to research and see if it will be good for cats. 🙂
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  6. our Yorkie doesn’t drink enough water in my estimation. I base it on his stools, and the level of difficulty he has ‘going’. My sis-in-law sent me a great picture, These sound like wonderful ideas.
    In my research, one of the other things that have been mentioned is getting a water ‘fountain’, like what are used for cats. Since he seems to enjoy water from a hose most of all, I think we will be trying the fountain idea.
    Thank you for all of your great ideas!

    • I heard that pumpkin is good for adding fiber (plain pumpkin, NOT pie filling). I put a teaspoon of pumpkin in an ice cube tray and dilute with water and freeze. Only serve one or two per day. My dog likes it! He gets extra fiber and water!

  7. My dog drinks very little water. I soak the fry pan in water after cooking steak at night and give to her as a water broth and am amazed at how much she will drink in one go. Its a great way to soak and clean the fry pan….and not put it down the sink.
    She also likes watermelon.
    I will try a different bowl as she does have long ears….I had not considered that as a problem for her.

  8. Max our little dog just recently had surgery to remove oxylate crystals from his bladder……..unfortunately, he still will not drink water. Different bowls, doesn’t happen……water fountain……doesn’t happen……a bit of chicken broth in the H2O……doesn’t happen……if I add water to his food……chances are he is going to eat it……and he is already pretty small. He is on UD food which has a high water ratio, which he eats, not a lot, but will eat………….at my wits end to know what else to do. Any new ideas out there that may help? B/c of the oxylate problem, he is very limited in what he is able to eat……..which makes things like carrots, etc., out of the questions…..any ideas would be greatly appreciated. His pH is running low and his Sp.Gr. is running btwn 1.028 and 1.03……too high Thanks for any and all help.

    • Try sprinkling a little puppy milk powder (goats milk) in lukewarm boiled water just to flavour it slightly. Worked for mine who barely drank anything.

  9. I have a older dog that refuses to get off the couch, she refuses to drink water, she won’t go to the bowl at all. we have bought 2 pet fountains and nothing. We bought a thing that makes the water move so that it doesn’t stale up and nothing. we usually have to make her drink. I am going to try the carrot juice and watering down her food. that way she gets something. Had her to the vet and she is healthy. Just refuses to drink. Anyone got any idea.s

  10. My dog was only drinking water added to her dog food.
    She began acting strange. I took her to our vet. Exam, blood tests. Results, “Extremely dehydrated” She had to stay there and be put on IV’s overnight. She is better now and I am also trying to figure out what to give her to encourage water intake.

  11. My vet suggested using several different sizes and colors of bowls in different rooms to make it easier for her to obtain the liquid. Also mixing some Gatorade or orange juice into the water.
    I like that hint about the pumpkin ice cubes added to water although Sweetie Pie would not drink the water with regular cubes.
    I found out this water problem can be very serious to your dog and costly to the owner