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Pup Not Hydrating Enough? How to Trick Your Dog into Drinking Water

Just like it’s critical for humans to drink enough water, it’s also essential that your best friend stays hydrated to stay in good health. Because he’s an important part of the family, you make sure your canine pal has plenty of fresh water, but just how much water a dog needs varies depending on several factors. 

You might also notice that sometimes your puppy pal doesn’t seem to want to drink water, which can negatively impact his health. Let’s examine some reasons why your dog might not be drinking enough water and what you can do as a dog owner to trick him into drinking water to avoid any serious health problems. 

Before we get into that, it can help to know just how much water your dog needs every day. 

How Much Drinking Water Does Your Dog Need Daily?

Determining how much water your dog needs on a daily basis depends on several things, but most dogs need at least an ounce of water per pound of bodyweight every day. That means an eight-pound dog needs one cup of drinking water each day. But several things can affect the amount of water your dog needs. 

Very active dogs may need more water. The same is true if you have a lactating female dog, and puppies also drink more water daily than adult dogs. 

It’s also important to consider the ambient temperature. If it’s a hot day and he’s outside running around, it’s easy for him to become dehydrated. 

Signs Your Pooch Is Dehydrated

Does your dog drink enough water? The signs of a dehydrated dog include the following: 

  • Dry gums and tongue 
  • Dry nose 
  • Thick ropey saliva 
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of skin elasticity 
  • Vomiting 

This can quickly become life-threatening, so you want to avoid this by ensuring he has lots of clean water. If he’s really going to be working out, you might even include some electrolytes to ensure his system stays balanced.

In cases of dehydration, your dog will typically seek out water, but why would he refuse to drink? 

Why Isn’t Your Dog Drinking Enough Water?

There are several possible reasons why your dog might not be drinking as much water he needs. Some of these are no cause for concern, but it’s also possible that he has a serious health problem. Let’s look at the possibilities: 

1. Lack of Physical Activity

Your dog might not be drinking as much water because he isn’t getting enough exercise. Maybe the weather is cooler, and you’re not going out as much. 

If that’s the case, and it’s just a slight reduction in the normal amount of water he usually drinks, then there’s no cause for concern. But if he continues to refuse to drink water, it’s time to call the vet since that could indicate a more serious health problem. 

2. Change of Location

what to keep in your car for your dog

If you have relocated or taken your dog on vacation, he’s going to know he’s not in a familiar place. Even the water in a new place can smell different, which can be enough to put him off. 

There are a few things you can do if you’re planning a vacation or moving. First, you can bring your dog’s water bowl from home so that he has something that smells familiar. Pack a water bottle filled with water from home since he’ll recognize the taste. Of course, it goes without saying that you should always make sure he has access to lots of clean water. 

Then, be sure to monitor your dog’s behavior for any other symptoms that could indicate there’s another reason why he’s refusing to drink water. 

3. Your Dog Is Getting Older

senior dog

Another common reason your dog might not be drinking water is that he might be getting older. Often, your dog doesn’t get as much exercise with age, and he simply doesn’t need as much water. 

It’s also true that your dog’s appetite diminishes with age, and thus, he also doesn’t feel as thirsty. Still, if he seems to be dehydrated or has other symptoms that could indicate an illness, you’ll want to get him checked out with your veterinarian. 

4. Illness Can Keep Your Dog from Drinking Enough Water

a sleepy beagle on the couch. can dogs have depression?

Finally, illness can cause your dog to stop drinking water. Some diseases, such as kidney disease and diabetes, can cause your dog to have little or no appetite for drinking water. If that happens, it will be important to know a few ways to trick him into drinking a lot of water. 

It’s also possible your dog can have a urinary tract infection, which decreases his level of thirst. Of course, with any of these problems, you want to get your best friend to the vet and treat them.

Overall, keeping his hydration levels up will be an important part of keeping him healthy. Let’s look into how to trick your dog into drinking water if it looks like he’s not hydrating enough.

How to Trick Your Dog into Drinking Water

how to trick your dog into drinking water

You want to avoid the kinds of health problems that can result from not staying properly hydrated, and if your dog is not drinking enough water because of illness, tricking him into drinking more will help prevent the illness from getting worse. Here are several ways you can get your dog to drink enough water. 

Try a Water Fountain

Many dogs actually prefer running water to standing water, and by using a water fountain, you may find he is much more willing to drink water. 

Try a Different Water Bowl

portable dog bowl water bowl

Some dogs, particularly small dog breeds, prefer different sizes and types of water bowls. It might take a few attempts to find the type and size your pet prefers, but when you do, you might find he’s drinking much more water and staying better hydrated. 

You can try ceramic, stainless steel, and glass water bowls, but you might also want to vary the width and depth of the bowl. Some dogs might not like their whiskers touching the sides of the water bowl while others might prefer a deeper bowl that is better suited for their height. 

Add Wet Food to Their Diet

dog eating out of a food puzzle

Kibble or dry food doesn’t provide your best friend with any moisture, but if you change his diet to include some wet food that can boost your dog’s hydration level. 

Be sure to check with your vet about doing this if your dog has any health problems. Another idea is to add water to his kibble. That way, you’re not changing his diet; you’re just adding water to it. 

You can also give your dog fruits and vegetables, like watermelon or strawberries, that are high in water to help him stay hydrated. Another food-related trick is to freeze chicken broth, bone broth, or peanut butter in a kong (a doggy toy that has a hollow area you can fill with your dog’s favorite treats). That stimulates his mind and gets him drinking water, too!

One last dog food-related trick is to give your dog ice cubes to lick. You can even give him ‘pupsicles!’ That can help boost his hydration level and keep him entertained. 

Use Different Flavorings in the Dog’s Water

Another good trick to use is to flavor your dog’s water with something like bone broth or lactose-free milk. You could also use something like green-lipped mussel powder, a supplement that has a smell your dog will love. 

Use a Water Bowl That Is Larger Than Your Dog’s Food Bowl

This is a simple fix that often works like a charm. You also want to make sure the water bowl is kept clean at all times, and of course, you want to make sure you give him a lot of water that’s both clean and fresh. 

Offer Your Dog Water from Your Cupped Hands

Your pooch loves and trusts you, so just the fact that you are offering the water can help encourage him to drink more. 

Don’t Wait, Hydrate!

The Port-A-Bowl is essential for any road trip with a dog

It’s critical that your dog gets an adequate amount of water each day, and it should be clean fresh water. He needs even more water if he is an active dog or has certain health problems.

Luckily, it turns out you can not only lead your dog to water but there are ways to trick him into drinking it too!