Dogs are man’s best friends. They are super smart cuddly creatures that reciprocate all the love you give them. Not only does their company make you happier, but they can also make you healthier by having you physically involved. Stat Alert - Dog owners are 34% more likely to get enough exercise than non-pet owners.
Dogs can interpret much better than even humans. It has recently been concluded that dogs can even understand the difference between angry and happy human expressions. Moreover, dogs are great fun to be around, literally guaranteeing full-on entertainment. They also protect us, sensing danger from far away and standing upfront to face anything and everything to protect their owners.
It is thereby our duty and responsibility to take good care of our pups. We should feed them well, give them lots of love, make them enjoy the outdoors, and take good care of their health. That being said, taking care of dogs isn’t as easy as it sounds. It requires a lot of time and careful attention, and dogs being dogs, with their naughty and fun-loving nature can make it even more difficult to handle.
One common issue that many dog owners generally face is that their dog might not be drinking much water. Here we will discuss the top 5 reasons why your dog isn’t drinking enough water and we will provide you with some tips for what you can do about it.
How much Water Should Your Dog Ideally Drink in a Day?
The general recommendation for a healthy dog is to drink about ½ to 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight. This means if your dog weighs 65 pounds, then it should be drinking anywhere between 33 to 65 ounces of water in a day. This comes down to between ¼ to ½ a gallon of water.
However, many factors can affect how much water a dog should drink. Factors including climate, physical activeness of your dog, use of certain medications, diet, etc. might require your dog to drink a bit more or less water on an average than what is generally advised.
It is therefore very important for you as an owner to assess the factors that your dog is exposed to and take special care that your dog drinks enough water. But if your dog won’t drink water and you are wondering why then you are not alone. This is common, and there can be many reasons behind it.
Top 5 Reasons Why Your Dog Isn’t drinking Water
There can be multiple reasons why your dog isn’t drinking water, however, the 5 most common reasons of all include:
Dogs are quite sensitive, they tend to eat or drink less water if they are bothered by something or someone. Be it a new family member or a guest, a new pet, separation from their owner, or change in surroundings, it can take a heavy toll on your dog’s mentality.
The direct result is that your dog doesn’t want to face the situation and separates itself from the problem a bit. It won’t eat or drink much even when fed and it will attract multiple other health problems. This is very common and can happen every now and then.
As dogs grow in age, their appetite reduces and so does their thirst. One of the major reasons behind this is that older dogs exercise less than younger dogs, and comparatively feel less thirst. They have lower levels of energy and many times do not want to spend it on getting to the water source.
But this being said, even elderly dogs require a certain level of hydration, and it is thereby extremely important for an owner to check up if they are drinking enough water irrespective of their age as low levels of water will further aggravate multiple problems and further deplete your dog’s energy levels.
3. Illness or Injury
This is another common reason why your dog isn’t drinking much water. Your dog’s consumption of water and food gets severely disrupted by any injury or illness of any kind. If your dog suddenly stops drinking water, you can take it as an indicator of something being wrong with its health.
Usually, infections and oral injuries are the things behind your dog’s lack of thirst. It is common for dogs to develop urinary tract infections, which can begin in the urethra, move up the bladder and even infect the kidneys. The pain that it causes makes the dogs refuse to drink water.
Similarly, oral injuries such as tooth root abscess, tooth dislocation, loss or fracture, periodontal disease, which is a bacterial infection or mouth cancer makes your dog undergo severe trauma, and it directly results in them being unwilling to eat or drink anything.
Dogs can differentiate between smells and tastes very efficiently. They can easily recognize familiar and unfamiliar sources of water. They understand where to drink water from and which water to avoid, and can even be picky at times regarding this.
Even if there is a minor difference in the smell or taste of water, your dog might make a big deal of it and refuse to drink much water. They might even notice a change in the bowl from which they drink or notice anything unfamiliar from their usual drinking habits. There’s high chance your dog will refuse to drink water.
5. Inactivity or Lack of Exercise
If your dog is physically active and exercises regularly, then there will be loss of fluids which will make your dog thirsty. On the other hand, if your dog has a sedentary lifestyle and it doesn’t involve itself in any physical activity, then chances are it will not feel thirsty at all and will not consume as much water as it should.
If you see your dog lying around most of the day, refusing to go for a walk and being lazy and inactive, then this is most probably the reason why it is not drinking enough water. This is quite common amongst dogs and can happen from time to time.
How Can You Assess If Your Dog Isn’t Drinking Enough Water/Is Hydrated?
Your dog will exhibit a few symptoms if it didn’t drink enough water in the day and it is dehydrated as a result. Some of the symptoms include:
- Loss of appetite
- Lethargic behavior and physical inactivity
- Dry mouth
- Anxiety, stress or depression
- Dark Colored Urine with a strong and Foul Odour
Besides these symptoms, there is another way through which you can assess your dog's hydration levels. All you need to do is to lift the skin on the back of your dog’s neck and then let it go. If the skin falls back in its place quickly, then it indicates that the dog is well hydrated.
On the other hand, if it falls slowly and forms wrinkles, then it’s a clear sign that the dog is dehydrated and needs more water urgently. Similarly, if your dog’s gums are moist and slick, it indicates good hydration and if they are sticky and dry, then it is dehydrated.
How Can You Encourage Dogs To Drink Enough Water
If you are stressed about your dog not drinking enough water, then you could try a few methods that might encourage your dog to drink more water.
Multiple Water Bowls and Keep Them Clean
You can buy more water bowls for your dog and keep them in multiple places, like in different rooms of your home and in the garden. This will ensure that water is always within the reach of your dog and seeing it around will remind your dog to drink it.
On top of it, you should regularly clean all the water bowls as tainted or smelly water, or any slight change to the complexion or taste of it will distract your dog and keep it away from water.
Add Flavor to The Water
Adding some flavor to the water is a great way of attracting your dog to drink more of it. You can add flavor with ingredients such as low sodium chicken broth, some lemon or similar things and it will feel like a treat to your dog. It certainly increases the appeal for drinking more water and can be an effective technique when your dog isn’t drinking enough regular water.
Get a Pet Fountain
Dogs love moving water. Pet fountains are easily available and can be a fun way of getting your dog to drink enough water. The water that comes out of the fountain is filtered as well, and it means your dog will get fresh and clean water to drink whenever it wants.
Additionally, it reduces your burden of changing the water frequently. So with minimal efforts and with added fun, you can get your dog to drink more water and enjoy make it enjoyable.
Try Creative Ways
You can be creative and adapt to your dog’s likings and dislikes to get it to drink water. Some of the creative ways might include adding ice cubes to the water, feeding your dog watermelon, allowing your dog to lick water from your hands or feeding alkaline dog food instead of the dry dog food as it has more water content.
Visit Your Local Vet
If you have tried all options and your dog still isn’t up and drinking much water, then visiting your local vet will be the last resort you can opt for. The ways mentioned above might not be much effective if your dog is going through health issues, pain, or any other injury or illness, and your vet will be able to assess it in the best way.
The vet usually conducts a thorough examination of your dog and asks you about its daily routines and other details that you must provide accurately. After the diagnosis is complete, they will come up with a treatment plan. The dogs usually start drinking water on their own when they start feeling well and healthy again.
You should also try and take them out for walks, play with them and keep them involved so that their stress and anxiety levels can be kept low and they stay well both physically and mentally.
It is overwhelming and concerning for all dog owners when their dogs won’t drink enough water and become unhealthy or suffer through dehydration as a result. Most struggle to find or understand the problems, and reaching a solution seems far fetched at that point.
But now you know what different reasons that could be behind your dog not drinking enough water and what you can do to get them to drink enough. By following the ideas mentioned above, you will be on the right path to keep your dog hydrated and healthy. A little bit of extra effort will be required from your side, but we can all surely do it for our pups and get their lives back on track.
So keep monitoring your dog’s water intake and regularly check for symptoms, assess what could be the problem and try the solutions above for your dog’s good health. Keep in mind that water is essential – for both you and your dog, so drink it regularly throughout the day.