Water is essential for life. We all know that. So if you’re a pet owner whose dog just doesn’t seem interested in her water bowl, this can be a worry. But you’re not alone. Many dog owners report that they are concerned about their precious pooch’s water intake – or lack of!
So, why won’t your dog drink? As a pet owner it’s important to provide two or three water bowls dotted around the house or yard for them, and keep these topped up with fresh, clean water. Usually, if you have provided water and your dog isn’t drinking, it’s because she’s just not thirsty. But there can be other reasons why she’s turned off. Here are a few:
- Once the weather turns cooler both you and your dog might be getting in less exercise. If you’ve noticed that her water bowl doesn’t need as much topping up, this could be the reason. Maybe you both need to get out for a walk?
- If you’re in unfamiliar surroundings, your dog might be reluctant to have a drink. Because of their acute sense of smell, a dog bowl or water source that smells different to the one she is used to can be a turn off and no matter how thirsty she is, she won’t drink. This might seem odd as many dogs will drink from gutters or puddles, but they can also be fussy about their water sources. If you are going on holiday or out for the day, take her water bowl with you. She’ll be more likely to drink from this.
- A dog who has a scary experience while drinking can also be scared off water. If she’s had a fright or experienced pain while drinking (say, there was a clap of thunder or someone trod on her tail the last time she was at the water bowl), this can turn her off. Move her bowl to disassociate it from the bad experience and give her lots of reassuring cuddles if you think she’s had a fright.
- You might notice as your dog ages, she takes in less water. That could be because she doesn’t need as much hydration due to a reduction in exercise or because she can’t be bothered getting up to her water bowl. Help your older pets by ensuring her water bowl is close by her bed or favourite resting spot.
- A diminished interest in water can also be a sign of disease. Contact your vet straight away if you notice a sudden, unexplained change in her drinking habits.
If you’re concerned about your dog’s water intake, you can always add water to her food to increase her water consumption. Give her bowl a good clean or move it to a new location to try to get her interested in drinking. However, if you’re concerned, it’s best to chat to your vet about the possible causes and what you can do.