Help! My Dog Doesn’t Drink Enough Water

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Our beloved pets, just like us, need adequate daily water intake. It is important that they have access to water all the time, and not just when they’re thirsty. For our pets to remain healthy and to help prevent future potential medical concerns, drinking enough is a must. Before we can begin to identify the reason that may be preventing your pup from lapping up their water we must first recognize how much your dog needs to be drinking each day for their size.

In general, a dog requires approximately 1 fluid ounce of water per pound or 6o milliliters per kilogram of total bodyweight each day. Keep in mind, however, that this is only a guideline as your pet may have different requirements based on exercise, diet and/or preexisting health concerns. So you’ve tested the theory, and find that your precious pup is still way under the recommended amount, now what? Well let’s take a look at some of the reasons why your pet may be steering clear of their water dish.

5 Reasons Your Pet May Not Want to Drink and How to Help

Inactivity or Lack of Exercise

Often our dogs begin to drink less if they become less active. Their bodies don’t need the replenishment as much as they would if they were highly active. Most often, this is noticeable in the cooler months when our pets aren’t getting the same amount of outdoor exercise as they are in the warmer months.

How to help:

Get them out for a nice long walk or a good run. Chances are after a lot of activity your little one will be lapping up that water in no time.


As our dogs begin to age you may notice less interest in both eating and drinking. This is most often simply because their appetites have changed or lessened. This is very common in older less active dogs.

How to help:

If you feel that your older dog isn’t getting an adequate amount of water, try mixing water in with their dry dog food or switching to a soft wet nutritious dog food.

Emotional Changes

Anxiety, stress and fear are just some emotions that your pet may be feeling. Much like humans, our pets loose the desire to eat or drink when in a deepened emotional state.

How to help:

Spend some extra time with your pup -give them extra cuddles and reassurance so that they know they are safe and not alone. From here slowly introduce water and even snacks to your dog. You may want to even try sitting on the floor with your pet so they feel more calm and comfortable.


Sometimes there is an underlying reason your pet won’t drink. This could be related to an illness or medical condition. Often, dogs with kidney ailments or UTI’s are less apt to drink.

How to help:

Speak to your vet right away. Your vet can run a series of tests along with a thorough check up to see what may be affecting your dog. If it is something serious you’ll want to get your dog treated right away.

Change in Water

Dogs have a keen sense of smell and taste, much more so than humans. Small changes in taste and smell can be a big deal for your dog. Perhaps you moved, and now you’ve gone from city water to well water or vice versa, your pet may be sensing a change in the water and avoiding it because it is not what they have been used to.

How to help:

Try mixing some bottled or filtered water into your dog’s dish to help them acclimate to the change. If this doesn’t work, try giving them filtered water only. There may be a taste or smell in the water from the faucet that they don’t like. In addition, if you’ve recently swapped out your pet’s dish, they may also be experiencing a change in taste from the material used to construct the bowl. Make sure to give it a good wash before letting your pet drink from a new bowl. If this still doesn’t either, try giving them water in their old bowl.

Our pets are our family and we want to take care of them just like the other members in the family. If you feel that your pet is acting abnormally, contact your local vet right away. For more information on how to care for your pet or to bring home a puppy of your own, please visit:

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