How to Get a Dog to Drink More Water (19 Easy Tips & Tricks)


Dogs, like people, need to drink an adequate amount of water per day to sustain a healthy living. How do you make sure that your dog gets enough water? 

Later on in the article, we will tell you a few tips and tricks on how to get a dog to drink more water.

Not only will we tell you how, but what is the importance of fresh water on your dog’s body. You will also know what are some alternatives to ensure that your dog gets enough water throughout the day. 

Let’s Take a Look at the Importance of Water in the Body 

Water helps in carrying and moving all the essential nutrients in the body through the cells. It helps a lot during the process of digestion. 

A vital function of water is that it helps your dog sustain an appropriate body temperature, especially during the summer days. 

Without water, the removal of waste from the body through urine will almost seem impossible. It may cause you a visit to the vet. 

Not only does it do the above, but it helps in cushioning the joints, spinal cord and internal tissues in a dog’s body.

What Happens if Your Dog Doesn’t Drink Enough Water?

dog not drinking water

Fresh water keeps the body hydrated, so if your dog doesn’t drink enough water, this will result in dehydration.

What Are the Signs of Dehydration? 

  • Lack of energy 
  • Doesn’t have an appetite 
  • Sunken eyes 
  • Dry mouth 
  • Thick saliva 
  • Vomiting 
  • Panting 
  • Dry nose 

If one or more of those signs are present you might want to try the following methods. It’s also a great way to make sure it’s dehydration they are suffering from and not anything else. 

Method 1 

Gently try to lightly pinch the skin on your dog’s back between the shoulders. Once you release it, it should fall back in place instantly. This checks the skin’s elasticity which is a major symptom of dehydration.  

Method 2 

Lightly press on your dog’s gums until it’s light pink. Once you remove your finger, the color of the gums should go back to normal. It also shouldn’t feel dry when you touch it. 

How Much Water Should Your Dog Drink per Day?

There is a rule that vets usually tell us when it comes to the quantity of water that a dog should drink. According to Veterinaries around the word, 1 ounce of water for every pound your dog weighs should be enough. Therefore, if you have a 15-pound dog, then the dog should drink 15 ounces of water in the day. 

Why Would a Dog not Drink Enough Water? 

One of the most common reasons that your dog would refuse to drink water is being in an unfamiliar place. Maybe you recently moved or went on a vacation for just a few days. 

Dogs rely mainly on their sense of smell. Bringing their bowl that they’re used to or a bottle, they should be able to relate it to their comfortable place by its scent. 

Another reason would be aging, as dogs get older they get lazier. They feel as if it’s just too much effort for them to get up and drink some water. It’s advisable to keep their water bowl near the areas they prefer to sit at. 

Being afraid of having to have gone through a bad experience while drinking. For example, someone accidentally stepping on their tail as they were drinking. 

They will automatically relate the pain to the water. So make sure if that happened to try to move the location of the bowl or get them a new one. 

Our Best Tips and Tricks to Get Your Dog to Drink Water 

dog drinking water

We rounded up the different ways you can try to get your pup to drink more water so that you could avoid any future complications. 

Give Them Treats 

It’s important, especially in your dog’s early years, to always praise them and give them treats. When you find them drinking water, give them one of their favorite treats. 

They will start relating that drinking water is a good thing and drink as much water as they can. 

Get Them Moving 

It’s important to get your dog to exercise an hour a day. The movement keeps them in good shape and gets them worked up enough to drink plenty of water. 

Take your dog out for walks, runs, and play games like throwing a ball around. Keep a water bottle with you at hand and offer it every now and then. 

Alternate Between the Kinds of Food 

Every dog owner knows that there are 3 kinds of food you can give to your dog. 

  • Wet food 
  • Fresh food 
  • Dry food 

While each of these has its own benefit, to make sure your dog gets the proper intake of water, add some water to the dry food or add canned food to his diet. 

You may want to increase the consumption of wet food as well if you’re having doubts that they aren’t drinking enough water. Just try to not overdo it, as canned food can cause them to have bad breath.  

Take Them Out to Pee

It gets really uncomfortable to try to hold pee in for dogs, and this is one of the reasons they stop drinking water. They want to avoid the feeling of having to go but can’t. 

So, make sure to have easy access to their pee place when you’re not available to take them.

Don’t Change the Water’s Location

When you’re placing the water bowl in the house, try to have between 2-4 bowels scattered around. That way it’s always accessible to your dog. 

It’s important to place them in the same place every day, so your dog remembers where to find them. 

Also, it’s a good idea to place their water bowls next to places they are usually by, like next to their bed and food bowl. 

The Fresher the Better

Keep the water fresh. It’s suggested to change it once every day. Sometimes though, especially during the hot days, the water might get dirtier faster, in that case, change it twice a day. 

Ice Cubes 

There are two things you can do with ice cubes that will get your dog to consume more water during the summer. 

  • Freeze some ice cubes and give them to your dog to chew and lick. 
  • Place some ice cubes in your dog’s water bowl, and try to do it with them watching. It will get them intrigued and curious, so they’ll want to know what you placed in their bowl. 

Use Fruits and Treats 

You could also place some fruits like berries, watermelon and bananas cut into small pieces in their water bowl. 

Dogs love fruits, but just in case they are not into them, you can always put their favorite treat in the water and they can fish for it. 

Freeze some watermelons during the summer days. This will keep them hydrated and it can also be used as a healthy treat.

Kind of Water 

Different dogs are into different types of water. Whether its tap water, refrigerated or distilled, experiment with your dog to see which one they’d prefer.

Don’t Leave Their Meal

Make sure you remove your dog’s meal 30 minutes after they’ve finished eating. Sometimes a dog might be thirsty but they would go eat rather than drink water just because their food is still available. 

Replace Bowls

If the water bowl is cracked, rusty, or just doesn’t get as clean anymore, make sure you replace it.


You can try to add flavors to the water. You can add peanut butter powder, for example. Just make sure it’s sugar-free so it wouldn’t harm your dog in any way. 

Syringes and Hands 

You can put water in syringes and give it to your dog throughout the day. 

You can also cup some water in your hands. Some dogs like to drink out of their owners’ hands. 

Be Sure it Isn’t an Illness 

Make sure that is isn’t a medical condition that is stopping your dog from drinking water. If you tried different techniques for a day and it didn’t work, contact your vet. 

Can I Keep My Dog Hydrated With Other Methods? 

hydrating a dog

The answer is yes! But you shouldn’t stick to that or give it to your dog in big portions. You can use the following options as a way to lure them into drinking water. 

All of the options below are meant so that you add it to the water. Then gradually remove them so that they would be left with only water in the bowl. 


Making smoothies isn’t just for you! This is a great technique for your dog as well. By mixing their favorite fruit with water. Just make sure to lessen the fruit flavoring bit by bit until you get rid of the fruit completely 

Broth and Stock 

Adding bone broth or fish stock to your dog’s water can give it a good taste that will capture their attention. Not only is it a good way to get them to drink water but they also help with arthritis, skin issues and fix some stomach problems. 

Milk, but Not from the Cow 

Milk isn’t a good idea to give to dogs as most of them are lactose intolerant. Coconut milk though, on the other hand, is harmless. 

Tea, Please 

Giving your dog anything with caffeine in it is strongly prohibited. Giving them chamomile tea and/or mint though won’t harm them in any way. They can also help with tummy issues. Just use it in small dosages and not for a long time. 

Homemade Juices 

You can make some homemade dog-friendly juice and add it to the water. Apples and oranges are the best choices, make sure you remove all the seeds before giving it to your dog. 

Watch Out for the Over Drinkers!

This is a quick note to be careful of the dogs that drink too much as well, as it may lead to a serious health condition. 

Dogs can be over hydrated by not just drinking water directly from the bowl, it could also be when they go swimming and accidentally swallowing too much water. 

If your dog has these symptoms, it’s best to contact your vet: 

  • Lethargy 
  • Staggering 
  • Bloating 
  • Dilated pupils 
  • Lots of saliva 
  • Excessive urination

Final Thoughts

We have gathered various ways to help you know how to get your dog to drink water during the day. 

Make sure to divide that amount of water into all the bowls you have laid out for your dog. Remember, too much water isn’t a good thing. 

If you have tried all of these methods and your dog is still refusing to drink water, we recommend contacting your vet. This could be a sign of serious medical illnesses like a urinary tract infection, pancreatitis, and more. 

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