Just like us, dogs need to drink a lot of water to remain healthy and happy. In general, dogs need an ounce of water per pound of body weight, but this may increase if the weather gets extra hot or if your pet has been running around for hours. Puppies also need much more water compared to adults and should consume around half a cup of water every two hours.
Still, there are some dogs who don’t like to drink water or are very sensitive to where their water bowls are. This can become a challenge, especially if you have more than one dog in your home. Thankfully, there are some tricks that you can use to encourage your picky dog to drink more water.
Make Your Dog Feel Special
Some dog breeds don’t enjoy sharing their water bowl with others. If you live in a multi-dog household, you should consider having customizable laser etched dog bowls for each member of your pet family. When your pup understands that they have their own special dog bowl, they'll feel more secure about having their own water source, which will encourage them to drink more.
Change the Water Often
Dogs can be finicky too and won’t want to drink water that looks dirty or tastes stale. So always keep the water in your dog's bowl fresh and place it in an area that is not exposed to heavy traffic to prevent dust or dirt from landing in the bowl. It’s a good idea to observe each pup and note their various idiosyncrasies. For example, some dogs prefer drinking from a bowl placed on top of customizable dog placemats, while others want you to watch them while they drink. Regardless, figure out what works for each dog so that they feel safe and excited about drinking from their bowl.
Keep Water Accessible
It’s so important to place your dog’s water bowl in an area where your pet can reach it. This may sound like obvious advice, but some pet owners may place their dog bowls too high for their dog to reach because they’re afraid their pet may accidentally trip over them. The best way to work around this is to allocate an area in your home where you don’t normally go and place the bowl there so that your dog can freely drink. This also trains your dog that this specific area is where they can refresh themselves, so they remember to go there whenever they feel thirsty, hot, or tired. Always keep your dog’s comfort in mind so that they learn healthy drinking habits.
Reward Good Behavior
Positive reinforcement can do wonders for encouraging your dog to drink more water. If you’re a parent to a fussy pup, start praising them or stroking their fur after they’ve drunk a lot of water. As much as possible, use behavioral reinforcement rather than food motivation (such as treats) to prevent overfeeding your dog, which can lead to health problems in the future. The goal is to train your dog to associate drinking water with your approval—eventually, they'll want to drink water more frequently to please you.
Add Water to Dry Food
Older dogs, especially those who have lost their teeth, may find drinking water to be more difficult. To help them get the water they need without placing too much stress on them, you can add water to their favorite kibble or wet food. Do this gradually, as some dogs may not appreciate the sudden change in the texture of their food. After a few weeks of eating watered-down food, they may begin enjoying their meals and receiving the right amount of water for them to remain healthy.
Keep Travel Cups
Some dog breeds only want to drink water when they’re really thirsty, so keeping customizable collapsible dog travel cups may be an option you can consider. During your daily walks, gauge if your pup is feeling parched and immediately offer them some water to drink. More than likely, they’ll drink their fill without you needing to coerce them or provide extra stimulation. Keeping travel cups is also a great idea if you own large dog breeds, as they get thirsty faster.
Consider Ice Cubes
Try adding ice cubes to your dog’s drinking bowl, especially during the summer. Your dog may not want to drink warm water on an already warm day, so having a fresh, cool bowl of water may be the solution to getting them to drink more. There’s also the added benefit of chewing the ice cube itself. Some dogs may love biting into the ice cube and consider it an extra treat.
Conclusion: Every Dog is DifferentNo two dogs are the same, even those belonging to the same breed. The best way to encourage your dog to drink more water is to know what makes them tick. Take the time to learn who your dog is and what they value the most. That way, you’ll have a better idea of how to encourage them to have healthy drinking habits.