Why Won’t My Dog Drink Water Out of His Bowl?

This article will show you how to deal with the situation of your dog not drinking water out of his bowl.

Ideally, a healthy dog needs around one ounce of water per pound of his body weight to stay hydrated.[1]

Why Won't My Dog Drink Water Out of His Bowl

When dogs are dehydrated, they are at greater health risk than humans. This is because the release of heat from their bodies occurs as very slow speed.

If your dog is not taking in enough water these days, then you should keep a check on his water intake and look into the reason he is not drinking from his bowl. As a part-time dog sitter, even I have also experienced something similar to this too!

But hold on! I have listed reasons for this problem.

Why Is It Hard to Hydrate a Dog Who Won’t Drink?

We have got you covered with 7 major reasons behind why won’t your dog drink water out of his bowl:

1. Is it a Health Issue

Generally, diseases can also have a huge impact on your dog for drinking less water. The most common disease is caused by diseases in the kidney, which lead to nausea in your dog. When they are affected by nausea, they refuse to drink water and eat food.

Likewise, inflammation in the intestines, like pancreatitis or gastroenteritis, can also be the symptom of nausea.

Such diseases can also lead to vomiting and diarrhea that will make your dog drink less water because of the weakness.

So this makes you aware that you should keep an eye on your pooch’s health. If you notice he is not having water immediately take him to a vet because dehydration can impact his health severely.

2. Weather Change

Another reason which makes your dog drink less water is due to weather change.[2]

When there is a change in the weather, most dogs lower their water consumption. They might not be thirsty because of the cool weather conditions.

3. Lack of Exercise

If your dog is inactive these days, then this could also be one of the reasons for not in-taking enough water.

Lack of Exercise

When dogs get indulged into exercise, then it also causes of high level of exertion. This also leads your dog to slop more water from the bowl. But in case he is not getting enough exercise, then his water intake will naturally reduce.[3]

So, if this is the case, then try to involve him in some sort of physical activity to keep him stay fit and also hydrated. Because playing will make him intake sufficient water.

4. Your Dog Is Getting Old

As the dogs get older they face a lot of health issues from which one could be losing the sense of thirst. They also start losing their appetite. This is the reason he may avoid drinking water.

Your Dog Is Getting Old

We all know when dogs get old they start becoming inactive and don’t like to play anymore and hence they become lazy. This brings us to the conclusion that the older dog doesn’t do enough exercise and hence leads to drinking less water.

5. Mouth Injury or Dental Problem

Just like we stop drinking and eating food when our mouth injured, similarly, dog’s face the same.

Dogs are fully charged and enjoy picking and chewing their toys, sticks, or any other rough item. These things, unfortunately, sometimes break and cause injury in or around his mouth area. This results in suffering and pain.

The affected dog will also refuse to eat food. You should take him to a vet to reduce his pain and bringing him back to normal eating and drinking habits. With proper treatment and medication, the injury can be healed.

Dr. Jennifer Summerfield describes in one of his answers on Petcoach, “She could also have severe dental disease, or a wound or tumor inside her mouth causing the problem.” She further states that “she may have a neurologic issue of some kind that is causing her to have trouble getting water into her mouth and swallowing”.

Some old dogs suffer from dental issues. It is also an equally hurtful situation, they feel pain even while having water. So you should always observe and check on them because, of course, they won’t be able to tell you.

If you don’t consult a vet at the right time, the issue can turn into long-term pain. This can also infect his gums or teeth breaking.

6. Due to Change In Flavor

Dogs are intelligent animals, they can easily catch even the slightest change to their water source. If you have recently changed your source of water, then there is a high chance that your dog will refuse to drink water.

This tends to happen usually when you force him to have tap water instead of bottled water or distilled water. Or when his water gets dirty, and he identifies any sort of abnormality in it there is a chance that he will avoid drinking water.

So, make sure you give him clean water while offering water. It is vital to keep your pooch healthy and fit. Therefore, hygiene is a must!

Even when you try to switch his water source try to mix old water with the new one, so he can’t detect the change in the taste.

7. Ironically Due to Dehydration

This is very unusual not to have water even when you need water the most!

Often when your dog gets dehydrated, he won’t be fascinated to eat something or drink water. This is an ironic situation, but yes this does exist! Even when you give him water to drink he still may not want to drink the water.

Ironically Due to Dehydration

How to detect he is dehydrated?

You can easily identify that he dehydrated when he starts drooling, his skin becomes hot red, or there is some sought of dryness in his gums. He can lose coordination power too due to dehydration. If your dog starts showing any of these symptoms there is a chance that he may have pancreatitis which is the effect of obesity or diabetes.

In this situation, if you are not certain to detect the real reason for the issue you can seek help from professionals too!

How to Make a Dog Drink Water Out of His Bowl?

It is daunting to keep your pooch hydrated? No worries and no more stress we have got an easy solution for you.

1. Easy Access to the Water Bowl

If you want your dog to have sufficient water, try placing more water bowls in the house. The presence of water in every room will encourage him to drink more and stay hydrated. This will confirm that he will don’t have to wander for the water.

Make sure that he always has fresh water to keep his health good, and ensure that his water bowl is clean at all times, especially when it is placed outside. This is especially important because there is a high chance that leaves, dust, and even debris will get mixed into the water because of which it may discourage him to drink water from that bowl.

The key rule to place his water bowl is at the clean place which is also easily accessible by your dog.

2. Give Wet Dog Food

Even after placing water in every accessible place still, your dog struggles to drink water, then you can try mixed feeding for your dog. This is quite effective to increase the water intake of your pooch because kibble has just 10% moisture content. On the other hand, amount of moisture content in canned food is higher than 70%.

 Give Wet Dog Food

Alternatively, you can even add water to dry dog food. Soak your dog food in water and leave it in the fridge so that the water gets absorbed. By doing so, you can keep your pooch hydrated.

3. Switch Water Bowl

Change is a must!

Switching bowls brings a change in the routine of your dog. He doesn’t feel boring. If he has a favorite bowl, give him water in that bowl it will motivate him to drink more water.

Switch Water Bowl

You can even try changing the sizes of your pooch’s water bowl just check which one he prefers. To detect whether it is the size or material of the bowl that he likes.

Take time and don’t switch things fast.

4. Seek Professional Help

At last, if nothing works maybe this is an alarming time that you take help from experts. As they can properly plan a solution for him. Their immense knowledge will detect the root of the cause, and your dog can be treated at the right time.

Wait! There is more to know here!

The Bottom Line

Just like water is essential for us to regulate the body temperature and maintain our body to function properly it is also equally important for our dogs’ to keep them. Water helps them to be healthy and lack of water can dehydrate them.

To keep him hydrated you can give him wet food, or place a water bowl at accessible places in the house.

We hope that you got your answer for why won’t your dog drink water out of his bowl. In this article as we have discussed all the possible reasons for it.

Do let us know by commenting below if you like this article or not. And, also if you know an additional reason for the same.

You must never let your dog get dehydrated!

Stay healthy and don’t forget to keep your pooch healthy and hydrated!


  1. Fries, W. C. (2011, March 11). Why Your Dog Is Always Thirsty. WebMD. Retrieved August 25, 2022, from https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/my-dog-always-thirsty
  2. Wharrey, S. D. (2022, August 9). Dog Park Safety Tips: How to Avoid an Emergency Situation from Happening. Veterinary Emergency Group. Retrieved August 25, 2022, from https://veterinaryemergencygroup.com/blog/dog-wont-drink-water/
  3. Debi@RescueDogs101. (2022b, May 12). 11 Easy ways to get your dog to drink more water. Rescue Dogs 101. Retrieved August 25, 2022, from https://www.rescuedogs101.com/get-dog-drink-water/

Leave a Comment