Dog Not Drinking Water

Dog Not Drinking Water

Our pets stay healthy when they are properly nourished. However, they don’t consume the right nutrients sometimes. Being a dog owner, you may have noticed that your dog is not drinking water or refusing his food bowl. As far as it is picky, you should not worry. However, if it continues to resist water for more than two days, it’s time to take your dog to a vet.

Water is the primary nutrient for all living beings; dogs are no exception. Almost all of their metabolism relies on water. It aids in digestion, regulates body temperature, etc. So, as a rule of thumb, dogs should intake one ounce of water per half kg of body weight. And it doubles as the weather turns hot.

Here, the question is what if you find your dog not drinking water? In this post, we’ll help you find all the clues as to why your dog is not drinking water.

Also, a few reasons and tips to make him drink again will help you in the long run. So let’s get started.

If your dog is turning up his water bowl, there are many reasons why it may be doing so. These include health and emotional issues. Figuring out why your dog doesn’t drink water seems quite difficult. If not treated immediately, severe dehydration will occur, opening the door to many other health challenges.

It is advisable to visit the vet if you cannot find a reason. Otherwise, this article will help you know the possible reasons in a single scroll. Let’s dive right in:

• Oral Problem or Sensitivity Issue:

Ensure the mouth is clean. Splinters, twigs, or sticks cause sore mouths and keep the animals from drinking water. Also, if the dog has sensitivity issue or toothache, drinking cold water can be painful.

• Bladder or Urinary Tract Infection

Bladder and UTI Infections are the root causes of poor thirst. When a dog has trouble peeing, it holds it in to avoid distress. Less urination lowers the need for fluids, but it can also lead to severe complications.

So, it’s better to see a vet as soon as you find your dog in this state.

• Illness

When a dog is facing illness, it often avoids drinking water. The reasons can be a sore throat or a bitter tongue.

• Changing Weather Patterns

As fall approaches, you’ll see your dog drinking little to no water. Or the desire to take fluids becomes less. So, that’s pretty normal. It settles down with time as the weather changes.

• Phobias and Anxiety

Dogs are prone to noise phobias. When you notice your dog not drinking water, inquire whether it heard loud booms. Try to calm it down by petting its back and staying nearby.

Also, dogs suffer from anxiety attacks. Death in the family or the owner’s long-distance travel can make dogs anxious. It is when dogs drink or eat less. Quality time together can solve it real quick.

• Change in Water or Place

A dog has a very sensitive nose. It can tell if something is familiar or not. Check for the water and place where it used to be drunk. Change in place and water can make him avoid it. Also, if you plan to take it along, better keep his water bottles with you.

• Dirty Water Bowls

Refill your dogs’ water bowl with fresh, clean water and rinse it daily. The dog’s nose is sensitive enough to smell any bad odor. In such a case, the dog will not be drinking water. An unclean water bowl or water full of debris is, either way, harmful for it. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

• Negative Experience

Water bowls or places where they are placed can also be associated with a negative experience. A dog will refuse to drink water if such is the case. Moreover, some dogs are picky; try replacing the water bowl with a new appealing one.

• Aging

Aging is one of the factors of reduced thirst in dogs. They don’t tend to move and exercise more as they grow. They become lazy and like to rest more. So, that’s the reason they don’t drink more water.

Dog Not Drinking Water but Eating

You may have seen the dogs not eating much but drinking plenty of water. It sounds pretty relatable as water is the primary element of life. What if you heard that a dog does not drink water but eats?? Sounds strange? Even though it is rare, it exists!

If your dog has the same problem, you need to act soon. Eating regular is fine, but making the dog drink water again is vital. Water makes up 80% of its metabolism. And if it continues to reduce thirst, a dog’s life can be at risk. It doesn’t have sweat glands except for its paws and uses panting to cool off. Dogs reduce moisture much faster as they pant.

Read on to know why a dog refuses to drink but eats, following the tips to make it drink water again.


Here are some reasons why a dog may eat but not drink water:

  • Oral issues include sensitivity to cold water, a sore throat, blisters, or cuts in the mouth.
  • Cold or fever can also make a dog keep eating but don’t drink water since it tastes bitter.
  • As the dog feels pain while urinating, he avoids drinking water and feels ok to eat. UTI infection is the culprit behind painful urination.
  • Consumption of wet food is also one of the factors, as it contains 70% water, leaving a dog to drink less by itself.
  • A filthy water bowl or smelly water can also repel the dog. In such a case, it continues eating but resists water.
  • Change in water supply or location where he used to drink also impacts greatly. 

Tips To Make Your Pet Drink Water Again

To make your puppy drink water again, visit a vet to address any health issues. If your dog is medically fit, you can mix dry kibble with canned food and give water-based fruits or veggies since it is eating fine.

Moreover, chicken broth and electrolyte water can also do wonders to make him hydrate again. Electrolyte water is flavored water that encourages the dog to drink more. Also, do a twist! Place its water bowl at a place where he loves to sit.

Dog Not Drinking Water but Peeing

It’s a condition often seen in dogs of different breeds. Though they don’t drink water, they remain active, eat well, and urinate regularly. This situation is safe yet alarming at the same time. We’ll clarify for you why?

Canned food comprises 70% water. And if a dog eats a soft diet, it helps enzymes absorb nutrients and process digestion, which helps regulate urination. So, it’s less threatening with canned food.

However, if your pup eats kibble or dry food and does not drink water but still pees, it’s an alarming call as this little being rapidly reduces body fluids. Moisture reduces through panting and frequent urination. It is when you should act quickly and bring it up to a vet for a checkup. He may prescribe medicines or supplements that will help increase the thirst.

Factors Involve:

  • Canned food is one of the reasons for dogs not drinking water but peeing
  • Kidney diseases are the major cause of this symptom. And get checked by a vet as early as possible.
  • Another medical issue can be UTIs. When a dog experiences UTI, it does pee when required but stays away from water to avoid pain.
  • Pancreatitis, also known as canine lepto, is a rare case in which a dog loses interest in the water yet continues urinating with diarrhea and vomiting. 


If a dog eats normal dry food and is going through this phase, it needs to be examined by a vet immediately. The only remedy is medication. However, if the dog has a canned food diet, peeing and not drinking water is safe. Try to entertain it and make drinking water interesting to help it stay hydrated again.

Dog Not Drinking Water and Lethargic

A dog who doesn’t exercise also drinks little or no water. Lethargic dogs have less thirst than active ones. A dog that walks and runs a lot becomes hot and breathes faster. Thus, it gets more thirsty.

Inactivity is when a dog gets lazy to move around and walk outside. Without getting thirsty, it doesn’t need water. An older dog or one with a petite body tends to be more lethargic.

How Can You Help It?

As we discuss, it is clear that exercising is the key to staying active. Get your dog outdoors for walks and playtime. As it moves, it starts drinking water again. A bowl by its bed will compel an old idle dog to drink water again. And for the inactive puppies, get creative! Show some tricks to make them move and motivate them to have water again.

Dog Not Drinking Water After Surgery?

Dogs undergoing surgery will often exhibit this symptom. Dogs, too, can be stressed out by this process. Many factors are involved in not drinking water after surgery, for example, mainly a dose of anesthesia to make it unconscious and numb the organs.

It leaves strong, gaseous effects on the body. Dogs need to drink plenty of water post-surgery. It helps them stay hydrated and recover faster. Moreover, it prevents organ damage and further infections.

Also, it is essential for releasing gases. We will now take a look at the side effects of not drinking water after surgery.

Negative Effects of Not Drinking Water While Recovering

As science advances, dogs undergo anesthesia with less risk of side effects. While there are fewer symptoms if the dog is not well hydrated after surgery:

  • An appetite loss
  • Lacks the desire to drink water
  • Weak reflexes and fatigue
  • Unable to maintain body temperature
  • Vomits and feels nauseous
  • Behavioral changes

As science advances, anesthesia is safer for dogs with lesser side effects. Anyhow, a few measures are necessary to reduce the possible negative effects and put your dog at ease.

How to Keep Your Furry Baby Hydrated

Remember that force-feeding doesn’t do good instead, it brings adverse effects. So, be gentle and patient. Try to evaluate what is favorable at this stage. To begin with, place the water conveniently, and don’t place it too high or too low. As it can be painful for the dog to bend and stretch.

Offer meat broths as it is flavorful and highly beneficial. Avoid kibble, and introduce wet food to maintain moisture in the body. Hand-feeding your pup will have better results during this time.

Dog Not Drinking Water or Eating

Food and water refusal can be deadly for your dog. Fixing this issue is highly important. Typically, it is related to health issues. Weather variations also contribute to this. To begin with, you need to figure out the reasons behind this lack, followed by a quick visit to a vet if you remain unable to find any.

For your ease, we listed down a few reasons your dog might not be drinking or eating:

  • Fever or pain causes distress and makes the poor dog lose appetite.
  • Moreover, internal infections like UTIs and kidney and intestinal infections are also possible.
  • Mouth injuries make it painful for the dog to chew and drink.
  • Other Causes Include:
  • Negative feelings about food and water
  • Water and bowl contamination keep the dog stay away from it.
  • Unfamiliar place or taste.

Extreme weather conditions

How To Help Your Furry Baby Drink And Eat Again?

Visit your vet to get medical help. Else, try to change its water bowl or water source. Keep its eateries washed and clean. Getting creative with the presentation of food and water helps a lot.

Dog Not Drinking Water after 2 Days of Surgery

As we discussed above, anesthesia effects can decrease water intake in dogs. It’s normal for dogs not to drink water after undergoing surgery. It settles down with time and some effort. The problem is when it is still not drinking water after 2 days of surgery. Some serious issues must be at play. The only solution to this is to address it with the vet.

What Can Be Done To Resolve This Issue?

When you discuss it with the vet, he will prescribe new medications and recommend supplements to increase appetite and thirst. Otherwise, it can lead to late recovery, weakened immunity, and organ damage.

Diabetic Dog Not Drinking Water

People, as well as dogs, are more likely to develop diabetes. As a silent killer, it requires more precautions than medications. When choosing food for diabetic dogs, choose wisely. Sugary food can lead to severe complications. Your dog won’t even drink water.  

Why Does Your Diabetic Dog Not Drink Water?

Diabetes results in frequent urination. And to stay healthy, dogs need to drink plenty of water since they urinate a lot. Dehydration may lead to abdominal infections and kidney failure. A diabetic dog is likely to stop drinking water when it experiences UTI. Inflammation and painful peeing cause it to hold the pee, resulting in less water intake.

Make sure its diet is balanced, and do regular vet checkups to monitor any silent diseases.

Old Dog Not Drinking Water

As compared to young dogs, older dogs have reduced thirst. The reason is they become less active and more lethargic as they age. It’s fairly natural; it’s hard to make them active again.

They need more pampering and ease as they grow older. So, below are the reasons why an old dog is not drinking water:

  • Lack of activity as it grows makes it less thirsty.
  • Walking too many causes it to get tired more quickly. Less Walk less Panting!
  • Old dog finds it difficult to go now and then to drink water, so it better avoids it.
  • As it ages, hunger and thirst receptors weaken.

Do Old Dogs Need Adequate Water?

Of course, yes! Reduced thirst doesn’t mean it is ok not to drink enough water. Dehydration can occur without proper water intake. And it can lead to serious health issues.

To avoid complications, motivate your old fellow to drink more by placing more water bowls in the house. Offer it wet food rather than dry kibble. And encourage him to walk to stay fit and healthy.

Final Words

Petting animals, especially dogs, is pure pleasure. They become more of a family member. As you enjoy their activities, they too love being around you. Similarly, your buddy’s eating and drinking habits are not hidden from you.

You fully commit to keeping your pet healthy. Likewise, if you notice your dog is not drinking water, you become worried and want to fix it.

This article outlines all the possible reasons why your dog is not drinking water and clues to what can be done if it is doing so. Hopefully, you’ll get all your answers here and help your dog drink water again!

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