A living being’s refusal to drink water can be a worrisome sign, no matter how long it goes on. Dogs may refuse to drink water for a short period or an extended one, but the longer it goes, the worse it bodes for your pet.
It is important to look for clues that can prove whether the dog is dehydrated. Dehydration is harmful for dogs too, hence we are mentioning some prominent symptoms that can prove if the dog is suffering from dehydration:
1. Sunken eyes
check his eyes, is he mostly lazy and his eyes are mostly sunken like he’s too tired.
2. Loss of appetite
the lower water intake can affect the dog’s body in many ways and loss of appetite is one of them.
3. Dry mouth
how to see if his mouth is dry? Well if the dog’s mouth is dry he will frequently move his tongue on his lips or he will keep his tongue outside most of the time.
the lack or water intake can lead to weakness, hence the dog may not be as active as he used to be earlier.
5. Lack of interest in his activities
the dog may feel disconnected and uninterested in his own activities or friends and may even suffer from depression and start to have negative outlook at everything.
6. Dark colored urine
this is the last but very important symptom, the urine will tell you clearly if the pet is dehydrated. Check for any strange odor too.
If you understand why the dog may not be drinking water, you can rule out likely causes before you take your pet to the vet. Here are 4 reasons why your dog may have stopped drinking water.
We are mentioning some common reasons below
An obstruction in mouth
If your dog has a cut or pain in his mouth or jaws, he may be reluctant to drink. The surest way to check is to encourage them to open their mouth and look. But of course it’s not easy to make a pet open his mouth especially if there’s something hurting him. So instead of forcing to open his mouth when he is refusing, offer him some treat. Make sure the treat is something he has been waiting to eat, something he loves and doesn’t get to ear very often. If the dog doesn’t want to drink or open his mouth when offered a treat, go to the vet. If you see cuts, scrapes or bleeding inside the mouth, you’ll want them evaluated by a vet as soon as possible because probably it is preventing them from drinking.
A dog’s sense of smell is far superior to that of humans. If you go to a new place, they may refuse to drink the water because it smells different. Your local tap water may smell different, too. One way to determine if this is the cause is to give your dog filtered water or even distilled water. If your dog will drink this chemical free, smell-free water, then you know it is the water source. If they still won’t drink, there’s something else going on.
Some dogs are picky eaters. A few are picky drinkers. For puppies you just got from the breeder that haven’t yet drunk from a water bowl, you could try to use a puppy water bottle that is akin to a baby bottle but for pets. If the pet drinks from this but not the water bowl, you know it is a matter of training. Dogs that have been through an upsetting experience, including moving to a new home, may have the jitters and not drink for a day or so. If they don’t drink tomorrow, too, then you need to be concerned.
Anxiety can affect our pets as much as it can affect us. If the pet has been separated from his previous owner, or his favourite family member is away for work, he may feel a separation anxiety and hence not feel hungry or thirsty anymore. But this is just a temporary phase, since the pets get used to changes in couple of days. If this prolongs then you may need to consult with the veterinarian. The anxiety can also happen due to any other sudden change in his routine such as change of weather, an arrival of a newborn, relocation or change of food/ flavours etc.
Older dogs may be too lethargic and weak to get to the water bowl. If your dog’s water bowl is placed farther than his place then it is highly likely that he would avoid drinking water because of weakness. Make sure the water bowl is placed closer to him. Other than that, they might not feel thirsty as much as they used to feel when they were younger because of lack of physical exercise. It is still important to keep them hydrated. You can put their water bowl in front of them and encourage them to drink water every few hours. Also, it is important to feed them foods that have high water content, such as canned foods. If you cannot get a canned food, make sure to dip his food in water to make it easy for him to chew and of course to fulfill his water intake.
When you ask why my dog won’t drink water and we’ve ruled out injury and sensitivity, the next likely cause is illness. This is increasingly likely if the pet is in pain or very lethargic. Older dogs and sick dogs may be in too much pain to get to the water bowl. You can test this by putting the water bowl close to where they spend their day. If the pet drinks from the convenient bowl, you know that they’re sick but not actively avoiding drinking. If the dog still drinks a little but it doesn’t seem to be enough, switch to moist dog food or mix broth with the solid food to see if they’ll eat and drink it.
If they’re still reluctant to drink, they could have anything from parvo to leptospirosis to rabies and need to be seen by a vet. There are several diseases that are associated with lack of thirst such as urinary tract infection and bladder infections. It is always better to get the dog checked by a veterinarian properly. Lack of thirst may lead to some issues and then those issues may prevent the dog from drinking water anymore. This can get to a dangerous level and may pose threat to your pet’s life. Hence, when the possibility of all the above reasons have been ruled out, take him to the veterinarian.
There are many factors that could affect your dog’s thirst or lack thereof. In any case, it would be wise to visit a vet as soon as possible to prevent dehydration.
Here are a few tips to encourage your dog to drink water
1. Keep a water bottle whenever going out with your pet: the pet may associate things with places hence it is important to keep a water bottle always whenever he goes out with you. If the weather is warm offer him water in breaks during the games.
2. Get him a new water bowl: keep a few beautiful coloured water bowls and keep changing his water bowl every few weeks. The excitement of having anew water bowl will encourage him to drink more.
3. Keep his bowl and water clean and fresh at all times: Make sure you wash it and clean it every time to fill it up. A dirty water bowl may also prevent him from drinking water.
4. Give him canned food or foods with high water content: offer hi foods that have a high water content to avoid him getting dehydrated. Also, consult your veterinarian for more options in fruits for your dog.
5. Offer him ice lollies in summers to encourage him: if it’s too hot, your dog may not drink water because the water bowl has raised in temperature. Hence, offer him cold snacks that are made of water. You can freeze his toys in ice and offer him so he will play and drink at the same time.
6. Get a dog water fountain: the pet water fountains are fun and are very effective. The fountains keep water fresh and hence motivate the pet to drink comfortable. You may get the automatic pet water fountain dispenser with an inbuilt cleaning system that keep the water fresh while eliminating bacterias. It also adds more oxygen in the water. You can buy it here.