Are you struggling to get your puppy to take a sip of water from the bowl? In this article, we are going to teach you how to get a puppy to drink water even if they refuse to look at the bowl. Don’t worry, it’s completely normal for puppies to be a bit stubborn and refuse water when they first come to your home.
However, not drinking enough liquid for a longer period of time can lead to dehydration. This condition is a serious issue that can cause life-threatening consequences, especially for small puppies. Therefore, it is very important to teach your dog to drink water as soon as he arrives in the new home. Luckily, the training process is simple and it shouldn’t take longer than a day.
Much like humans, dogs have to stay hydrated in order to maintain their overall health and well-being. However, water can be a bit confusing for small puppies, since it is much different from the kind of liquid they are used to.
After all, puppies have to make a transition from mother’s milk to solid food and fresh water and it’s not always easy to adapt. Luckily, you can teach your puppy to drink water easily using one or combining several methods from our Step by Step Instructions guide.
Things You’ll Need For This Tutorial
- Shallow bowl or a pan
- Electrolyte drink (such as milk)
- Low-sodium chicken or turkey broth
- Ice cubes
Step By Step Instructions
1. Use the Right Kind of Bowl
Imagine you are a small, vulnerable puppy and you just got sent to a completely new place you’ve never seen before. Wouldn’t everything seem a bit scary, even the shiny water bowls?
Deep and reflective water bowls could easily scare your puppy, which would explain why they are refusing to drink water. Therefore, to make sure your puppy gets comfortable drinking from a bowl in no time, use a non-reflective, shallow pan.
If you can’t find an appropriate shallow dog bowl suitable for the size of your dog, you can use any shallow pan you have in the kitchen, as long as it’s not too big. A shallow pan would be much easier to reach and your dog wouldn’t be scared to approach it.
Once you find the bowl that fits the right description, fill it with water and encourage your puppy to give it a shot. Make sure to always leave water available in the bowl so the puppy can drink whenever they’re thirsty.
The more your dog adopts the habit of drinking from the bowl whenever feeling thirst, the sooner you will be done with this training process. Just make sure the bowl always has clean and fresh water inside.
2. Encourage the Puppy to Eat Soaked Food
If the concept of fresh water is still very foreign for your dog, you should use the food method to introduce liquid in the bowl. Soak your puppy’s dry food with some warm water and feed it to them regularly.
However, make sure there isn’t too much water in the bowl, as that might not look so appealing to the dog. Only put enough water to soak the food but don’t turn the meal into a soup. A small amount of water at the bottom of the bowl will be enough to get the ball rolling.
Once your dog starts eating the soaked food, they will absorb the liquid as well. This will allow the puppy to slowly get used to liquids inside the bowl. Besides, it will keep them hydrated and thus help avoid the negative consequences of not drinking enough liquid.
Make sure to repeat this process until your puppy is comfortable with taking a few sips from the water bowl. However, keep an eye on the measures and don’t add too much water to make the dry food fall apart or turn into an ugly-looking soup.
3. Add Electrolyte Drinks into Fresh Water
If eating soaked food and absorbing water along the way is not enough to encourage your dog to start drinking from the bowl, try out the electrolyte methods. Electrolyte drinks such as milk are sweater and have a taste.
After all, your puppy is used to the taste of mother’s milk so it’s easy to understand why switching to plain water might not look so great to them. However, adding a few tablespoons of milk into the water might help reduce the difference.
Milk is rich in electrolytes which will give the water a sweeter taste. This will immediately attract the dog and make the whole concept of drinking far more appealing. Besides, adding just a bit of milk into your puppy’s water will make the liquid more nurturing and thus more beneficial to the dog’s health.
It is important to mention that encouraging your dog to take in liquids is very important for their overall health. However, even though adding a few tablespoons of milk to the mixture might be beneficial, don’t let your puppy get used to it. Gradually reduce the amount of milk until the puppy is left with fresh water only.
4. Add Chicken or Turkey Broth into the Water
Another way to make the water more appealing for the dog is to add additional taste. If your dog is not impressed with the milk and water mixture, you should try the broth method.
Use just a bit of low-sodium chicken broth to add additional flavor to the water. You can experiment with turkey broth as well and see what your dog likes best. This will give the water a unique smell and taste, which will instantly attract the puppy to take a sip.
However, just as it is with the tablespoons of milk, don’t let your dog get used to this commodity. This is only a temporary method to get the puppy used to drinking liquid from the bowl. Therefore, make sure to reduce the amount of broth each time you fill the bowl.
Eventually, you won’t be adding any broth to the bowl but your puppy will still be drinking the water. What matters is that the dog adapts to the concept of liquids being drunk from low bowls. Make sure your dog switches to plain water in two or three days so they don’t get used to the taste of the broth.
5. An Alternative Method to Make Sure Your Dog Is Well Hydrated
Last but not least, there is an alternative method that will help you make sure the dog is getting enough liquid even if they are refusing to drink water. It is very important to ensure your puppy is hydrated.
If it takes longer than expected for any of the above-mentioned methods to work, you should try the alternative ice cube method. Put two or three ice cubes into the bowls and see what happens.
Puppies are very curious and they are most likely going to wonder what is it that you put down. Most of them run right for the ice cubes and start licking them, moving them around, or even trying to bite them.
Either way, your puppy will get enough liquid by playing with the ice cubes, which will give you a bit of additional time to teach them that water bowls won’t do them any harm.
We hope you enjoyed our guide on how to get a puppy to drink water. If you’re concerned about the puppy’s water schedule, you should know that a dog needs to have clean and fresh water available at all times.
Therefore, there is no need to create a drinking schedule. Just make sure to change their water regularly and the puppy will drink as much as they need from the bowl. We can never put enough emphasis on the importance of staying hydrated, especially when it comes to dogs and small puppies.
Therefore, make sure to take action right away if you notice that your new puppy is refusing to drink water. As we already mentioned, it shouldn’t take longer than a day or two for the puppy to become comfortable with drinking liquid from a bowl.
However, if your puppy keeps refusing to drink water, make sure to visit a veterinarian and look for further instructions on how to solve the issue. Whatever you do, don’t allow your dog to go an entire day without drinking any liquid. At least try to soak their food with warm water or give them some ice cubes to play with.
We hope you learned something new from this simple tutorial. Let us know your thoughts and experiences related to these issues. If you’ve ever dealt with a similar situation before where you had to get a puppy to drink water, let us know in the comments below.
We would love to know what you think about these methods and if you know of any other methods that you would like to share with our readers!