Sometimes your dog won't want to drink water. Whether he's recovering from surgery or just not feeling well, you need to know how to make a dog drink water when he doesn't want to. It sounds simple, but as the old saying goes, you can lead a horse (or dog in this case) to water, but you can't make him drink.
Typically, it's a health issue that will cause your dog to refrain from drinking water. This is a major problem, because not drinking will quickly lead to dehydration. In turn, be dehydrated for just a couple of days can quickly lead to more serious health problems.
If you've noticed a sudden change in your dog's water intake (whether he's drinking more or less) that lasts for more than 24 hours, it's best to seek the advice of your veterinarian. This could be an indication of a serious underlying health issue that requires medical attention.
If you already know the reason for the aversion to drinking water, you just need to find ways to entice your pup to drink. In this situation it is best to only offer small amounts of water at one time. You can increase the quantity as your dog begins to feel better. Drinking too much too quickly could cause your dog to vomit, which will make him even more dehydrated.
How to Make a Dog Drink Water
(even when he doesn't want to)
If you notice that your dog isn't drinking as much water as he normally does, you need to access for dehydration immediately. As I demonstrate in my video guide above, the first thing to do is pinch the skin on the back of your dog's neck. If it doesn't return to normal immediately, it is a sign that Fido is dehydrated.
You can also check your dog's gums to see if he is dehydrated. I also demonstrate this procedure in my video guide. Gently press your finger on your dog's gums until the pink color fades. If the gum doesn't pink up immediately, it is a sign that your pet is dehydrated.
Other signs of dehydration include:
- loss of appetite
- decrease in urine output
- darker color urine
- urine with a noticeably strong odor
Now, this is the really important part.
If your dog is showing signs of dehydration you need to seek veterinary care immediately!
DO NOT wait. If your dog is dehydrated, waiting just a few hours could be the difference between a quick treatment with IV fluids and a much more serious health condition.
Pedialyte is a popular drink for humans suffering from dehydration. Did you know that this drink can also help prevent your dog from becoming dehydrated. It is specifically formulated to help replenish fluids and electrolytes more effectively than other drinks.
Pedialyte is completely safe for your dog. When learning how to make a dog drink water, this liquid is a great tool to have in your arsenal. Mix a 50/50 combination of Pedialyte and water. Give your dog 1 cup of this mixture every 30-60 minutes.
If your dog won't drink the Pedialyte mixture, administer it in small doses with a syringe.
If you're not worried about dehydration but just want to increase your dog's water intake after surgery or an illness, there are a number of ways to do so. You can try adding low-sodium chicken or beef broth to their water bowl. A couple of tablespoons of broth should be enough to entice most dogs to drink.
You could also use a syringe to squirt water in your dog's mouth. Switching to a wet canned dog food is another good way to add additional liquid to your pup's diet.
Ensuring that your dog is drinking enough water could be an everyday battle with some canines. Ideally, your dog should be drinking about an ounce of water for every pound of his body weight daily.
If you don't think your dog is drinking enough water, try switching to a pet drinking fountain. These fountains aerate the water to keep it fresh. You wouldn't want to drink stagnant, warm water. What makes you think that your dog would?
If you're using a traditional dog bowl, make sure the water is always fresh and clean. You can also try adding ice cubes to his water to keep it cool. Again, you wouldn't want to drink warm, stagnant water that had drool, debris or pieces of floating food in it. So, why do you think your dog would?
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