Encouraging dogs to drink

As the days get warmer both humans and animals need to stay hydrated to decrease the risk of dehydration. For us it is easy to actively drink more, however dogs need a little more encouragement to increase their water intake. Some have struggled with the task of trying to get more water into their dogs. While it is important for dogs not to drink too much, sometimes getting them to stay hydrated can be a challenge during summer and for some dogs it can be a battle all year round. Here are some tips to help:

Change it up! – Place water bowls in various areas of your house and garden, many people only think to provide one, this means wherever they are they have water nearby.  The position of bowls can also be important; make sure they are not near any scary objects such as dishwashers that can be off-putting. Instead, place them in quiet corners.

What do they like? – Some dogs prefer drinking cool or fresh water where as other prefer water than has been standing or room temp. Regularly change the water but keep a look out for temperature preferences.

Keep it simple – Some dogs can be put off by reflective metal bowls, let’s be honest we would not like drinking either if we had to see a reflection of our face in the bottom of the cup either! Plastic bowls can absorb odours after a while so replace them often or opt for ceramic. Large bowls may be daunting for teeny dogs and likewise larger dogs may have difficulty drinking from a small bowl.

From the tap? – Have you ever noticed your dog drinking from outside taps or even the water feature? Many dogs like drinking running water; you can now purchase a variety of ‘pet water fountains’ which reflect a running tap or river.

Soak it up – Another effective way to get more water into your dog is to soak food. Adding a little water to dry food can create aromatic gravy from the kibble. It is advised not to add boiling water as it may affect the nutrients in the food and may burn the dog’s mouth, rather add room temp or warm water. Also if your dog loves playing fetch or catch, soaking spongey toys or balls in water can be a sure way to get water into their mouths without even realising! This can help cool them down on a hot day.

Make it fun! – Try adding fruit or veg such as chopped up carrot into a water bowl, your dog will enjoy fishing out the sweet treat at the same time as drinking.

Look out for the next article about staying cool in summer!

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