All dogs need to be hydrated well. So when you see that your dog is not drinking water from his water bowl then it can be a great concern of yours. With water being the key element for all living things, your dog should be drinking water several times a day. You may be wondering, “Why won’t my dog drink out of his bowl?.” While this is a cause for concern, you shouldn’t be overly concerned just yet. The problem may be extremely simple or it can be caused by a greater underlying health condition.



why wont my dog drink out of his bowl


Why Won’t My Dog Drink Out of His Bowl: Possible Causes


You may think that dehydration will make your dog want to drink water, but is the complete opposite. Dehydration may cause your dog not to drink water at all. Signs of dehydration include red gums, hyper panting, excessive drooling, and problems with coordination. Panting is the natural way a dog cools off, if you notice your dog is panting more than usual then you should check it out. Heat plays a big role in dehydration, try to keep your dogs cool.

If they must be outside then they should be equipped with cool water.  In the case of dehydration, you need to give more advanced interventions for your dog. If all your attempts to cool down your dog and return them to a normal state fail then you should immediately seek medical attention. In that case, a doctor may advise fluid therapy or other means to hydrate your dog.

Tainted water

Although your dog’s water should be consistently changed if they haven’t drunk it, there may be other problems. Tainted water comes into play if your dog doesn’t seem to have a specific issue but still won’t drink. You should check their water bowls to see if anything is out of the ordinary. This may include unwanted dander, dust particles, a spill of some sort, or a multitude of other things. Simply change out the water, and clean the bowl and see if that does the trick. Dogs are much more aware of their surroundings than the average person. They may be onto something that you haven’t come across just yet.


Age of your dog may play a factor in them not wanting to drink out of their water bowl. As dogs get older than have a decreasing amount of energy. Many dogs like to sleep a lot more as they grow older. Although your pup may be extremely thirsty, they may find that sometimes the journey to their water bowl is not worth it. If you notice low energy in your dog you may opt for a different diet.

A diet that may help will consist of meals that have higher water content. Such as canned food as opposed to dry food, this will help keep them hydrated. You can also move the water bowls closer to their favorite lounging area(s).


Geriatric is more of a term used for an unhealthy dog that is aging. Dogs that are aging may still seem very healthy and young. Opposingly, a geriatric dog may seem very sickly and fatigued. Geriatric dogs may have shortness of breath, along with other health concerns. Each breed of dogs has different guidelines when it comes to aging. Larger breeds typically have shorter lifespans than their smaller counterparts.

Furthermore, these health concerns may be key reasons as to why your dog won’t drink water out of his bowl. They may not have the energy to travel, and they might get tired very easily. Achy bones and arthritis may also come into the equation. You should do your best to try to make it easier on a geriatric dog. Meaning, you may bring the water to them in order for them to drink it.

Illness or injury

An illness or injury of your pup may be one of the more prominent issues. If your dog is hurt, that will lower the chances of them wanting to drink from their water bowls. They may be in extreme pain. An oral injury can be an extreme deterrent to your canine wanting to drink water out of their bowl.

Why Won’t My Dog Drink Out Of His Bowl; Common Injuries

Oral Injuries– An oral injury can be due to a variety of reasons. Your dog may have an abscess at the root of one of their teeth. An infected tooth can cause your dog much distress. Furthermore, they may have periodontal disease, a fracture or loss of a tooth, a dislocation, or mouth cancer. Which can all be prevalent in humans as well, and can be extremely uncomfortable.

Dental health in your canine family members is important. Many oral injuries start with a simple bacterial infection and spread when they are not taken care of. You should make sure you are doing everything in your power for your dog’s dental health.

Your dog may have broken a tooth when biting on something too hard which should be checked. Also, mouth cancer can happen to a dog of any age so you should always check with your vet to see if your pup shows any signs.


Common Illnesses

Urinary tract infection- If you notice that your dog is having difficulty peeing or they strain when they pee then they may have a urinary tract infection. You may also notice blood in their urine. UTIs are more common in female dogs, older female dogs to be exact. While they are more common in female dogs, male dogs are still susceptible to them, of course.

A Urinary Tract Infection usually starts in the urethra and moves to the bladder. If it spreads enough, then it can also affect the kidneys. This constant pain may also cause your dog to cry out and whine.

 A UTI might be a cause of your dog not wanting to drink out of their water bowl. If you think your dog has a UTI then you should take them to the vet so they can get a culture to determine what is the cause of the problem.

Pancreatitis- An inflammation of the pancreas is known as pancreatitis. The Pancreas is vital as it is important for food digestion and enzyme breakdowns. Pancreatitis can be extremely painful and can cause your dog to have a lack of hunger, and thirst. Obesity and a high-fat diet are known causes of this disease. To help prevent this, you can try to manage the weight of your dog. You can also watch your dog’s diet, a high-fat diet is an indicator.


Preventive Steps You Can Take


  • Make sure that you are constantly changing out your dog’s water. If your dog does not drink all their water with their meals then it should be changed out. Water should be changed out 3 times a day. Even if your dog doesn’t touch the water it should still be changed.


  • Stagnant water can lead to unwanted bacteria and can cause health problems to your dog. Also, different things can land inside of the water like bugs and dust. Continually, as stated above, it should be changed out.


  • Washing the water bowl is also an important step. A bowl that has water constantly sitting in it can develop bacteria. A water bowl and food bowl should be cleaned regularly.


  • Monitor your dog. Once you get familiar with your dog’s schedule you can notice when there are things out of the ordinary. I.E. your dog not drinking their water around their normal time or how many times they usually use the bathroom. Once you have a semi-normal schedule for your dog it will help you notice anything weird.


  • If you want to help avoid Pancreatitis in your dog then you need to have a balanced diet for them. Avoid a diet that consists of all fatty foods and opts for a stable and balanced diet for your dog. Look into human-grade dog food as an alternative to average dry dog food. 


  • Try to avoid chewing really hard items. Although dogs are prone to biting sticks and eating bones, some of these items may do more harm than good. Your dog may have weak teeth and one of these may break or weaken your dog’s tooth.


  • You can give your dog smaller bones that will be easier for them to chew and bite down on. Also, you can switch out their favorite hard toy for softer chew toys. A lot of dogs love squeaky chew toys just as much as hard sticks and such. 


  • If you want to do something about your dog’s oral health, consult with a professional first. A dog’s teeth should be professionally cleaned, and they will be able to tell you what is safe for you to do at home.


  • Check your dog for any abnormalities. If you notice any weird lumps or bumps then you should go get them checked out. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

In Conclusion

As stated before, water is vastly important to a dog’s overall health. On top of quenching thirst, it also necessary in order to flush out unwanted bacteria in their systems. When you urinate it releases bad toxins from the inside of the body. Drinking water is one of the fundamental basics of living things. The process you use to help your dog drink water again depends on the cause. If it is a life-threatening issue than you should seek medical attention immediately. A vet will help you go over all of your options as well as the best solution to the problem.

why wont my dog drink out of his bowl

Hopefully, your dog not drinking water is because of a simple change in water, diet, or methods you use. With that being said if it is a more pressing issue such as a urinary tract infection or oral illness/injury, you need to meet your veterinarian and go over all of the possible steps you can take. If you can get ahead of the problem it will be more beneficial for you and your dog in the long run. Procedures can get pretty costly, but a healthy friend is priceless.