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10 (Super Simple) Hacks To Encourage Your Dog To Drink More Water

Getting your dog to drink more water more often can, in some ways, become a full-time job. In this article, the Smarter Pup Training team has come up with 10 super simple hacks to get your dog to drink more water.

Don’t forget: Always be hydratin’

#1 – Exercise More

dogs running to increase water intake

Dogs need to exercise regularly in order to live a healthier and fuller life. It is recommended that dog owners take their dogs on walks at least 3 times per week. Developing a routine workout schedule is also important as well.

This routine schedule will provide some stability, consistency, & purpose to a dog’s life. Though, different breeds will need to exercise more regularly than other breeds because weight gain is much easier for shorter, wider dogs than it is for larger, taller dog breeds.

Dogs that use up their energies more throughout the day will usually require more water in order to keep them moving and to not feel tired and dehydrated.

Going for a walk/jog, playing fetch, swimming, and just about anything that encourages a dog to be more active are all things that will get your dog to thirst for water a bit more. The more they work out the more water they’ll want to scarf down afterward.

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You will notice that after a tough and rigorous workout that dogs may begin to pant a bit more aggressively than they usually might. This is completely normal. After drinking water or giving them an ample amount of rest time, they will revert to normal.

#2 – Add Some Flavor

add lemon to dog's drinking water

Another way dog owner can encourage their dogs to drink more water is to add a bit of flavor to their water. The flavor and smell will entice them to keep coming back for more.

You can add some lemon juice to your dog’s water bowl to spruce up their love/hate relationship for drinking water. Adding 1 – 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to your dog’s water will encourage them to finish their water during each sitting because dogs love the flavor of lemons.

Another powerful & healthy ingredient many dog owners can add to their dog’s water is chicken broth or beef broth. Most dogs are already familiar with the smell and taste of chicken or beef. Most dog foods even contain either chicken or beef.

Therefore, their water bowls will now have the same great flavors they already know and love.

It is crucial that you only use this method as a way to encourage your dog to drink more water. This is not to act as a replacement for natural drinking water.

Too much lemon in your dog’s diet might upset their stomach due to the naturally high acidity levels found in citrus fruits. Too much chicken or beef broth added to a dog’s diet will ultimately result in your dog developing high blood pressure because of the higher amounts of sodium found in broth.

#3 – Water Fountains/Dispensers

Did you know that one major reason a dog may not be getting a sufficient amount of water in their diet is due to the fact that their owners either forget or are just too busy to keep up with refilling their dog’s water bowl on a daily basis?

Well, it’s true.

Most dogs, on their own, can keep themselves adequately hydrated. This would though be very impossible if the owner never got the chance to add any water to the bowl.

Using a water dispenser can help to significantly improve your dog’s water intake by up to 35% daily.

A certain water dispenser system that we recommend is the Drink Well Mini Pet Water Fountain (link to Amazon). The water fountain also comprises a carbon-based filtration system that will clean and filter your dog’s water while they drink.

The size is ideal for small – to medium-sized dogs. The simple free-falling water stream encourages and entices dogs to its alluring visuals which they become extremely fascinated with and want to drink more water.

The system also keeps water fresh and cool by frequently filtering old and stale water with new water in its 40oz tank.

I have found that many of the trainee dogs of Smarter Pup Training use the water fountain 10 times more than using regular water bowls. Also, I found that using the Drink Well Mini Pet Water Fountain tends to keep water in the bowl as opposed to on the floor near the bowl.

#4 – Keep It Cool

Keeping your dog’s water cool

Keeping your dog’s water cool can help to encourage them to drink water more often. Studies conducted by the University of New England have proven that dogs will ultimately prefer drinking cold water to room temperature water.

The study compared the water’s temperature to water intake and has concluded that when the water has cooler temperatures dogs drink significantly more water.

dogs drinking water intake graph

The graph shows that dogs will drink 60% more water when it is cooler and lesser will be consumed the warmer the water is.

dog water drinking studies

However, dogs with the lowest core body temperatures were more inclined to select warm water for drinking than other dogs

Click here to read the study conducted by the University of New England.

It is best to drop a few ice cubes into your dog’s water bowl to keep it cool and refreshing for them. This action will help them to consume more water whenever they do decide to drink more.

Another trick I used to keep my dog’s water cool is by dropping a therapeutic cooling gel pouch into the water. This helped to keep the water much colder for a longer amount of time than the ice would last. 

Though there are pros and cons of using this trick. The pro is that the water stayed cooler longer and the con is that if you use a larger cooling pad this will leave less room for the water in the dog’s drinking bowl.

#5 – Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement training is one of the core fundamentals of dog training.

Positive reinforcement is a training method that can be used on dogs to encourage them to perform a specific task by using an incentive such as treats. Using dog treats or providing your dog with a simple praise or belly rub will usually be enough to reward them for a job well done.

You can use dog treats to train your dog to begin drinking more water more often. It works by simply rewarding your dog with a treat every time they go to take a sip of some water.

This works by tricking your dog into believing that drinking water is something that makes you happy. Since dogs find great joy in making their owners happy, they will eventually begin to drink water more often just to please them.

Please use this hack with caution as you will soon realize that your dog may only take one or two sips of their water and then will expect a dog treat in return for their good deed.

#6 – Add Water to Your Dog’s Dry Food

This is a super simple and creative way to increase your dog’s water intake. It involves taking your dog’s favorite brand of dog food/ kibbles and mixing it with water in their food bowl in order to get a thick chowder-like consistency.

Your dog will love it because they think that they’re trying something new and you’ll love it because it allows your dog to consume way more water than they normally would have. This will also bring some of the flavors out of your dog’s food which will get them to enjoy it even more than when it was dry.

I have tried feeding this to my dog and he goes absolutely insane every time. When the food is dry, he tends to take a few bites of his food throughout the day. After I add some water to it to spruce it up a bit for him, he will finish the entire bowl before stepping away.

It is recommended that if you have a dog that does not like to drink water often that you give this mixture to them at least once a day. You will notice over time that your dog will seem more active, energetic, and an overall happier pup.

By doing this you will be tricking your dog into consuming more water when they don’t even know what is going on.

#7 – Drinking Water Bottle

dog drinking from water bottle

This hack will serve as useful for very active dog owners. Whenever you and your dog are out for a jog you can bring some water for yourself and another water bottle for your dog. Walking, jogging, running, playing fetch, and doing any physical activity will tire out both you and your dog. It is important to stay hydrated during exercising.

Exercising when one is dehydrated will result in dizziness, nausea, blurred vision and will ultimately lead to passing out (becoming unconscious). Vomiting and diarrhea are also signs to tell that your dog needs water.

A powerful pet hydration system suitable for those that live a rather active lifestyle is the Highwave AutoDogMug Portable Water Bottle & Bowl (link to Amazon). The bottle works by giving it a squeeze and it quickly fills the bowl on top for your dog to enjoy.

When you use the bottle and your dog leaves water behind, the water will drain back into the bottle from the bowl where it was squeezed into.

Many people prefer the Highwave AutoDogMug Portable Water Bottle & Bowl mainly due to the fact that it handles water conservation a bit better than by using a regular water bottle where one would attempt to pour water into their dog’s mouth.

A dog’s mouth is not built the same way a human’s mouth is. Therefore, pouring water into their mouths will only call for a still thirsty dog and a wet floor.

#8 – Keep Their Bowls Clean

Nobody likes to eat out of a dirty bowl. Dogs don’t either. It is recommended that you wash your dog’s food bowl after every meal. On the other hand, washing their water bowl does not need to be done as often.

Some dogs have been seen to be very picky eaters and will not drink the water out of their bowls if the water looks even slightly murky or unappealing. There are also dogs that will drink the water from a pothole in the street without even thinking about it for more than a second.

For dog owners with very picky eaters, it is recommended that they always keep their dog’s water bowl clean and refreshed to encourage them to drink more water.

Replacing the dog’s water often also helps with this. Sometimes, I find that if the water sits out too long it will eventually begin to collect dust, dirt or anything else flying around in the air at the same time.  

Some bowls will require more cleaning than other bowls do. For example, stainless steel bowls do a pretty good job of staying clean but after your dog uses their bowl it will soon begin to carry an odor. Even a clean-looking bowl will need to be washed often.

Whereas plastic bowls are better at rejecting this odor will usually stain or get dirty looking way faster and will need to be cleaned more often.

#9 – Doggie Smoothie Recipe

dog strawberry banana smoothie recipe

You can often create extremely delicious smoothie recipes for your dog that they’ll love while simultaneously and unknowingly increasing their water intake levels tremendously. There are many recipes that you can create that dogs love.

I recommend using fruits such as strawberries, bananas, watermelon, melons. NEVER add grapes to a dog’s smoothie. Grapes are extremely toxic for dogs and can cause severe internal damage to a dog’s organs.

Peanut Butter is also a fan favorite for dogs that you can incorporate into your dog’s smoothies. Be careful, peanut butter is known to carry a lot of fat that can lead to an overweight pup very fast.

A tasty, yet healthy smoothie treat I have found from is the Frozen Strawberry and Banana Smoothie Dog Treat. Sounds yummy!

The ingredients to the recipe include

  • 2 cups of sliced strawberries or a 16 oz bag of already frozen strawberries
  • 1 and a half cups plain Greek low-fat yogurt
  • 2 low fat bananas. Only one if your dog is weight training.
  • ¼ cup of skim milk
  • 3 tablespoons of honey

Head on over to their website here to read the full list of ingredients and instructions to create this mouthwatering recipe for your dog to enjoy.

It is possible to get very creative in your smoothies but also, try to keep your ingredients to a minimum if possible, in order to not upset your dog’s stomach.

You should also take the extra step to first decide if your fruit/ ingredient choices are good for a dog’s body to consume.

#10 – Keeping A Variety of Drinking Bowls

By keeping a variety of drinking bowls handy, you will quickly find out which bowls your dog likes more, which bowls stay cleaner longer, and which bowls just make your dog drink more.

It is silly to think that your dog drinks more out of bowl A than bowl B but it is sometimes how dogs operate.

Purchasing an assortment of bowls is a good practice for you to begin to incorporate soon into your dog’s life. Getting different colored bowls, different materials, shapes, and sizes are all good variations that you can choose from for your dog to get the most out of their water drinking time.

Here is a list of some of the best cheap dog bowls that can be found (links to Amazon):

Your dog’s water bowl may not seem like a very likely culprit as to why your dog isn’t drinking enough water but after you take the step to switch it up you’ll likely notice a shift in your dog’s drinking habits.

Is your dog drinking enough water?

To the untrained eye, it can be very hard for an owner to tell if their dogs are drinking enough water suitable to sustain them. Keeping a dog hydrated requires more than just implementing a cookie-cutter system that dog owners are suggesting is “good for all dogs”.

Larger dogs require more water than smaller dogs. Also, dogs with more fur will retain less water than short-haired dogs due to the fact that they get warmer much faster and their bodies will excrete the water in order to keep them cool.

How to tell if your dog is dehydrated?

There are several different telling signs a dog can give off to tell if they are dehydrated. Here are some of the most common symptoms of a dehydrated dog:

  • Excessive panting
  • Loose skin
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Little to no energy
  • Dry skin
  • Dry nose
  • Dry looking fur

Water is essential to every living organism in order to sustain life.

Creating a Dog Water Schedule

Creating a puppy water schedule for your dog to abide by in order to keep them properly hydrated is a good practice to implement in order to keep your dog healthy all year round. 

Here is a schedule that you can use to determine the optimal drinking levels for your dog depending on their hair length and weight.

Hair>15 lbs.15 – 50 lbs.50 – 75 lbs75 – 100 lbs.
Little To No Fur1.5 – 2 bowls per day2-3 bowls per day3-5 bowls per day5+ bowls daily
Short Fur2-3 bowls per day2-3 bowls per day3-5 bowls per day5+ bowls daily
Long Fur3-4 bowls per day3-5 bowls per day5+ bowls daily5+ bowls daily w/ weight training

Dog Not Drinking Water But Eating?

If you find that you have a dog that only eats its food but has no intentions of drinking its water, there are a few tricks that you can try to increase your dog’s water intake. Mixing their dry dog food with water will help to increase their water intake without them even knowing.

Treating them with frozen fruit treats or icicles will also help them to consume more water daily. They’ll enjoy it because you are treating them, and you’ll love it because your dog will be getting more water than usual.

How to Hydrate a Dog That is Throwing Up

If your dog is throwing up, before getting them to consume any amount of water you should take them to a veterinarian first because forcing your dog to drink water could cause adverse effects. 

Once checked out by a veterinarian you should begin by slowly reintroducing your dog back to their water bowls. 2-3 bowls a day should be sufficient for a dog that had been vomiting in order to get them back to normal health again.

Dogs Need Water Too

Humans need water, dogs need water, every living organism on this planet that we call earth needs water in order to survive.

In order to get healthy or to remain healthy, one must learn to incorporate an ample amount of water into their diet to get their organs to function as it is intended to. It is important for dog owners everywhere to learn what it takes to keep their dogs hydrated, cool, and healthy throughout the day.

Doing things such as cooling their water, implementing different water bowls, exercising, etc. are several hacks that one can do in order to get their dog to drink more water more frequently.

The number of benefits that your dog will begin to see just by drinking more water will outnumber the cost it takes to encourage them to drink more.

Things like getting a better quality of sleep, better eyesight, improved immune system strength and ability to fight off harmful infections sicknesses, and diseases are improved, the ability to live a more active lifestyle are all reasons that dog owners should consider when getting their dogs to drink more water.

Overall, dogs that are well hydrated have been seen to live longer and happier lives.

I hope that this article has been informative, insightful, and helpful for you and your dog. Good luck on you and your dog’s water drinking journey and remember, always be hydratin’.

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