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  • How to Hydrate a Dog that Won’t Drink

    by David Comiskey

    Much like humans, pets need adequate daily water intake. They need water to be available all the time, and not just when they’re thirsty. For pets to remain healthy and to prevent medical problems, drinking enough water is a must. Here are 5 strategies for how to hydrate a dog that won’t drink water.

    A dog at a water fountain. Keep reading this post to learn how to hydrate a dog.

    Place water bowls everywhere

    To encourage your pet to drink more water, place more than one water bowl in the house. Having water bowls in different rooms will encourage the pet to stay hydrated. Doing this ensures that they don’t have to go too far o get a drink. Any canine rehabilitation specialist would tell owners to provide fresh water every day and wash the bowls daily too.

    Remember to keep checking the water bowls to ensure they’re clean, especially any bowls left outside. There may be leaves, dust, or debris that got mixed in the water. Seeing dirty water would discourage your dog from drinking, so keep everything clean. In placing water bowls everywhere, the pet would get more accustomed to the idea that water is easily accessible.

    Consider feeding your pets wet food

    Some pets struggle to drink enough water, but you can work around this. Try adding water to your pet’s food, because dry food is only about 10% moisture. Canned food is relatively better, but pets still need more water than that. Water can be added to pet food, whether it’s kibble, canned, cooked, or raw, so there’s no need to worry.

    A canine rehabilitation specialist would advise soaking the kibble in water and leaving it in the fridge first to let the water be absorbed. In doing this method, your pets will be more hydrated. Some people believe that crunchy kibble would clean the cat’s teeth, but this is in fact a myth about pet care. If you struggle keeping your dog hydrated, it is better to feed your pets with wet food.

    Add flavor to water

    Pets can be picky with their water, and they have the right to be. Sometimes, water just doesn’t taste right to them, and they don’t like certain tastes. You can make flavored water for pets to encourage them to drink more. Distilled, filtered, bottled, and tap water all taste differently. Let your pet test these to see if there’s something they’d prefer.

    Some pet owners make ice cubes of tuna juice or broth to put it in the water bowl. It gives flavor over time, so the pet isn’t immediately overwhelmed. Others simply choose to add a teaspoon of chicken or beef broth. Regardless, if you do choose to flavor your dog’s water bowl, we’d also recommend keeping a separate bowl of ordinary water available as well.

    Test different bowls

    In the same way that humans like certain dishes, pets have their preferences, too. Aside from bowls, offer water in a plate or saucer. Bowls come in different kinds: stainless steel, ceramic, glass, or plastic. Having a variety keeps things new, so the pet doesn’t feel like anything is such a routine. If the pet has a favorite, gradually shift to using that one most of the time.

    You can also try altering the size of the water bowl to see which ones your pets prefer. Perhaps they like the material, but the size is either too small or too big. Have the patience to let your pet try different bowls. Consider the fact that they need time to test the bowl, so don’t switch things up too quickly.

    A husky drinking water on a hike.

    Consider Contacting an Expert

    If your pet still refuses to drink enough water and it affects their health, it may be time to reach out to a canine rehabilitation specialist. As trained professionals, they can develop plans to address the pet’s needs effectively. They’re certified in the field, so they can accurately check and treat the pet.

    Looking for other health tips from Barkly’s Fur the Record? Check out our post about a solution for dog and cat digestive issues.

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