How To Trick Your Dog Into Drinking Water During Hot Weather

Any good dog owner wants to ensure their pet is always taken care of. However, sometimes your dog doesn’t know what’s good for them. It’s impossible to explain to your dog why you have to do the things you need to do, which is why you need to always keep an eye on them and ensure they’re living their best lives. This is especially true during warmer months. 

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Many dogs don’t do particularly well in the heat – they’re wearing fur coats, after all. This is because they only sweat from the bottom of their paws. This is why they pant excessively when they get hot – they’re not hyperventilating; they’re trying to cool themselves down! However, even the most effective panter must stay healthy and hydrated during hot weather. Let’s explore how you can get your dog to increase their water intake and other tips for keeping them safe when it’s sunny outside. 

Is My Dog Dehydrated? 

There are a lot of physical symptoms that can clue you in on whether or not your dog is dehydrated. These include sunken eyes, thick, gooey drool, and a dry nose. More severe signs of dehydration include general tiredness or reluctance to play with you, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. If your dog displays any of these signs and symptoms of dehydration in hot weather, it’s advised that you get them into a cool environment and give them some cool water. If pushed, a dehydrated dog can develop serious health issues pretty quickly, including kidney failure. It’s crucial that when you’re exercising your dog in hot weather, you’re doing the following:

  • Keeping them hydrated
  • Staying off of hot pavement, as it can burn their paws
  • Staying in the shade as much as possible
  • Giving them plenty of breaks

Keeping Them Hydrated

keeping your dog hydrated

Many breeds of dogs don’t perform effectively when it’s sweltering out. Pugs are a great example. Because of their genetically-gifted breathing difficulties due to inbreeding, pugs already have a tough time panting effectively. This means that the amount of time they can spend in direct sunlight is already pretty low – owners will want to keep it to a fifteen-minute walk or less if it’s above 75 degrees. 

While other dogs don’t have it as bad as pugs, many will still suffer when it’s intensely hot. This is especially true when they aren’t getting enough hydration. Dogs, on average, need an ounce of fresh water per pound of body weight every day. This number isn’t an exact scientific one, and it will vary depending on how active your dog is, the gender of your dog, how much they eat, their diet, and more. However, it’s an excellent way to judge whether your dog’s water intake is adequate.

My Dog Won’t Drink Enough Water – What Do I Do?

If your dog doesn’t drink water when you want them to, there are a few tricks that you can use to get them hydrated. 

Sweeten the Deal

Putting some flavoring into your dog’s water can do wonders in making them drink more. A little bit of beef or chicken broth can add a bit of spice to their water and make them drink it in a pinch. If you’re worried about salt content, you can choose the salt-free or low-sodium varieties. And remember, a little bit goes a long way. When your dog gets one hint of flavored water, their curiosity will make them want to try it out. 

Try Multiple Water Bowls

Sometimes, your dog might not like the water bowl they use. This might be due to sensory issues with the material of the water bowl. For example, your dog might dislike the scraping sound that their metal bowl makes when on a tile floor. If your dog isn’t drinking as much water as you’d like, try switching out the container.

Another factor might be the height of the water bowl. If your dog is getting on in years, they might be developing arthritis or joint stiffness that’s preventing them from bending down and drinking for as long as they’d like. A bowl with a different height might help them out. 

Wet Food to the Rescue!

Wet dog food might be a way for you to get your dog hydrated. While canned food won’t replace their need to drink actual water, it will boost their hydration level significantly. Other tricks you could try include feeding them some fresh fruit, which is high in moisture content, giving them ice cubes, which dogs love to gnaw on, and adding water to their kibble. Popsicles are another good bet in a pinch. 

Try Running Water

dog drinking running water

Perhaps due to some instinct lost to the past, dogs like drinking from running water sources. We’re sure that if your dog has ever been near a working garden hose, they have snapped and snapped at the stream coming out. If your dog refuses to drink from the still pool in their bowl, bring them outside to a hose or drinking water fountain and see if they seem thirstier! You could also try giving them water with your cupped hands. Most dogs know from experience that when you’re feeding them directly from your hands, it’s going to be good. 

In addition, trying a plain old water bottle can also work wonders to increase your dogs water intake. Simply pour or squeeze some water out of your own water bottle into your dog’s mouth. You’ll be surprised how quickly they’ll lap it up!

When All Else Fails

If none of these tricks prove helpful, we recommend taking your dog to the vet for evaluation. Refusing to drink water or not drinking enough could signify more serious health issues. At the end of the day, though, your dog just might not like the taste of the water coming out of your pipes. If there is a problem with your water source, then you’ll have your dog’s picky palate to thank for letting you know!

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