Updated at: 11-01-2022 - By: petstutorial

While cats are known for hating water, it is not at all uncommon for dogs to share their dislike. Your dog might be afraid of water for a number of reasons, most of which have nothing to do with you. It’s possible that your dog has had limited or no experience with water.


Consider this, if your dog is adopted, they may have gone to the bathroom under covered runs with concrete floors. In this case, your dog may not be familiar with the feeling of wet grass on his paws or rain hitting his back. In another scenario, your dog’s only experience with water may be baths. If your dog doesn’t like baths, he will associate those feelings with water in general.

Why is my dog scared of drinking water?

Bladder infection or urinary tract infection can also cause a decrease in thirst. So if you think your dog won’t drink water because of a disease, you should contact your vet immediately. It’s a good idea to write your dog’s drinking behavior down to help the vet figure out the problem.

Why is my dog obsessed with water?

If your dog is drinking excessively (polydipsia) it is possibly because he is losing excess amounts of water for any of a number of reasons. While a number of diseases result in excess water intake and urine output, the most common of these diseases include kidney failure, diabetes mellitus and Cushing’s disease.

Do dogs instinctively know how do you swim?

It is a widely believed myth that all dogs have an inborn ability to swim. The reality is that, while most dogs instinctively make a paddling motion if they happen to wind up in the water, that behavior may be the total extent of their ability to swim.


Do dogs like water?

Dogs, like humans, need to drink water every day as they are at risk from dehydration if they don’t. The body temperature of a dog is mostly controlled through panting. Good to know: Water is, therefore, very important for a dog and we, as dog owners, need to provide our pups with enough water every day.

Why do dogs hate cats?

Dogs, even toy breeds, still retain some of the hunting instincts that served their wild ancestors. Dogs enjoy chasing cats not because they hate cats, but because a fast-moving feline triggers a strong, natural instinct that takes training and socialization to override. Cats and dogs also communicate differently.

Do GSD like water?

Unlike the other dog breeds, German Shepherds weren’t bred specifically for swimming. But since they are naturally athletic and courageous dogs they certainly have the capability to like water and become strong swimmers.

A Matter of Reflections

On top of sounds, we must consider the look of metal bowls. Sure metal bowls are appealing to us because they are shiny and easy to wash, but from a dog’s perspective, practicality is not much of a big deal, while instincts are.

Thing is, dogs, unlike humans, do not understand reflections. This means that any reflections of lights or shadows observed on metal bowls may startle them. This includes their own reflection by the way.

The puppy or dog may therefore lean over the bowl to drink and then startle upon seeing his reflection. Because these dogs are scared, they’ll often take a quick sip and then move away, leading to approach-avoidance behaviors.

We must consider that dogs don’t see in the same way we do. Their vision may be superior to ours when it comes to dim light conditions and they are great in detecting motion, but the trade-off is their sight tends to be rather “grainy,” offering less detail (visual acuity) in bright light, explains Dr. Kerry L Ketring, board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist.


10 Tips to Help Your Dogs Scared of the Water Bowl

Drinking water is important for your canine companion. Not drinking enough water can cause electrolyte abnormalities and dehydration in affected dogs, so if your dog refuses to drink water from his bowl, you want to take action fast. In the meanwhile, something you can do is blending your dog’s food with water into a slurry so at least he/she gets some hydration, suggests veterinarian Dr. J. Rokke.  Here are some general tips and ideas.

  1. Have your dog see your vet. Any time Rover is acting weird, we owe it to him to play it safe and rule out potential medical problems. As seen, there are several medical problems listed that may cause dogs to fear their water bowls.
  2. Offer alternatives. If your dog is not drinking water, try to offer water in other forms. For example, soak his kibble in water or meat-based broth (with no sodium, garlic or onion) or try to offer ice cubes. You can also try a pet water fountain or a drip water bottle for small dogs.
  3. Get creative. If you really need your dog to drink, you can try to offer water from a hose or from your cupped hands.
  4. Change locations. Try offering water in a variety of locations to rule out your dog being scared to drink in a certain area of the house.
  5. Change the bowl. Try using a variety of bowls of different depths and sizes like big bowls, small bowls, high bowls and low bowls. Elevated bowls may help if your dog may have neck pain. Dogs with poor depth perception may benefit from water offered from a plate or a saucer with a very shallow bottom.
  6. Change temps. Try also varying the temperature. Offer cold water and water at room temperature and see if that makes a difference.
  7. Change material. Try bowls of different materials like ceramic, stainless steel and plastic and see whether your dog has preferences. A word of caution is needed though for plastic bowls: some dogs are allergic to plastic bowls.
  8.  Create positive associations with the water bowl. Play nearby it, place treats around it, praise your dog for drinking.
  9. Ensure it’s clean! Make sure the water bowl is clean and has no soap residue.
  10. See the vet. If refusing to drink from the water bowl is atypical for your dog, give him the benefit of doubt and see your vet to rule out medical issues.
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