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How to Make a Dog Drink Water when Sick

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How to Make a Dog Drink Water when Sick

Water is fundamental for all living things, favoring hydration, and also essential for processes such as digestion, kidney function and the production of saliva. And of course it is also important for your dog to drink water, so if it stops doing so due to illness, you have to pay attention and take action on the matter. In this article we explain how to make a dog drink water when sick.

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Unlike cats who do not usually drink plenty of water, dogs have no trouble drinking when thirsty. So if your dog loses the desire to drink water when sick and you think it may be dehydrated, it's time to pay attention because it is very possible that your pet is affected by disease.

The first step is to check whether it lacks liquid, so you can detect if your dog is dehydrated by noticing if your dog skin does not go back to its normal position when you pinch it and making sure its gums are humid. For more details we advise you to take a look at our article to know if your dog is dehydrated.


Start by checking the dog's water bowl. If it is very dirty or the water is not very fresh, clean it and add clean water. Maybe your pet has just stopped drinking because the water does not taste good, make the change and see if the animal is drinking again.


If you have a big house, a good way to make your dog drink more water is by placing several containers with liquid at points where your pet often is. This way you are making it easier for your dog to hydrate more frequently.


There are times when we need our dog to drink more water because of a specific health condition that affects hydration, e.g. diarrhea, consecutive vomiting or fever. In such cases we can apply some tricks to attract the animal's attention and get them to effectively hydrate:

  • Add a teaspoon of sugar to the bowl of water for your dog. The sweet smell attracts dogs and gets your dog more excited about drinking water.
  • Give your dog ice cubes, this is a good way to facilitate its hydration.
  • If your dog does not respond to these tips, get a cotton ball and soak it in water. Then, squeeze it over his mouth so it licks the dribbling water. You can also try the same with a large syringe.

Note that if your dog suddenly stops drinking water and also seems apathetic, with little desire to play or eat, it is important that you take it to the vet ASAP. Various serious diseases like distemper or parvovirus decrease the wishes of the animal to drink water, which could seriously affect their health.


This article is merely informative, OneHowTo does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinarian treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the vets if it has any type of condition or is in pain.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Make a Dog Drink Water when Sick, we recommend you visit our Pets category.

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How to Make a Dog Drink Water when Sick