Healthy Pet Series: Holiday weekends or trips away can be enjoyable for you and your family, but sometimes traveling with your pet can quickly turn stressful if your dog stops drinking.

Warmer weather means that dehydration can set in more quickly if your dog isn’t getting enough water.  There are multiple reasons why your dog may decrease his water intake and consulting with your veterinarian is always a good idea in these cases.

Sometimes an animal will reduce their fluid intake if they are away from home. Water may taste or smell different than what your pet is used to.

If you’re driving and will be only gone for a few days some pet owners actually fill up some clean water jugs with water from home for their pets.  Others may try bottled water for example, if the water in a particular area is not appealing to their dog.

Changing foods like going from dry kibble to wet food can cause a dog to drink less. Illness or injury may also affect a pet’s water intake, so again, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian.

tipsforgettingyourdogtodrink However, if your vet determines that you should encourage your dog to drink but doesn’t have any practical suggestions for how you should do so, here’s some tips for encouraging your dog to drink:

1) If your dog won’t take water, try putting some crushed ice into your hand and see if your dog will chew on the ice from your hand

2) Add in some water with your pet’s food (check with your vet on how much to add as you don’t want too much water added at feeding time which in some breeds can lead to bloat or other problems)

3) Between meals, you may want to feed a smaller “snack”. I encouraged my dog to drink  by making her a yogurt “smoothie” with a few tablespoons of plain, Greek Yogurt, and then added in some fresh pineapple with the juices, and some shredded carrots and a small piece of an organic apple, peeled and cored for a tasty juice drink that provided both liquid and some good nutrition for my pet after an illness

4) Offer your dog a drink of water from your hands to see if he/she will take fluids that way

5) Make sure that your pet’s  bowl is clean. Even if it looks clean, try scrubbing it with some baking soda and water to make sure that all remnants of drool are removed.  Then rinse thoroughly

6) Sometimes just moving the dish to another location can help (especially if the pet was startled when using the original location for drinking)

7) Try using a different bowl for the water

8) If your pet is used to playing with the water, sit down on the floor and put your hands in the water (clean hands please) and stir up the water to see if that encourages your animal to drink

9) If your pet is dehydrated then getting some plain pedialyte from the grocery store can also be helpful

10) Putting a teaspoon of low sodium chicken broth into your pets water can also encourage Fido to drink again. Or even better, make your own chicken broth by cooking an organic chicken in the crock pot on low for 4-6 hours and then removing the chicken, letting the broth cool and refrigerate the broth. Remove any fat from the top of the broth and then warm up a few teaspoons of broth so that it is just lukewarm and add that to your pet’s water as a home made broth.

11) Certain popsicles (fruit juice only) can be used–please remove the stick before offering your pet the popsicle. Check the ingredients on the popsicle carefully and with your veterinarian first to make sure that the popsicle type  you choose is safe for your pet to have. You can also make your own popsicles by getting some plain pedialyte from the grocery store, and then freezing it into an ice cube container and then offering your pet the small ice blocks to lick.

12) Try bottled water: Sometimes pets are sensitive to even small mineral changes in the water supply and/or your pet could be alerting you to an issue with your water. See if changing the supply of water that you give your pet helps your pet resume drinking. Then make sure everything checks out ok with your water supply at home.

Now that we’ve shared our tips to help encourage your pet to drink, now let’s hear yours. What are your favorite tips that you’ve successfully used in the past when your dog didn’t drink?

Making sure that your dog stays hydrated is important to your best friend’s health.  Share your thoughts and suggestions here about things you can do to help encourage your dog to drink.