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How to Trick Your Dog Into Drinking Water

Just today I had a roaring headache and originally I thought I was hungry, but my belly was saying I was full. So I tried drinking some water instead and in about 20 minutes my headache went away.

My takeaway from this was that I was probably dehydrated and that’s why my head was pounding.

Humans need water and dogs needs water too. If your pup isn’t drinking their water they may be sick or just uninterested. Some dogs don’t like to drink water – even when they need to. Here’s a few tips on how to trick your dog into drinking water.

My Dog Won’t Drink Water But Will Eat

Beagle eating from  metal dog bowl

This is a fairly common problem and the solution to this is easy, but kind of gross. Add a cup or two of water to your dog’s food. It doesn’t matter if it’s kibble or wet food, if you add the water to their food then they are likely to consume it .

4 Flavored Dog Water Recipes

Ladle dipping chicken stock from metal bowl

Many dog parents use chicken stock to entice their dogs to drink more liquids. If you do this though BE CAREFUL. Most chicken stock contains onions and/or garlic which are toxic to dogs. So read your labels.

Here are some other options that create liquid your water-avoiding dog will want to slurp up.

Easy Canned Food Trick: In this trick, you simply add a tablespoon of your dog’s favorite canned food to 16 ounces of water and stir it up with a whisk or use a shaker bottle to break it up. This flavors the water in a dog-safe way.

Liver, Liver, Liver: You can buy (I’m not kidding) a shaker of liver sprinkles (you can find them on Amazon here) to put on your dog’s food. But these liver sprinkles also work like magic when you sprinkle a thin coat of them over your dog’s water bowl. They will lap that stuff up like crazy. If you can’t get liver sprinkles, you can also crush dehydrated liver treats and do the same thing.

Raw beef liver on cutting board with knife, dill and pepper grinder on wooden surface

Watered Down Bone Broth: 1st make sure it doesn’t have any onions or garlic like the one you can find on Amazon here. Then mix 1 part bone broth with 2 parts water for a treat your dogs will find hard to resist.

Peanut Butter Powder: Be careful with this one. Peanut butter powder sometimes (not often) contains xylitol, which can be lethal to dogs, so make sure you get an all-natural version. Mix a quarter teaspoon of peanut butter powder into your dog’s water. If they love peanut butter, they will love this.

Dog Rehydration Drink Mix

It’s easy to flavor your dog’s water, but sometimes you want a commercially available drink mix for when your pup is really dehydrated or about to work really hard.

This mix is simple to use and is particularly helpful before intense physical activities like agility or hunting. It also will make the water more palatable to most dogs.

The Bottom Line on Getting Your Dog to Drink Water

For most dogs, the easiest way to get them to drink more water is to add it to their food. You may want to also try a flavored water mix or a rehydration mix. Experiment with the different options until you find one that works for your dog.

And if your dog is picky with their food as well, here are some good options for food for picky dogs.

And if your dog is lethargic or does not seem like themselves, make sure to take them to the vet.

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