Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He has been working with dogs for more than 40 years.
How Can I Encourage My Dog to Drink More?
"I would like to bring up some concerns about my soon-to-be 2-year-old toy poodle. Her urine is often on the yellow side but not exactly dark yellow. It sometimes does have an unpleasant odour as well. She is eating well and her bowel movements are ok; her poops look normal too. But I did realise that she is drinking a lot less water as compared to my relative's dogs when they get together. Is this something that we have to be worried about?
Is there any way that I can encourage her to drink more?" —Apple
How to Hydrate a Dog That Won't Drink
There are a lot of things you can do to get her to drink more water.
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- Change the water more often,
- Put the bowl in a room away from the food.
- Add ice cubes to her water bowl. (If you keep a water bowl in your kitchen, drop an ice cube in every time you go to the refrigerator.)
- Use a water fountain. (I usually recommend a stone or ceramic waterer, but if you do not like this one, a stainless steel waterer is also fine. Dogs love running water in porcelain, though!)
Take Your Dog in for a Urinalysis
My concern, though, is that there may be a medical problem going on. Unless they are sick, dogs usually drink enough water, so before you change things, you should take your poodle in for a urinalysis to see if the urine is dark from anything more serious than mild dehydration. The odd smell is also something to think about.
Take your dog to your regular vet for an examination and urinalysis before you start changing things to get her to drink more water. If everything is fine and she does not have an infection or other problem, then it is fine just to encourage her to drink more.
This article is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from your veterinarian. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
© 2022 Dr Mark