7 Reasons Your Dog Is Not Drinking Water But Eating


Many dog owners struggle with their dog’s weight control and appetite but what’s much more puzzling is once they refuse to drink water.

Whereas increased food intake and lack of activity are commonly known to contribute to health issues reminiscent of obesity, there’s a lesser-known danger lurking behind an absence of water.

Temporarily sick dogs may refuse food and drinks and a few sick dogs may select to only drink but not eat.

But what in case your dog just chronically avoids water just like the plague and happily wolfs down meals?

An absence of water intake shouldn’t be necessarily connected to food intake but it surely may point toward a particular issue (for instance contaminated water).

Whatever the foundation cause, water is crucial in your dog.

How much water a dog needs is decided by breed, weight loss plan, activity level, and temperature.

In case your dog shouldn’t be drinking but still eating, it could be as a consequence of water quality issues, lack of access, traumatic events, inactivity, aging, or medical issues.

My Rottweiler is definitely not the very best at drinking water but a terrific eater, so I can have a few suggestions.

1. Water Quality Issues

Your dog may refuse to drink water but still eat due to the poor water quality in your area or otherwise contaminated water which can contribute to the transmission of diseases1.

Photo by Bibi Pace on Unsplash

Water can arrive contaminated at your household but might also suffer from issues with the pipes, water heater, water filter, or failure of other components.

The water may smell or taste rotten, moldy, fishy, or contaminated with chemicals.

For instance, tap water that tastes or smells like rotten eggs or sulfur may contain hydrogen sulfide.2 A robust iron smell may indicate water pipe issues. Smell is crucial to pinpoint the problem.

It doesn’t even need to be tap water. The identical can theoretically occur with bottled water, although that’s quite rare.

Check your local water quality, pipes, filters, etc.

Then chances are you’ll proceed with a water quality test kit in case you suspect that’s the explanation your dog shouldn’t be drinking but still eating.

2. Lack of Access

Dogs who don’t have constant access to fresh and clean water may not seek it out when it’s there but will still eat and follow their feeding schedules.

It sounds easy but sometimes the problem is just that dogs may not have 24/7 access.

Provide your dog with a dedicated bowl, change the water incessantly, and experiment with different temperatures, bowl sizes, or materials (i.e. chrome steel vs ceramic, perhaps a water fountain).

3. Negative Experiences

In case your dog has been punished or experienced a traumatic event while drinking, they could refuse to drink while still recurrently eating.

Evaluate whether or not your dog had any negative experiences while drinking or in the event that they have been scolded or punished.

If that’s the case, the very best method to eliminate the problem is positive reinforcement to counter-condition a positive response to any extent further.

4. Lack of Exercise

Dogs who’re inactive may not drink water but will still eat their food, especially if the temperatures are low or if the weight loss plan provides some level of water intake.

While a weight loss plan with higher levels of water (wet food, raw weight loss plan, potentially homemade weight loss plan) is great for the initial water intake, your dog may not hunt down additional water in the event that they should not exercised sufficiently.

Water intake should increase together with your dog’s activity and lethargy may point toward a medical issue so it’s best to seek the advice of together with your veterinarian.

5. Unfamiliar Surroundings

Your dog may not drink water because something externally has modified and a few dogs still manage to eat well but avoid water.

My Rottweiler can be that type of dog who refuses to drink but will still eat an excellent meal.

Photo by ALEX_UGALEK on Shutterstock

6. Senior Dogs

Aging dogs need water, even when they could avoid it as a consequence of effort, medical issues, or seemingly diminishing thirst.

This lack of thirst is commonly accompanied by an absence of appetite but not necessarily.

A senior dog may require a dietary change to satisfy their need for water in the event that they don’t hunt down the bowl often enough and are otherwise healthy.

A study3 out of South Korea suggests that the digestibility of nutrients in aging dogs is influenced by the food moisture content.

Dogs who’re approaching their final hours may refuse to drink entirely by which case you must seek the advice of your vet.

7. Medical Issues

Medical issues may cause your dog to avoid water but still eat decently. Seek the advice of your vet in case you suspect any medical issues.

Any sudden shift in drinking or eating habits may point toward health issues. When drinking habits shift toward heavy drinking, that might also signal a problem reminiscent of bloat, amongst many others.

How To Get Your Dog To Drink and Eat

Your goal should a healthy food intake but additionally appropriate water intake that takes under consideration your dog’s weight, weight loss plan, activity level, and weather.

Listed here are 14 tips about methods to get dogs to drink more water.

These tricks include flavoring the water or adding it to the food in addition to making doggy ice cream or providing treats with high water content.

While these tricks can work well with all dogs, they’re particularly fitted to dogs who eat but don’t drink.

How Long Can Dogs Go Without Water But With Food?

Generally, 48 hours without water may be the utmost for survival, but fresh water day by day is advisable. Food intake matters when it strips your dog’s body of water or if the moisture content is high.

It’s advised to supply 24/7 access to fresh water day by day.

In case your dog has gone longer than a full day without water, you must take into consideration options to get your dog hydrated again (as specified by my other article).

Should all else fail, you must seek the advice of your vet as dehydration is a serious issue and should point toward an underlying health problem.


  1. Drinking-water by the WHO
  2. Why Does My Tap Water Taste, Smell, or Look Bad? by WebMD
  3. Age-related digestibility of nutrients depending on the moisture content in aged dogs

Disclaimer: This blog post doesn’t substitute veterinary attention and doesn’t intend to accomplish that. I’m not a veterinarian or pet nutritionist. In case your dog shows any sign of illness, call your vet.


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