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Getting Dehydrated Dog to Drink Water

Getting dog to drink water when they are dehydrated.


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October 16, 20070 found this helpful

You should have your dog checked by the vet. If he is dehydrated, he should want to drink water. He may be ill. Also, make sure his water and bowl are clean and free of any foul odors, and is away from any pests that may be sharing his water bowl.

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October 16, 20070 found this helpful

No healthy dog ever gets dehydrated. Not only get him to a vet, but possibly an emergency vet.

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October 16, 20070 found this helpful

Put a dash of milk in the water. Even though it is still water, just white in colour, your dog will think it is a milky treat and lap it all up!

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October 16, 20070 found this helpful

make sure it is physically possible for you pooch to drink. Check his tongue for lesions, spots, burns and cuts. Make sure it looks healthy. If a dog cannot use his tongue to lap he cannot drink, they can't sip like humans and horses.

I had a dog once with Cushing's disease which basically turned her tongue into a piece of shoe leather and made it impossible for her to drink, we had to poor it down her throat. It also effected her brain and the rest of her, and eventually killed her.

I'm not suggesting your dog has cushing's obviously, it's a rare disease. Just know some disease can effect the tongue like that.

Also, make sure the dog's gums are a healthy dark pink, and not pale. If the dog feels cool to the touch, especially the gums, he could be anemic and needs to go to the vet immediately.

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October 17, 20070 found this helpful

I don't have a dog but cats that, when ill, become dehydrated. When they return from a stay at the vet (and usually an I.V.), I make sure they get extra water by mixing their canned food with about 50% water. It is more like a soup but they lap it up and get the extra water. But, go to a vet and make sure there is no urinary problem, blockage or stress problem keeping them from drinking.

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October 18, 20070 found this helpful

try a sqeeze type water bottle and squeeze into the back of his/her mouth and blow gently in his/ her face it's natural for them to swallow. I saved a dog with parvo this way.

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October 21, 20070 found this helpful

Soak the dry food in the water. A friend did this and it helped.

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October 28, 20070 found this helpful

My 12 week old puppy is not drank water lately. I checked his nose and it is dry. We squirted water in his mouth like someone said. He had 2 squirts. His heart is also beating quickly. We just got him yesterday. Should we called the lady that owned him before and ask her what to do. Somebody please help

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November 27, 20070 found this helpful

"No healthy dog gets dehydrated" is right most of the time. But if you have a dog that has been in an accident, or is sick, they may not want to drink water and, believe me, the vet doesn't share that with you. They just keep asking if they are drinking. Sometimes you are so upset with things you don't think to ask that. So the question of how to get a dehydrated dog to drink can be a very important question.

Adding water to their food has worked the best for me. My dog was severely injured in an accident when i was out of town. The Vet hooked her up to fluids once but most of the time I have had to find other ways to get her to have fluids. she is drinking now but I still have to add fluids to her food cause she doesn't seem to want to drink enough. Some of the other ideas I saw on this page sound like good ideas that I need to try them. Good Luck to everyone that has a problem! with their baby dog!

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June 8, 20080 found this helpful

Thank you so much to the person who suggested mixing her wet food with water! It totally worked! It was really soupy and I had to show her there was food in it but once she realized she sopped it all up! Nothing else would work. THANK YOU!

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June 28, 20080 found this helpful

My vet suggested using pedialyte or sugared water. It worked we had to use a medicine dropper, of course.

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July 9, 20080 found this helpful

My dog has had diarrhea for the past couple of days and hasn't seemed to want to drink water so I've been worried she is dehydrated. Putting a little bit of food in a bowl of water really worked! It's amazing!

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July 11, 20080 found this helpful


My dog is a chihuahua/italian greyhound mix, 8.5 lbs, and 15 months old. He's really well taken care of, RARELY gets anything to eat other than organic food and treats (and when we do feed him anything else, it's a tiny piece of cheddar cheese or a bit of peanut butter-also organic). Anyway, he got really sick the other night...vomiting and diarrhea at least 7 times within 3 hours. We took him to the emergency vet and they gave a shot to settle his stomach as well as sub-cutaneous fluids so he would not dehydrate. They also advised us not to feed him anything for 12-24 hours to rest his GI tract and after the rest, feed him only boiled chicken with white rice. He's loving the chicken and rice but he's not drinking water. I read these posts and tried putting a treat in his water, hoping he would drink it to get to the treat. He drank a few laps and then gave up (which is strange for such a treat loving dog). I decided to add a spoonful of skim milk to the water and he really took to it.

I know this is a long response but I just wanted to thank all of you for the suggestions and let you know what worked for me.

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September 2, 20080 found this helpful

My dog has been sick for 8 days! He started throwing up and diarrhea for 6 days now for 2 days he's not throwing up but he's dehydrated. I'm giving him water in his wet food and through a syringe every few hours because he will not drink! The vet doesn't know what's is wrong but he still is not feeling well. What do I do?

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September 8, 20080 found this helpful

Not only will my puppy not eat or drink, he sleeps all day and dry heaves. I took him to vet and they gave him amoxicillan and it doesn't seem to be working. I'm very nervous and scared he's only 2 pounds, teacup yorkie if anyone knows what is wrong with him please help! I will try the milk in water tonight, I try to give him puppy meat and he barely eats that.

Editor's Note Give him dropperfuls of pedialyte or gatorade and keep him hydrated.

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December 10, 20080 found this helpful

My dog eats something he shouldn't have at least twice a year and it costs us a ton. Dehydration is always one of the immediate symptons along with diarrea. Good tips on this site that work. Mixing water with his food and adding a splash of skim milk to his water bowl both worked great.

Good luck.

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January 20, 20090 found this helpful

I have a blind dog who is very old and he got to where he would not drink water. I started adding crushed ice to his water and he would drink it. I think that he liked being able drink but not end up putting his mouth/nose too far in he water since he could not see it. Otherwise, I am not really sure why the crushed ice worked.

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May 24, 20090 found this helpful

My 9 month old puppy has been sick. she keep throwing up and everything. we took her to the vet and they gave her antibiotics and a needle to get rid of nausea. I'm only 16 and she's very precious to me. It takes 6 seconds for her skin on her neck to go back to normal when you pinch it so she's rather dehydrated. She isn't aloud to eat so how do I get her to drink water?

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May 28, 20090 found this helpful

Thank you to everyone that suggested pouring a little milk in the drinking water. He went right to the water and drank and drank. I wish I would have looked this up sooner. I would have had him drinking days ago. Thank you again!

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July 27, 20090 found this helpful

Hey guys. Great ideas. My lil weiner dog fritz is getting over h.G.E. And needed iv fluids to keep him hydrated. A great suggestion for you and the only way i can get him to "drink" is to make gatorade ice cubes

He loves to feel like hes eating something and gets all fluids he needs in the gatorade cubes.

Just stay away from citrus flavors. Fruit punch works best :)

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August 13, 20090 found this helpful

Man I love the internet. Couldn't get my poodle to drink following vomiting. Gave her the chicken and rice for two days and pedialyte. However, worried she's not drinking. Took the advice of milk in water and presto, she lapped it up. I think it is making me feel a lot better, lol.

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October 19, 20090 found this helpful

I have a 1 year old pit bull named layla, reading other posts regarding water with some milk works great! Layla was just not drinking and vomiting so I knew she was dehydrated. She now drank a bowl of milk/water and has helped her. I would recommend this to anyone.

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June 1, 20100 found this helpful

Fabulous, brilliant! Our Chocolate Lab has recently been returning from his walks and has been so exhausted that we have to take various breaks on the way home as he cannot go any further. When we reach the house his tongue is virtually touching the floor and his breathing is so fast that I´ve been fearing that he may actually pass out yet he will not drink any water. Tonight we tried adding milk to it and he literally drank the entire bowl full. Something we've never seen him do before. Thank you so much for the advice!

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June 29, 20100 found this helpful

After reading the suggestion here, I asked my vet about putting milk in the water to encourage my dog to drink. The vet said that milk could upset her stomach and cause vomiting. She instead suggested I boil a chicken breast, let the broth cool and then allow the dog to drink the broth.

But don't take my word for it. Check with your own vet before you give milk to your dog.

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August 4, 20100 found this helpful


Thank you very much for the tip about adding a little milk to my doggies water, it worked! Princess got iv fluids at the vets yesterday cause she was vomiting. I tried to give her Gatorade-fruit punch with a dropper every hour. At 4 o'clock she refused to drink at all. She hasn't eaten her food but a couple of saltines and goldfish. How do I get her to eat? Please, help. She is also a little constipated.

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September 21, 20100 found this helpful

Thought I would add that constipation can be a problem for dehydrated dogs. I have an 85lb Basset mix who has been sick and the Vet sent home some stool softeners to give him. After I got home, I realized that they are the same human stool softeners (Equate) that I get at Walmart (the look and the pill number was exactly the same).

The Walmart ones cost about 20 cents a pill, the vet pills were $1.00 a pill. What a rip off. Make sure to get the stool softener only (not with a laxative included). I was told one pill in the morning, one at night, but that's for an 85lb dog so the dose may be different for a smaller breed.

Also, FYI, dogs can have Pepto Bismol, I give 3ml for my large dog. Call your vet to make sure of the right dose.

Hope that helps and thanks for all the suggestions!

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October 11, 20100 found this helpful

My dog had diarrhea, a fever, and was vomiting, so we took him to the vet. He was given antibiotics and fluids. He's got his appetite back but hasn't been drinking. I poured a little bit of milk into his water and he wouldn't stop drinking! I had to take his bowl away so he didn't get his belly upset from too much water. I'm going to give him more in a bit. Thanks!

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April 26, 20110 found this helpful

This article really helped me my dog hadn't drank anything in the two weeks I had him. I added milk as suggested and he wouldn't stop drinking. Thank you so much!

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September 19, 20110 found this helpful

I read the feed back here and it helped me. Thank you so much! My dog is sick she went to the vet yesterday and all they could find was a fever. The test and x-rays showed nothing unusual. I was giving antibiotic pills to give twice a day. This is easier said, then done when your dog won't eat or drink. Today I tricked her into eating a few Wheat cracker sticks with peanut butter on them then I got a pill down her hidden in the peanut butter.

Tonight I got her to eat bread and butter then hid the pill in there. But she won't drink at all! I tried ice cubes, RX dropper, rag with water and just reg water in her bowl. She refused it all, so after reading here I tried the milk in water in her small bowl. She drank about 3oz! :) She even went back for one more lick since our other dog was acting interested in her bowl. "we didn't let the other dog drink after her we gave both dogs their own."

That is also a good trick, if you have another animal get them to drink some of the same thing close where the sick dog can see it's good. It helps! Thank y'all so much for the milk idea, I feel so much better since she drank a little bit.

PS It's the smaller black dog sick she is much bigger now still smaller then the gold dog though.

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November 2, 20110 found this helpful

After coming back from our road trip. My baby wouldn't eat or drink. He then was vomiting/diarrhea with light blood on his butt. for the next 12hrs I tried everything from a tsp of Peptol Bismol to 4 spoonfuls of milk but it just kept getting worst around 11p.m. we decided we had to take him in to the emergency animal hospital. I was worry that he would die of de-hydration. The vet them reprimanded me on giving him milk. She told me to never,ever give a dog milk. She then Injected SubQ Fluids on his skin, prescribed medication such as carafate 1GR tab, amoxitabs 50mg & canine can I/D diet food. After three days my dog was up and running but still not consuming water on his own. So I tried some tips form this website. The one about mixing beef broth in his water and it worked! I also tried the one with mixing water in his food and it worked as well. I just audited the one with the milk just to listen to the vet. I apreciated all the people who posted on this website. I hope that my dog soon will just drinking his water by itself without me putting food or broth it!

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January 6, 20130 found this helpful

My 1 year old Blue Heeler has recently gotten a stomach bug and he has Diarrhea- he hasn't been wanting to drink water. I read on here about putting a little bit of milk in the water (enough to make it look white, my boy is too smart- if it doesn't taste like milk he won't drink it) he lapped it all up! Instea of putting it in his water bowl, I used a cup that I usually drink out of. He always wants what I have, so if I act like I'm drinking the milk water, he wants it too hehe. Thank you so much for the advice! You probably saved my baby from going to the Vet.

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March 9, 20130 found this helpful

My dog swiped chicken bones off the counter and 48 hours later had bad diarrhea which lasted for 24 hours before I could stop it with Imodium.

It took two doses of Imodium to stop the diarrhea (and another the following day to ensure we were in the clear), and we've been 24 hours diarrhea free now, but he hasn't been drinking (he usually loves water). I was apprehensive about the milk, so I dissolved a beef bouillon cube in water and mixed it in with his water. He was interested and drank some. He didn't drink a lot, but enough (and willingly enough) that I'm comfortable with the amount. These cubes are easy to keep on-hand in your cupboard, so you're all set for emergencies!

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June 13, 20130 found this helpful

This morning I found my dog vomiting little bit amount of fluid and he wont eat or drink. I got alarmed and quickly searched for remedies. I tried the milk in water but he wont take it. Then I tried ice and it worked. Thank God for blogs like this :)

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July 24, 20130 found this helpful

If your dog won't drink water, trick him into it:

Put some peanut butter on your finger. Have him lick some off of your finger, then have him watch as you rub the peanut butter inside his water bowl next to the surface of the water. When your dog licks off the peanut butter, he is sure to lick water up with it.

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January 16, 20140 found this helpful

I have a 15 year old lab who struggles to walk sometimes. We have just had 4 days over 41 degrees Celsius and she has not been drinking much at all. I have put her in cool baths and tried the mushed up wet food in water but she just wasn't drinking. Just tried the milk and water and she drank 2 bowls!

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May 18, 20140 found this helpful

My 14 year old westie has had diarrhea and wouldn't drink at all until I put a little milk in her water. She just finished a whole bowl. This blog really helped us today.

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January 16, 20150 found this helpful

Lactose free milk only should be given to dogs, it's the same thing as puppy milk, regular milk can cause vomiting, tummy upset and diarrhea.

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March 2, 20150 found this helpful

I stuck a chicken breast into a boiling pan of water for 20 minutes. Voila! My mini pin drank about 8 oz. of it without stopping! I have plenty left for later and can use the chicken.

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March 14, 20170 found this helpful

Thank you so much...I give my Maltese spring water I took your advice and gave her the boiled chicken breast water she drank so much ...thank you so much for sharing Liz

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May 10, 20150 found this helpful

My puppy is whining a lot as if in pain. He is wobbling a lot mostly his head and he won't drink water.

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May 11, 20150 found this helpful

Taking to most Vet's will Always end up with her being pumped full of antibiotics. I found that is worse than doing nothing but home cures. They make more sense and often work better that vet. I just tried the "chicken in water" boiled then gave water only. Worked like a charm. my dog was adopted a few weeks ago. Im not sure if she had the "drinking" no water then or not.

Otherwise she seem very healthy and now settled and happy. My vet large animal Dr. that I took her to for constipation did NOT give her antibiotics. So I am very happy to find this site. Good Job. to all you small dog lovers Thank you thank you thank you. For the suggestions. Ps dont give bullion cubes they are nothing but chemicasl and salt. No Good for dogs or people.

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May 12, 20150 found this helpful

hazellvzsjay2015 Your dog is showing signs of poisoning. Take him to the vet right away.

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May 12, 20150 found this helpful

hazellvzsjay2015 In the future, please don't submit your concerns about your dog on other people's threads. I missed yours for two days and I feel your dog is really ill. If you have questions or concerns in the future use the "Get Advice: submit a question" button at the top of the site. It will start a new post just for you. Okay?

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