Puppy Won't Drink Water From a Dish?

January 30, 2011

Sad puppy laying next to a plastic dish - one paw in the dish.I have a young puppy, they claim she was born on or around 12/23/10 and if that's right she's just barely 5 weeks old and probably shouldn't have been given away. None the less I have her eating puppy food and supplementing with vitamin paste and protein boosters. She was given away by a local rescue.


I can't seem to get her to drink water from the dish. I'm slightly concerned about her hydration so I alternate between sodium free chicken broth and water mixed with her puppy food when I feed her.

She goes to the bathroom regularly and has plenty of energy. I was just wondering if it's normal for a younger puppy to not drink water from the dish. I've never actually had a puppy this young before. Many of the others we had growing up and all were older. So if you have any suggestions for how to get her to drink or if things should be alright just let me know.

By eee


January 30, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

You might try a baby bottle with the flat nipple, if your puppy was used to nursing, that might work. Hope that helps.

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January 31, 20111 found this helpful
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Many years ago, I had the same problem with a very young puppy. My vet told me to buy some "puppy formula" Place some in a bowl (very small amount to start) next time puppy goes to empty bowl, put more formula in but this time add water.


Keep doing this while gradually increasing amount of water. I warmed it a bit to start too. Worked for me and Charley. Hope this helps you.

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February 1, 20110 found this helpful
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If he is that young you should get a nursing bottle for puppies and puppy formula so he can get all the vitamins he still needs. You can gradually dilute it to all water as he gets older and keep the water dish down for him so he can drink when he wants to and is ready to. If he was older then the answer would be find out where he does like drinking from, tub, toilet, etc. and put the water dish right where he usually gets his water and praise him when he drinks from it. I have a cat that only drinks from the tub, it had a constant leak, now it is fixed and we have to train him to drink from a dish. He has been drinking that way since he was 6 weeks old, he is now 9 years old!

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3 More Questions

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March 25, 2018

My 10 week old Chihuahua will not drink water. I have been raising an abandoned puppy since she was a week and a half old. She weaned from her formula in a bottle at about 6 weeks and is now eating wet puppy food. I have been adding water to it because she will not lap up any water at all.

I have tried adding formula and wet food for flavor, but no luck! I weighed her last week and she is exactly 1 pound. Is she too small to drink from a dish?

10 Week Old Puppy Won't Drink Water - puppy sleeping tummy up


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
March 26, 20181 found this helpful
Best Answer

No, she isn't too young to drink from a dish or even eat from a dish. I had to take over the feeding of 3 small puppies at 1 month because the mother got sick and couldn't feed them any longer. I tried to bottle feed them, but they wouldn't accept the bottle. I ended up feeding them all from a dish with their formula inside of it.


But considering you have been bottle feeding your dog for so long it is used to drinking from the bottle. You can always try to put the water in the bottle and see if they will lip the water up and not need to use the bottle to drink from.

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Diamond Post Medal for All Time! 1,246 Posts
March 26, 20180 found this helpful
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Make sure the water you put out is super fresh and cool. Puppies don't like stale, warm water. Try splashing some on its nose often to get it to lick it off as a start.

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October 8, 2017

My grandma's puppy is almost 11 months old. He is scared to drink out of a water bowl. What should I do to make him feel like it is safe to drink the water?

Puppy Won't Drink Out of a Water Bowl - dog on couch


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October 9, 20171 found this helpful
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Chihuahuas are small dogs and can be easily frightened. It seems something frightened him at one time and he has not been able to overcome that fear.


  • Have you tried placing water in a large plate? Or maybe a glass pie pan? These are larger and he may not be that frightened of a larger area. Just a very small amount of water in the plate to begin with.
  • Do not try to make him drink or he will become more frightened.
  • Just leave the plate by his food and let him decide for himself.
  • Is he eating properly? Where is he getting his drinking water from now?
  • If he goes outside then try putting an almost flat plate outside also. He may become accustomed to seeing the plates and decide to try it.
  • He really needs lots of water so maybe even an ice cube in the plate may help him try it.
  • Try to have his food and water in a quite place that no one disturbs (especially a place where no one walks by him) and do not coax him or he may become more frightened.

I believe he will come around if given a little time and maybe ignored about his food or water.
Adding a little liquid to his wet food will also help him.

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September 13, 2016

My 6 week old puppy will eat, but won't lap.


September 13, 20161 found this helpful
Best Answer

Most six week puppies don't know how to lap. They are used to taking food from their mother.

Put some Lactaid milk in a shallow saucer and give him that. He will probably figure it out.

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