Dog Terrified of Drinking Water

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Apr 24, 2018
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Wisconsin
Our 11lb miniature poodle has gone 2 weeks where it won’t drink water, when we first noticed we brought him into the vet, they gave him an IV said he was dehydrated but that he had no kidney disease or any other problems besides some spinal pain near his rear.

He was peeing like a racehorse after the vet. If you can get liquid in him he will pee.

Only way to get him to have water is to boil water dump dog food in and let it cool to warm, too hot he won’t eat it, too cool he won’t eat it.

2nd Vet visit says we have to figure it out and can’t help him with mental problems.

Lactose free milk, he will drink a few teaspoons and stop.
Dump water in my hands, he will drink a few teaspoons and stop.
Got him to drink a small amount of water from Lake Superior.

To get him to eat I usually have to be there with him, watching and coaxing.

He has always eaten a ton of grass if he allowed only to barf it up if he eats too much, he occasionally has had soft stools but that is going on 7 years where that might happen.

He still pulls and kicks and has plenty of energy, his behavior otherwise is identical to before except he never drinks water, tried all different bowls, he walks up looks at the water briefly and spins away. Different types of water, ice cubes, doesn’t matter. We started metering how much water was there everyday, never changes levels.

This issue with water started suddenly and I’m at my wits end, I can’t nurse a dog every day, not sure what is wrong with him, vet says he is in perfect health
 
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Paradise of Florida
Raise the bowl. Neither of my 'back injury' rescues will drink from a bowl on the ground. Had to raise the bowl about 2"s on a small scrap piece 2x4.

Try spring water, or reverse osmosis water.... maybe the dog doesn't like what is coming out of the tap. Might also have to flavor the food. And, some dogs won't drink from a dirty slimy water bowl.

Get a new vet. Sounds to me the dog is sick or has an issue. Virus, bacterial, mold/fungi, and parasites need to be ruled out via a 2nd opinion(blood work, stool sample) and maybe even an ultrasound of the abdominal areas to rule out tumors or issues.

Monthly service meds(heartworm/flea/tick)... might need to swap to other brands/types. Same with the dog food... might have to try samples from all the other brands and see what the dog prefers. This includes canned food, moist bag foods, ... besides the dry food soaked in water.
 
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Athens, GA
Will he eat ice? One of our dog's favorite treats is ice cubes. She thinks they are a snack. I've turned it into a game with her and now she will catch them out of the air. Not ideal since you'd have to do it several times a day, but better than nothing.
 
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If the dog won't drink and will barely eat but can be coaxed with food and water at a specific temperature that's roughly body temp, I would think that would point to an oral or throat issue. I'm sure they gave the dog a visual going over, but it may need some dental x-rays.

Good luck - I hope you can get it figured out.
 
Joined
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Jupiter, Florida
We make food for our Norwegian Elkhound, using chicken broth as the base. It's like a soup. Very little water drinking is the result.

You could, of course, try something salty.
 
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Atlanta,GA
In the cat world it's a lot of canned food in lieu of kibble. You can also try a pet drinking fountain.

My parents have standard poodles and they're notorious for being finicky eaters.

GL.
 

Nick1994

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What kind of bowl are you using?

My aunt had gotten some new metal bowls and her chihuahua wouldn't eat out of them. His tag on his collar would 'ting' on it and he was scared. He's fine with plastic/low profile bowls.

Can also try pouring in a little bit of beef broth and see how that works.
 

Rmay635703

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He loves eating dry food but then I will have to put him on an IV again since he won’t drink.

He isn’t tall, I could try a big ice cream tub of water as that is what he had before we rescued

He begrudgingly eats/drinks water logged dog food unless I get it the perfect temp then he scarfs it down.
 
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This may be a long shot but when my childhood dog got older he was getting dementia and wouldn’t eat or drink and got his days and nights confused. I was out of the house at this point but he would drive my mom crazy panting by the side of her bed. The vet prescribed Xanax and he returned to normal. He’d drink an entire bowl of water after the pill kicked in. Just a thought but it worked for us.
 
Joined
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He loves eating dry food but then I will have to put him on an IV again since he won’t drink.

He isn’t tall, I could try a big ice cream tub of water as that is what he had before we rescued

He begrudgingly eats/drinks water logged dog food unless I get it the perfect temp then he scarfs it down.
Kibble has flavoring that dogs/cats crave it can be a struggle in the owners to get them off kibble.

At least with canned food you can warm it in the microwave.
 
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What kind of bowl are you using?

My aunt had gotten some new metal bowls and her chihuahua wouldn't eat out of them. His tag on his collar would 'ting' on it and he was scared. He's fine with plastic/low profile bowls.

Can also try pouring in a little bit of beef broth and see how that works.
Same story with one of our dogs. Metal bowls and dog tags making noise didn’t mix
 
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If the dog won't drink and will barely eat but can be coaxed with food and water at a specific temperature that's roughly body temp, I would think that would point to an oral or throat issue. I'm sure they gave the dog a visual going over, but it may need some dental x-rays.

Good luck - I hope you can get it figured out.


My first thought matched this. The dog might have a bad tooth and the water is aggravating it. You would think a vet would think of the same thought?
 
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Oct 17, 2020
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I would definitely try raising bowl. Some dogs don’t like to bend down to eat or drink. I could see that being a factor with the back pain.
 
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Try a fountain.

Is the water really cold - maybe it bothers a bad tooth. Maybe try getting it a little warmer - like slightly above room temperature.

If he is not drinking he has to be dehydrated. You might want to try a different vet. Not saying your vet is wrong or bad, but sometimes a second opinion might shed some light.

I assume they gave fluid under the skin - not IV - called Subcutaneous. We give our very elderly cat these at home - so presumably you can do it yourself for dogs as well - ask you vet to teach you, until you get it figured out so he drinks on his own. They can sell you the fluids and needles. There are plenty of yourtube videos on how as well, but have the vet's technician help you the first time so you know exactly for your pet. They will also need to tell you how much and how often.
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2010
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california
My SheepDog is a bit of a water weirdo.

While she will drink from a stale bowl of water If I have been bad dog dad, and not refreshed it recently, she obviously much prefers the freshly rinsed bowl, filled with RO water from the fridge, and then the bowl elevated several inches off the floor.

I really try to encourage as much water drinking as possible, and when I open the fridge and she comes by all alert, I will dump her stale filled bowl on a plant, rinse it well, until it has no dog saliva residue, fill it with my RO water and place it elevated, and then she will go into camel mode, drinking 12 to 16 fluid ounces in one sitting. I do sometimes just put tap water in the regular RO bottle, but I can smell the difference, and she certainly does too, sometimes saying 'Nope', but then camel mode the RO water.

She has kicked over her stale bowl of water, then barked at it.
If there is the slightest soap residue remaining on the freshly washed and refilled water bowl, she declines.

She despises water from a bowl washed in the dishwasher. The 'spot free' sheeting action chemical from the detergent, is repugnant to her.

If she had some dirt or sand on her chin fur in the bowl, from the last time she drank, she will pretty much not drink from that bowl again, until it is refreshed.

She loves the chicken jerky treats from Trader Joes, and almost always wants water after.

If I think she is not drinking enough, Her morning kibble will be placed in about 8 oz of water, and she laps up nearly all the water before eating the kibble.

Hope you can get your Dog to drink regularly.

If you've recently switched dishwasher detergent, it could simply smell toxic to a Canine, as could whatever the floor is mopped with where the bowl usually resides.
 
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Our Boston Terrier would only drink from one specific bowl. She got zapped by static electricity from a water bowl before and she never forgot that. Our current Yorkshire Terrier will only eat if I’m sitting in the floor playing ball with her. She’d starve if something happens to me. Dogs are as weird and complex as humans.
 
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Champlain/Hudson Valley
All the above is fascinating. It's hard to imagine a thirsty animal skipping water for any reason less than extreme ones.

I can only add: We had a cat which wouldn't drink water unless the bowl was full to the brim.
 
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Amherst, MA, usa
the 'rescue' revelation sez it all. No 1 knows what the dog went thru B4 U got it. The sore tail might mean a 'swift boot' to the tail. Torture might be in the history? Time and different treatment may assist. If never a dog owner or only 'rescued' "normal dogs" U R in forn a small hassel. If of 'good heart' (U seem it) U will have the energy to wrk w/a better vet and possibly (if no improvement w/several wks) an animal (dog) "behaviorist". This is some 1 who trains dogs and humans (aahahaha) in how to overcome dog tramua problems. Somewhat like ppl, they remain w/the dog yrs untill 'recovery' or 'the past slips into non-reality." If not some vets perscribe (anti anxiety?) meds other solutions.

I believe we own this to 'the dog'. They domesticated us (not other way around). We were itinerate hunters and they 'brought in the game' to make sheep, goats, cows so we could settle down, farm, get surplus, build cities, etc. We done nuttin but harm - shrink them into lill toy poodles, *****-a-fy the #1 Merican Dog for 2, 300 yrs - the pitbull, etc, etc. Good strength my friend ! use some consultation if warrented, dont go it alone. U will have less stress and better results. The dog AND you can be alot happer, no?
 
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annorexic, alcoholic, etc -
some need some help,
same bio-chem goin on,
this dog may B no exception, let's see...
AND
good point none the less !
 
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