How to Make Dog Drink Water When Sick

How to Make Dog Drink Water When Sick

When your furry friend is feeling under the weather, it’s essential to ensure they stay hydrated. Just like humans, dogs can become dehydrated when they’re sick, and it’s crucial to encourage them to drink water. Here are a few tips on how to make your dog drink water when sick.

1. Change the water: Dogs can be picky about their water, especially when they’re feeling unwell. Try offering them fresh, filtered water or even adding a touch of low-sodium chicken broth to make it more enticing.

2. Offer ice chips: If your dog is refusing to drink water, try offering ice chips instead. Many dogs find them more appealing, and they can help keep your pet hydrated.

3. Try different bowls: Some dogs have specific preferences when it comes to their drinking bowls. Experiment with different materials, sizes, and shapes to see if your pet responds better to a particular type.

4. Use a syringe or dropper: If your dog is seriously ill and refusing to drink, you may need to administer water directly using a syringe or dropper. Be sure to consult with your veterinarian before attempting this method.

5. Promote moisture through food: Wet food contains more moisture than dry kibble, which can help keep your dog hydrated. If your pet is unwell, consider switching to wet food temporarily to ensure they’re getting enough fluids.

6. Keep water accessible: Ensure that your dog has easy access to fresh water at all times. Place multiple water bowls throughout the house, especially near their resting area, to encourage them to drink regularly.

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7. Seek veterinary assistance: If your dog refuses water for an extended period or shows signs of severe dehydration, it’s essential to consult your veterinarian. They can provide appropriate treatment and advice to help your pet recover.


1. Why is it important for dogs to stay hydrated when sick?
Proper hydration supports overall health and aids in recovery from illness by flushing out toxins and maintaining vital bodily functions.

2. How can I tell if my dog is dehydrated?
Signs of dehydration in dogs include dry gums, sunken eyes, lethargy, and loss of appetite.

3. Can I give my dog flavored water?
While some dogs may enjoy flavored water, it’s important to avoid artificial sweeteners and opt for natural flavors like low-sodium chicken broth.

4. Is it normal for my sick dog to drink less water?
Yes, dogs may drink less water when they’re sick due to loss of appetite or discomfort. However, it’s crucial to monitor their hydration levels and encourage them to drink.

5. Can I mix water with my dog’s medication?
Consult your veterinarian before mixing medication with water, as some medications may require specific administration instructions.

6. Can dehydration in dogs be life-threatening?
Yes, severe dehydration can be life-threatening for dogs. It’s crucial to address dehydration promptly by encouraging your pet to drink water or seeking veterinary assistance.

7. Are there any alternatives to water for hydrating my dog?
In addition to water, you can offer your dog low-sodium chicken broth, electrolyte solutions formulated for dogs, or even diluted pedialyte. However, consult your veterinarian for guidance on the appropriate alternatives for your dog’s specific condition.

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Remember, proper hydration is vital for your dog’s overall well-being, especially when they’re sick. By following these tips and consulting your veterinarian, you can ensure that your furry friend stays hydrated during their recovery.