A situation where your dog becomes fearful of drinking water can be very odd. If you encounter such a situation, you will want to know what may be causing the fear of water in the dog, and what you can do to resolve the issue. This article has the answers.
Why is my dog scared of drinking water? It may be because of neck pain or mouth pain. It may also be due to the reflections in the water bowl. Further, past nasty experiences while drinking water, the location of the water bowl or water quality problems may make a dog afraid of drinking.
Much depends on whether it is a problem with a recent onset, or whether it is a chronic problem. Take where you have a dog suddenly afraid of water bowl. That is different from another case where there has been chronic dog fear of water.
Further, how exactly the dog behaves can be helpful in figuring out the reason behind the behavior. For instance, where a dog backs away from water bowl is different from where you have a dog guarding water bowl, but not actually drinking.
At another level, take a case where my dog spills his water deliberately every time. That would have different implications from another where the dog blows bubbles in water bowl.
Ultimately, what you may be looking at is a situation where you have the dog afraid of water bowl. Or it may be a situation where you find the dog scared of water itself.
How to overcome dog fear of water depends on the underlying reason. Changing the water bowl type, treating any underlying pains, changing the water bowl location or improving water quality may be helpful.
Why Would A Dog Be Afraid Of Drinking Water?
If you notice that your dog is fearful of drinking water, the main question you will probably have is as to what may be causing this behavior.
In other words, you would be wondering, why is my dog scared of drinking water? Or why is my dog scared of water generally?
In a scenario where the dog seems to hate water, the question would be, why does my dog hate water?
Or you may personalize the question and ask, my dog has become terrified of water, he refuses to drink, what could be the reason?
So, indeed, what factors could make a dog to be afraid of drinking water?
Another possibility is where the dog’s fear of drinking water is due to the reflections in the water. Dogs can’t make sense of reflections. Therefore the reflections in water can make them fearful.
A dog may also be afraid of drinking water because of past nasty experiences it had while drinking water, the water bowl location or because of the water quality.
Thus if you were wondering, why is my dog so afraid of water, the reason is likely to be one of these.
Sometimes, you may notice that the dog is terrified of water bowl specifically. So here, it is clear that the dog is scared of water bowl, and not the water itself. At other times, it is clear that the dog is specifically fearful of the water itself.
All in all, pain, reflections, past nasty experiences, water bowl location, and water quality issues are usually the factors at play.
Pain As A Reason For Dog Being Afraid Of Drinking Water
Sometimes, if you have a dog that is afraid of drinking water, the reason turns out to be pain.
Thus if you had the why is my dog scared of drinking water question, this is one of the possible answers.
At times, you may be thinking that what terrifies your dog is the water bowl. So you start wondering why does the water bowl scare the dog? But proper investigation reveals that what the dog has is not fear of the water bowl per se.
Rather, what the dog may be having is fear of water. Because it associates drinking water with pain.
Take, for instance, a dog that has neck pain. When it bends to drink water, it experiences pain. So it comes to associate drinking water with pain. At some point, it may develop a fear of drinking water on this account.
Thus if my dog is scared of water, and has well known neck problems, this would be my first suspicion.
Even a dog that has pain in the mouth – due to dental or gum problems – may come to be afraid of drinking water.
And a dog with pain in the throat can also come to be afraid of drinking water.
This sort of pain will usually also make the dog afraid of food bowl as well.
Thus if my dog is suddenly afraid of his food bowl as well, this would be one of my suspicions.
Therefore even in answering the why is my dog scared of her food bowl question, this is one of the factors I would consider.
So pain can even make a dog suddenly afraid of food – not just water.
Ultimately a dog may be afraid of drinking water due to pain.
Neck Pain As A Reason For Dog Being Afraid Of Drinking Water
Usually, when a dog has to drink water from a bowl, it lowers its neck.
But there are cases where lowering the neck may cause pain.
So the dog comes to associate drinking water with that sort of pain. The pain may be due to arthritis or any other condition.
The dog then becomes fearful of drinking water. The dog may prefer being thirsty to enduring that pain.
Thus if you were trying to figure out, why is my dog scared of drinking water, this may be the reason.
Sometimes, the problem may have sudden onset. So it gets you wondering, why is my dog suddenly afraid of the water bowl?
It can actually get so bad that you mistake it for water anxiety. Then you start asking, can dogs have water anxiety?
All in all, this sort of pain often makes a dog afraid of food and water bowls.
Thus if you have the dog suddenly afraid of water bowl, but it doesn’t mind the food bowl, then this may not be the reason.
But if you have a dog afraid to eat out of bowl (or drink out of bowl), then neck pain may be the culprit.
In the end, while answering the why is my dog scared of drinking water question, this is a real possibility.
Mouth Pain As A Reason For Dog Being Afraid Of Drinking Water
There are times when a dog may be afraid of drinking water because of mouth pain.
The mouth pain may be due to teeth or gum problems. It could also be due to throat problems.
Therefore when the dog drinks water, it ends up experiencing pain. So it comes to associate water drinking with pain. Consequently, it starts to fear drinking water.
If your dog is scared of water, this may well be the reason.
In other words, while answering the why is my dog scared of drinking water, this is a possible answer.
Actually the pain may make the dog come to hate the water bowl. So, for instance, you find that the dog keeps flipping water bowl due to this pain.
In this case again, the dog comes to prefer being thirsty to having to endure the pain. Or it opts to be drinking only when it absolutely has to.
Fear Of Reflection As A Reason For Dog Being Afraid Of Drinking Water
When dogs drink water (from bowls), they have to come face to face with their own reflections.
But dogs don’t understand reflections the same way we do. The dog sees what is in the water as ‘another dog’. That is ‘another dog’ which it may have reason to be afraid of.
Therefore if we have dog afraid of reflection, that may cause it to be fearful of drinking water.
Thus sometimes you find that dog won t drink water out of bowl because it fears the reflection it comes face to face with.
It is important to understand that the dog reflection in water can indeed be quite scary to the dog.
So you may find that the dog jumps out of water scared when it encounters its reflection.
You may then start saying, my dog is terrified of water. Yet it is not the water per se that is the issue, but rather the reflection in it.
Yet you find that when the same dog gets water from a fountain, it drinks well. Even when you use a bubbling dog water dish, which has less propensity for reflections, the dog may be alright.
By the way, some types of water bowls are more reflective than others. Take, for instance, a shiny metal water bowl. It will usually be more reflective than a ceramic one.
Thus if your dog won t drink from new water bowl (but is alright with the old one), this may be the reason.
Sometimes, this effect may manifest even with shiny metal dog food bowls. Then it gets you wondering, why is my dog afraid of his food bowl?
All in all, if you were wondering, why is my dog scared of drinking water, fear of reflections may be the reason.
Water Bowl Location As A Reason For Dog Being Afraid Of Drinking Water
In some cases, where your dog is afraid of drinking water, the problem is not in the water. It is not even in the water bowl. The problem is where you place the water bowl.
The water bowl location may be one where there is something that scares the dogs.
There may be a vent nearby that is pumping out cool or hot air that scares the dog greatly.
There may be a nearby humming fridge, which scares the dog.
Or there may even be a bulb overhead, whose reflection in the water scares the dog.
All in all, if you are wondering why is my dog scared of drinking water, this may be the cause.
Sometimes, you may even find that your dog is scared of food bowl due to its location. So in this case, the dog acts scared of food. But the problem is actually in the food bowl’s location.
Thus if my dog doesn’t like to drink out of her water bowl, the problem may be in the bowl’s location.
Related to this is a situation where you may find the dog scared of gravity water bowl. But when you investigate more, you realize that the problem is not the bowl per se. The problem is its location.
Thus, before coming to the conclusion that a dog is afraid of water, there are other considerations to make. Location is one of them. It can make dog afraid of bowl: whether water bowl or food bowl.
All said and done, if you were wondering why is my dog scared of drinking water, this may be the reason.
Water Quality As A Reason For Dog Being Wary Of Drinking
If the water you present to the dog is of a quality the dog deems to be ‘poor’, then it may decline to drink it.
Therefore in answering the why is my dog scared of drinking water question, you need to consider this possibility as well.
Sometimes, it is the underlying reason. Yet people often fail to consider it.
Dogs have strong instincts. The instincts tell them about the things to take in and the things to avoid. If its instincts tell it that the water is of poor quality, the dog may decline to drink it.
The water may be sparkling clean to your eyes. But one of the chemicals in it may be making the dog uncomfortable.
So the dog declines to drink it.
At other times, it may be the temperature at which you are serving the water. For instance, it may be a case where you are always serving the dog water straight from the fridge. That is bitterly cold water. So the dog comes to fear it.
Even very hot water can be unacceptable to dogs.
Sometimes, the problem may be something as simple as the bubbles in the water. So you find a dog scared of water bowl bubbles. And that gets you wondering, why is my dog afraid of water?
Ultimately, in answering the why is my dog scared of drinking water question, this may be one of the possibilities.
Past Experiences As A Reason For Dog Being Afraid Of Drinking Water
Suppose a dog had nasty experiences in the past while drinking water. The memory of those experiences may make it afraid of drinking the water.
Even recent nasty experiences can make a dog to be suddenly afraid of drinking water. It doesn’t have to be an experience in the dog’s childhood. And it is worth noting that even a single nasty experience can change a dog’s behavior.
Thus while wondering about ‘dog suddenly refusing to drink out of a water bowl. Why?’ This may be the reason.
For instance, while drinking, the dog recently may have ended up dipping its nose in water (due to depth perception problems). It may then be afraid of drinking water going forward.
Take another case where the dog had another (more dominant) dog growl on it while drinking water. This may make it afraid of drinking water going forward.
All in all, if my dog suddenly is afraid of drinking water out of a bowl, this is one of the possibilities I would consider.
In fact, these past nasty experiences can even make a dog to be afraid of ‘everything’. Thus if, for instance, you are wondering, why is my dog scared of everything, it may be due to a nasty experience it had in the recent past.
In the final analysis, if you were wondering, why is my dog scared of drinking water, this may be the reason.
Why Is My Dog Suddenly Scared Of Drinking Water?
If a dog suddenly develops a fear of drinking water, several factors may be at play.
You may have changed its bowl. You may then have brought one that scares the dog with its reflections. That is for instance a shiny metal bowl.
Or it may be due to change in water bowl location. For instance, you move the water bowl to a location where there is something that scares the dog. This may be the result.
It could also be due to pain that started recently. This may be neck pain. Or mouth/throat pain. On account of it, drinking water becomes a painful affair. Then the dog starts fearing it.
It could also be due to inexplicable factors. Some dog behaviors are simply inexplicable. It is like when people ask, why do dogs play in their water bowl? And the answer turns out to be so hard to figure out.
Or where you try to understand, why does my dog step in his water bowl? And the exact reason proves hard to identify.
In a similar manner, if a dog suddenly develops a fear of drinking water, it may be due to inexplicable factors.
But it could also be due to a change in water bowl. Or a change in water bowl location. Or a recently developed pain, a recent nasty experience and so on.
How To Make A Dog Not Afraid Of Water?
There are several things you can do to make a dog not afraid of water.
Take where the dog’s fear of water is due to pain in the neck? You can treat the underlying condition. Then the dog will no longer associate drinking water with pain. So it will start drinking fearlessly.
The pain may be due to arthritis. Here, the dog gets pain when it bends its neck to drink water. The pain may also be in the teeth. Or in the gums. It could even be in the throat.
Once you treat it, the dog may no longer associate drinking water with pain.
But what if the pain causing the problem is due to an impossible-to-treat? Then you may opt for an elevated water bowl. With this, the dog no longer has to bend its neck to access the water.
What of where the dog’s fear of drinking water is due to reflections? In that case, opt for a bowl with less propensity to form reflections. For instance, instead of a shiny metal bowl, use a ceramic water bowl.
You could even opt to do away with bowls completely. Then switch to a fountain. There are very affordable fountains you can use to water your dog.
If the problem seems to be due to a recent nasty experience, you may need to recondition the dog. Get it to associate drinking water with more pleasant experiences. For instance, get it to associate drinking water with getting treats.
So generally, you start by finding the answer to the why is my dog scared of drinking water question. Once you understand what is causing the fear, you can design a workable solution.
How Do You Get A Scared Dog To Drink Water?
You first need to find out what is making the dog afraid of drinking water. So you first answer the why is my dog scared of drinking water question.
Thereafter, you can come up with proper strategies to get the dog drinking water again.
In other words, how to get a scared dog to drink water depends on what is scaring it in the first place.
Sometimes, just changing the water bowl may be all you need to do. So, for instance, you switch from a shiny metal bowl to a ceramic bowl.
At other times, changing the water bowl location is all you need. So, for instance, you move it from behind the fridge, to some other location.
There are cases where you may need to switch from a water bowl to some sort of fountain.
You may also place treats next to the water bowl. So when the bowl drinks the water, it gets a treat. Indeed, when it comes to how to trick your dog into drinking water, this is one of the most effective methods.
What if some sort of pain is what is making your dog afraid of drinking water? Get a vet to treat it. Whether it is neck pain or mouth pain, once there is treatment for it, the dog should start drinking again.
But what if the dog won’t drink water, no matter what? What do you do when your dog won’t drink water at all?
You may opt to be giving it moist food, so that it gets the water it needs through food.
Further, you may need to take such a dog to a vet. The vet will then work out why the dog won’t drink water at all – and recommend workable solutions.
Final Verdict – Why Is My Dog Scared Of Drinking Water
If your dog is afraid of drinking water, it may be because of pain. It may have come to associate drinking water with some pain. This may be neck pain: when the dog bends to drink from its bowl. Or it may be mouth pain: when water gets into its mouth.
It may also be because of the reflections that the dog sees in the water bowl. Or because of the water bowl location. It could also be due to water quality being poor for it. Or because of a recent nasty experience it had while drinking water.
So you first figure out the reason why the dog is afraid of drinking water. Then you can proceed to solve the problem.
As a solution, you may need to change the dog’s water bowl. Or you may need to change the water bowl location. If the problem is due to neck or mouth pain, you may need to have a vet treat it.
If the problem is due to water quality, you may need to be drawing the dog’s water from another source. Or shift from very cold water to room temperature water.
And if the problem is due to a nasty experience the dog previously had while drinking water, you may need to recondition it. So you recondition it gradually, to associate drinking water with more positive experiences.
Welcome to Learn About Pet. My name is Rajkumar Ravichandran and I love all pets, travel, and amazing food. I write about my passion and personal experience caring for multiple pets in this blog! ❤️
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