As a conscientious pet owner, you do your best to make sure your dog has access to a clean dish of water at all times. Even though he likes the water, he has a tendency to put his paws in his bowl, which makes a mess and limits how much he can drink.
This strange and somewhat annoying behavior is really pretty frequent. It’s unclear why he keeps going back to the bowl, but if you want to stop him, you can. The good news is that you can teach your dog that water is meant for drinking and not pawing at the bowl.
Why does my dog splashes his water bowl?
Some canine actions may seem puzzling to people, but the dog sees them as perfectly reasonable. This digging in the water dish is one of those strange behaviors. We don’t understand why a dog would rather make a mess than drink water.
Thankfully, most canines leave their dish-digging phase by adulthood, but others stubbornly hold on to the habit. Below, you’ll find a picture gallery explaining six potential causes of canine dish digging, as well as several solutions for stopping the problem.
1. Causes of the actions
When you get home after taking your dog for a walk, the first thing he does is go for the water dish. When he has finished his laps around the bowl, he immediately puts his paws inside. I was wondering whether it was very warm outdoors. He probably has hot paws and wants to cool them down in the water.
He doesn’t care if he ends up drinking the water. He just puts his feet in; in fact, he could consider it a perk. The only thing on his mind is the need to cool down. He may be pawing at the water because he thinks there’s something interesting in the bowl, depending on the design and placement of your dishware. It’s possible that he’s pawing at anything in the bowl, such as his reflection, the bubbles, and ripples caused by his drinking, or even a foreign item.
He might be having fun in the water just because he enjoys it or because he is bored. Having fun in the water is a must for many dog breeds, so whether you have a Retriever, Newfoundland, Poodle, Portuguese or Spanish Water Dog, Lagotto Romagnolo, Irish or American Water Spaniel, Barbet, Otter Hound, or Boykin Spaniel, chances are his paws are in it.
Last but not least, it’s possible that your dog has an involuntary need to lick the water from his dish. Hearing, seeing, touching, and tasting are all enhanced when he gets his paws wet. Perhaps he feels compelled to splash in any and all bowls or bodies of water. If you’ve tried to help him overcome the want to splash, but it keeps happening despite your efforts, he may be dealing with a compulsion.
2. Facilitating the desired action
When a hot dog is served, it must be allowed to cool down. Give your dog his water outdoors, where he may make a mess if you discover his paws in the bowl after lengthy walks when it’s warm out. Find a hard plastic kiddie pool for him to play in, and that’s even better.
Do not acquire the inflatable variety since he will inevitably pop it the moment he gets a claw or teeth near it. A kiddie pool is great for dogs that enjoy the water and for dogs who are bored. It’s adorable when a dog plays with his reflection by sticking his paws in the water dish, but it can quickly turn into a huge mess. In order to reduce the likelihood of him experiencing double vision, consider upgrading to a ceramic or hefty BPA-free plastic bowl.
A spillproof container is fine for his water. If you’re looking for a way to keep him entertained, however, there are a few alternatives to the kiddie pool that include him getting his paws wet.
He won’t feel the need to frolic in his water bowl at the end of the day if you take him on longer walks, give him more training, and provide him food release toys like the Kong. To prevent your dog from drinking from his dish, you may get him a pet water fountain, which will provide him with clean, circulating water. He’ll be too busy marveling at the water streaming down from the enchanted spot to waste any of it on careless splashing.
3. Strategies and thoughts
Puppies have a propensity to get into things and may easily pick up harmful routines. Place the bowl of water for your dog on a newspaper so that he doesn’t generate any “fun” puddles, and make sure the bowl is non-reflective, solid, and heavy enough that he can’t overturn it.
If you want to make sure that only his nose and not his paws can access the bowl, you may put it on an elevated stand. If you see him dipping his paws into the water, make a loud noise or divert his attention. Be careful to supply him with plenty of toys, exercise, and other types of stimulation to minimize his urge to find excitement in the water dish.
4. Make the water dish tip-proof
Buy a metal water dish that comes with a rubber ring around it. These bowls are often referred to as “nonskid” or “nonslip” bowls, but they also have the extra feature of being very difficult to accidentally knock over. Your dog will still want to put his paws inside and play splish-splash with the water, but once he understands he can’t spell it, he’ll lose interest.
One more option is a set of elevated bowls for feeding. These bowls include a metal support structure and are designed for huge dog breeds who have trouble getting their snouts to the floor. However, as it’s hard to comfortably place paws inside while the bowl is not on the floor, using it for your puppy may address the play issue. Make sure the stand is adjustable since your puppy may attempt to reach the bowl by standing on his hind legs.
5. Don’t leave your dog in the kennel for too many hours
Puppies rapidly outgrow the habit of relieving themselves in their kennels. Your puppy’s risk of developing a urinary tract infection and the time it takes to recover from one are both increased by his habit of holding his pee for longer than is necessary.
6. Be careful to provide enough clean water for your puppy at all times
If the puppy has a urinary tract infection, he has to drink plenty of water. This will cause him to pee more and eliminate the germs from his body more rapidly. The puppy may avoid future urinary tract infections if it consumes enough water.
7. Prepare a swimming area for the pups
Many dog breeds, such as the Portuguese water dog and the Labrador retriever, have a natural affinity for water, so it’s important to provide your developing puppy with an outlet that satisfies those preferences.
Depending on the size of your dog, you may want to invest in a dog pool or a small children’s pool for her recreational needs. We may use it as a “puppy pool” to have some outside fun with our dogs.
8. Provide your pet with a water fountain
Some canine companions may attempt to spill their plates because they like the sound of flowing water or believe that the water is unfit for consumption. Set up a pet drinking fountain with a filter for your dog to drink from to avoid this issue.
In addition, most large-capacity drinking fountains are hefty and durable enough that your dog won’t be able to topple them over. When your puppy uses the water fountain correctly, praise him and give him food or a toy as a reward. This is a great way to show the dog that the water fountain is for drinking only and not for playing in.
9. Ignore puppy water bowl play
If your puppy begins splashing about in her bowl after you’ve made sure she can’t knock it over, don’t get angry. You can reinforce the behavior you wish to stop if you rush up to her or chastise her.
This will show your dog that water play is a good way to get your attention. Instead, do nothing or say “no” when your puppy begins playing in the water dish. The next step is to give the puppy a kennel rest for a few minutes to let her cool down. This is the best way to show the puppy that being wet is no joy at all.
10. Play with your dog often
Puppies may display harmful habits like playing in the water bowl because they’re just bored, and a bored puppy will find his own fun, generally in undesired ways.
Avoid these tendencies by constantly walking your dog and playing with your puppy throughout the day. You should also provide him with a wide variety of toys to play with, including puzzles that can keep his mind active for long periods of time.
Is it okay if my dog digs in his water bowl?
Strange canine actions may make perfect sense from the dog’s viewpoint yet baffle us when we try to understand them. Each dog may have its own unique reason for trying to get at the water below the dish. Many adult dogs no longer engage in this behavior, while some puppies start and never stop.
What a hot dog! Some dog breeds, such as Labradors and Huskies, are well-known for their propensity to dig holes in the yard or even in the pool. You may attribute this to their affinity for water or their need to escape the heat. An outdoor kiddie pool is a great solution if you see your dog dish digging to cool down in the summer.
A Labrador Retriever I worked with often tried to swim in his dish of shallow water. When we gave him a tiny pool, he stopped trying to swim in the dishes. Provide many opportunities for the dog to swim, either in a dog pool or at a dog beach. The dog will be less tempted to drink from the dish if the water is kept at a shallower depth of just 1 to 2 inches. However, if your dog is very overheated, you should provide her with lots of water to drink.
The dog seems to have noticed something. Your dog may be pawing and digging at the dish because the stainless steel reflects light. Choose a bowl with a solid, non-reflective hue or put water in a spillproof container to make dish digging less exciting.
While raising the dish to a higher level may assist, it should be noted that raised feeding bowls are linked to an increased risk of bloat in large-breed, deep-chested dogs; thus, you should consult with your vet before making the adjustment.
A bored dog. When dogs don’t have enough mental and physical stimulation, they typically create their own play activities. The process of digging at the water dish provides both physical exercise and cerebral stimulation. Digging might be a sign of boredom, which can be remedied by giving your dog additional things to do.
Your dog’s mind and body need the mental and physical stimulation provided by the twice-daily walks you take her on, not the heat. (Obviously, with your vet beforehand to make sure your dog doesn’t have any problems that may prohibit her from partaking in the severe activity.)
Playing fetch, controlled tug, or hide-and-seek with your dog on a daily basis can allow him to relax and enjoy himself in other situations. You may redirect your dog’s energy into a useful channel by using a food puzzle.
If your dog has an unhealthy obsession with water, you may use the Kool Dogz treat maker to freeze stuffed Kongs and goodies in a block of ice. There are a number of places where dog-friendly dogs may run off some steam, including doggie daycare and the dog park.
Why does my dog keep flipping his water bowl?
To that end, you give your dog its daily kibble and keep a bowl of water nearby at all times. If your dog has developed the annoying habit of constantly turning over his food or water bowl, pawing at his water bowl, or picking up the dish and carrying it about the house, you may want to consider getting him a bowl that is more secure. Although the reasons for your dog’s actions may be a mystery to you, they probably have a rational basis.
You can help your dog eat and drink without any problems if you know why it sometimes turns its dish over, carries it about, or even dips its paws in it.
Just as you were about to feed or water your dog, he knocks over the bowl. Oh, the frustration! I don’t understand why your dog is acting that way. Actually, there are many reasons that may be at play here.
1. It’s obvious that your dog is seeking some interaction from you
Some dogs, as stupid as it may sound, like the attention they get when they do something unexpected and dirty (like knocking over a bowl of food or water).
If your dog has seen you react strongly to him knocking over his food or water bowl before, he may try it again simply to see how you’ll respond. Especially if you found your dog’s actions funny the first time or two, this may be the case.
2. Your dog detects an impending danger or issue
Dogs have been known to be quite selective about their dining and watering spots. This is a trait that has been selected for by natural selection, making it more likely that the species will survive. If your dog believes as if his food or water is not safe, he may tip it over and spill it in an attempt to let you know.
Whether your dog is acting this way because he thinks the food or water is spoiled or because he doesn’t like where it’s placed (maybe it’s too near to a perceived hazard, such as another pet’s hangout), the underlying cause is unclear.
3. Your dog is a snob
While most canines aren’t finicky about what they eat or drink, there are always exceptions. You can know your dog doesn’t like his food or drink if he keeps knocking it over. This is more likely to occur if you have recently changed your dog’s diet or if you have relocated to a location with a water source that is different from what your dog is used to.
How to stop my dog from splashing his water bowl?
Canines, unlike humans, have no sucking mechanism for ingesting liquids. Dogs, like other members of the order Carnivora, are born with incomplete cheeks that enable them to chew with their mouths wide open but preclude them from using suction for drinking. They won’t be able to pout or otherwise close their mouths as we can in order to drink.
As a result, our canine companions have ingrained the bad behavior of sloppily gulping water from their dishes, even though this is the optimal method of consumption. While dogs may have broad and flexible tongues, they don’t use them to scoop water; instead, they slap it at high speed, hoping that the splash it creates when it pulls back would cause more water to enter their mouths.
1. Put some velcro on the underside of the dish
Putting Velcro beneath a dog’s water dish has proven effective for many pet parents. These VELCRO strips from Amazon are reasonably priced, have a weight capacity of up to 15 pounds, and are suitable for usage both inside and out.
Put the strip’s floor end on the floor and the bowl end beneath the water. The water bowl may be held in place by placing the strip provided on the floor and the strip provided on the water bowl. When you need to clean or refill the bowl, just remove it.
2. Use a silicone mat to protect your table from spills
If your dog’s water dish tends to slide about the floor, try using a silicone pad to stabilize it. Pet bowls can be secured in place, food and water can’t spill, and cleanup is a breeze with the help of some excellent nonslip, waterproof floor mats.
3. Put some weight on the water basin
The water dish shouldn’t be easily moved, so try placing a rock in it. Keep in mind that you may need a larger water bowl or to fill it more frequently because the rock occupies the valuable real estate.
In addition, you may purchase Dog Rocks (Amazon link) to use in your dog’s water dish to both reduce the water’s surface area and the nitrate concentration. If your dog’s pee has fewer nitrates, it won’t burn or yellow the grass.
4. Put some weight on a bowl of water and see what happens
A hefty water bowl, which your dog won’t be able to simply tip over, is an alternative to using a rock to keep the water level steady. While these bowls are heavier and costlier than plastic and stainless steel options, they should prevent spills and breakage and eliminate the risk of spills.
5. An anti-slip water dish may help
There is a layer of rubber or silicone beneath or around the rim of these bowls so that they don’t scratch the floor. The rubber base will keep the water dish in place, even if your dog wants to push and shift it about as he drinks. However, if your dog has a habit of taking up the water bowl, this one won’t stop him (rather, try the Velcro strips in point 3).
The use of a silicone pad under a nonslip water dish may help it stay in place (see point 1). My water bowl is made of stainless steel, and it has a nonslip base, much like this one on Amazon. This may be more effective if your dog is a huge breed or strong puller.
6. If you want to try something new, pick up a water bottle
You may also provide your dog with a water bottle and just use a dish when you are home or during meal times. To make sure your dog is hydrated, fill a big water bottle like this one (Amazon link) and put it where he can readily get it. It’s possible to scatter numerous bottles about the home and yard. Take the time to familiarize your dog with the water bottles and where they may be found.
7. The use of a bowl with a larger base may help
Your dog will have more trouble tipping over a dish whose base is broader than its top. This is due to the fact that a larger base provides more stability. These bowls are abundant, and the prices are reasonable. Bowls are available in a variety of materials, from plastic to stainless steel, and many feature nonslip silicone or rubber feet to keep them in place on the floor.
5 Things to consider when your dog paws his water bowl
Upon inspection, the water was found to be safe for consumption. You’ve also checked to make sure your dog isn’t too cold or too hot and made sure its surroundings are climate regulated. The question is, how can you prevent your dog from drinking out of the water dish?
If your dog has a habit of knocking over his dish, try switching to one with a wider base. These bowls have a flared base, making them considerably more stable and less likely to be knocked over by your dog. This won’t fix your dog’s distaste for the water itself (if it doesn’t like the water, it won’t like the water), but it will stop annoying behaviors like turning over the bowl out of boredom.
1. You have a hot dog
Have you ever seen a bird cooling off in the water? It’s possible that your dog is engaging in similar behavior. In order to maintain a comfortable body temperature, canines mostly use their paws and breathe. A dog that’s been cooking in the sun has to have its paws dipped in cold water.
Hence, if your dog comes inside from the heat of the day and paws or dives into its water dish, you know it’s too hot for him to stand. If your dog “digs” at its water dish, this is likely what it is doing. It’s not attempting to create a mess. It’s simply enjoying the refreshing water on its paws.
It may be vital for your dog’s health to thermoregulate, or else it might suffer from heat stroke, but that doesn’t mean you should keep doing it if there are other options.
2. It appears that your dog has a distaste for its bowl
You may expect your dog to put its paws in its dish if it doesn’t like it. Perhaps it finds it awkward sticking its head into the dish because of its size or height. Because of the germs that may grow in some bowls, such as plastic ones, your dog may avoid drinking from them. If you are unsure about your dog’s reaction, consider switching to a different dish.
3. Something in the water that your dog can see
If a dog spots an object in the water, he or she may try to paw at it. Your dog may be attempting to retrieve food or a reward that it accidentally dropped inside.
Some dogs aren’t particularly savvy, so it’s likely that it’s attempting to reach their bowl by staring at a reflection on the bowl’s surface. There may be a few tries with the bat if your dog detects anything in the water, but it will learn.
4. You can see your dog playing
As a natural part of their play, dogs may sometimes engage in some quite peculiar antics. If a dog is in a particularly sprightly mood or is trying to get your attention, it may play with its water. It’s possible that your dog is simply amusing themselves by seeing how you’ll respond when they splash about in the water bowl for no apparent reason.
5. The behavior is now inherited by your dog
Many dogs exhibit this water-digging habit after returning from the dog park. They see it in another dog and then attempt to replicate it. Good news: your dog won’t be in danger from this. Unfortunately, it may cause you some annoyance.
In most cases, redirecting and correcting the dog’s behavior is all that is required. Since there is a wide range of causes for water pawing, there is also a wide range of potential remedies.
Watch Anti spill pet water bowl | Video
Please advise me on how to prevent my dog from overturning his dish every time he eats?
If the bowl causes the metal tags on your dog’s collar to clatter, remove the tags. If the food dish moves too much, you may consider investing in one of those food bowls with a nonskid silicone bottom. Try investing in hefty food bowls or non-tip food bowls. Try using a bowl stand to keep your food at a more manageable height.
My dog always nudges his bowl, which I find odd?
Many dogs push their food dishes around; it could be vestigial to the dog’s foraging drive. Many dogs also pull food out of the dish and move it to another spot to devour it. The outlook for your dog’s dinner depends on its breed and your position in the pack.
Why does my dog shove his food dish with his nose?
The following is a common initiation sequence for bowl nudging: When in a playful mood, a dog may paw at his dish or push it about with his nose. When his owner sees him misbehaving, she rewards him with attention or treats, which simply encourages the dog to behave in the same way again.
When I try to touch my dog, he nudges me with his paw?
It’s a sign of affection for us to pet our dogs. The similarities end there, however. Putting his paw on you as you stroke him is a way for him to prolong touch and show his appreciation, according to Rebecca Forrest, an assistance dog trainer who contributed to The Dog Clinic.
Does my dog seem to have an obsession with following me around?
Having your dog follow you around is a sign of how much he or she loves and trusts you. Someone who follows you around too closely can be bored, looking for something, terrified, or just curious.
You may try a variety of methods to prevent your dog from defecating in his water dish, but success will rely on addressing the underlying problem. If you think your pet has a medical problem because of obsessive behavior toward items, you should consult with a professional.
If you think your dog is acting this way so that he may get some of your attention, he needs to be ignored. If you notice that your dog is digging holes in the yard due to the heat, you should either purchase him a kiddie pool or take him to a spot where he can access vast quantities of water. A dog who lacks mental and physical stimulation simply needs more playtime and exhaustion from walks or other forms of exercise.
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