How to Slow Down a Dog from Drinking Water Too Fast

How to Slow Down a Dog from Drinking Water Too Fast

Some dog owners, while not facing this exact problem, might perhaps face the most troublesome of them all, that is getting their dogs to drink water in a slow and calm manner. 

Drinking water quickly might seem harmless, but it can have negative side effects that may affect your dog’s health in more ways than one might be able to count. 

Fortunately, this article will deal with the negative effects of drinking water too quickly or large amounts of it along with how to slow down a dog from drinking water too fast.

In this way, one will be able to ensure that their dog remains relatively fit and in top shape when the time comes for physical activities.

Negative Effects of Dogs Drinking Water too Fast

There are various reasons as to why a dog drinking water too fast can affect themselves negatively in terms of health. The top five reasons listed below highlights such.

Canine Bloat

Canine bloat may seem perhaps harmless and related to obesity, but it unfortunately is not. When a canine aka a dog drinks water too fast or eats food quickly, it can result in a dog consuming large amounts of air or even gas, this can cause the dog in question to acquire the much dreaded canine bloat.

If the situation is not dealt with by taking your dog to a vet, then your dog’s health condition might just turn fatal and may even cause death. Canine bloat is one of the most common cause of deaths for dogs, especially K9. There are mainly two types of canine bloat:

  1. Gastric Dilation (also GD): This is when the stomach stretches itself due to the sudden invasive entry of air, this condition can be treated by pumping the stomach of a dog.
  2. Gastric Dilation and Volvulus (GDV): This condition is more threatening than just GD as it involves the twisting of the stomach and requires surgical intervention. The reason for such a condition developing is due to a dog becoming active too quickly after drinking water or eating food. 

There is also a simple surgery that is often recommended by a vet which is putting tacks in the stomach of a dog to prevent the accumulation and development of GDV.


The quick drinking of water or consumption of food in a rapid manner can result in a dog vomiting. This can be harmful for a dog in the long run, especially if they keep vomiting after drinking too fast as it results in the loss of nutrients along with dehydration.

This can often result in a recursive situation for a dog as the dog drinks water, vomits it out which results in the dog drinking more water while suffering the same.

Dehydration comes with a variety of symptoms including dryness of the mouth, sudden loss of appetite, dark and rather sunken eyes, loss of energy which results in fatigue quickly setting in. 

If your dog is also suffering from lack of nutrients, you will notice a dullness to the coat of their fur along with general inactivity and discharges of the fecal matter.

Simply put, dogs are unable to handle more than needed amounts of water in their stomach at a time, this can result in the dog vomiting after drinking large amounts of water quickly. 

Down the Wrong Pipe

This has happened to several of us before and might probably happen throughout our lives, whenever we’re eating food or drinking something too quickly, we might break into wheezy coughing fit, this is because either the water or food “goes down the wrong pipe”, the same can also happen to most dogs if they eat food or drink water too quickly. 

This happens when a small flap of a fleshy tissue in the throat, medically called the epiglottis, is unable to open quickly. 

The epiglottis mainly serves to guide water or food  into the digestive tract of a human or an animal, far away from the trachea (the pathway to lungs). 

This can mostly be harmless at times, but if your dog continuously does this, it may result in them damaging their lungs badly. 


A dog, as delicate as they may seem along with being fast, are able to drink water faster than a human could do and in a relatively easy manner. 

The gulping down of too much water can result in water intoxication which can be fatal, this is also called hyperhydration. While water is generally meant to be something life-saving, it can also be more than enough to kill either a human or a dog even more easily when ingested in large amounts. 

Large amounts of water levels in the body can result in the reduction of sodium levels, symptoms of hyperhydration include:

  • Lethargy. Results in diminished activity of the dog.

  • Vomiting. A dog may continuously vomit.

  • Staggering. A dog may often stagger while trying to walk or run

  • Dilated pupils: The dog’s eyes will have enlarged pupils which may result in them having more sensitivity to light.


Hyponatremia is a lethal medical condition in which the cells of a body enlarge and expand from large amounts of fluid which comes from hyperhydration. 

The enlargement of the cells can result in the swelling of organs, something that can result in incurable brain damage along with death in rare cases. This is a common condition for dogs who consume water continuously while swimming in it for a long time.

How to Slow Down Your Dog When Drinking Water

These are some ways to help with knowing how to slow down a dog from drinking water too fast, in this way, one will be able to keep their dogs proactive and healthy by making sure that they drink water in a calm manner.

Limit Their Water Supply

This should be the first and foremost step any dog owner should try, it won’t be easy at first. Especially so as you will be giving your dog lesser quantities of water, you will have to carefully measure the water levels to make sure that your dog is getting just the adequate amount and is not feeling thirsty. 

This can work for those owners who are stay at home type of people and are ready to keep a lookout for their dogs.

There is a difference between letting your dog drink large quantities of water or letting them drink far less than is required, hence this method is not recommended for those who can’t stay at home and are unable to measure and monitor how much water their dog is receiving. 

Ice Cubes

If your dog keeps drinking water in a quick manner, try giving your dog ice cubes instead of water, this will make sure that your dog receives water through the ice cube without the risk of them swallowing water too fast and consuming air as a result. This is especially useful in the summers as ice cubes help keep your dog cold.

Although, ice cubes can cause a bit of a mess and cause the floor to be wet all around including the carpet. 

If this is stopping you from giving the ice cubes, try adding the ice cubes to your dog’s bowl instead which you use for giving them water. The sight of a floating ice cube in the water will serve to keep your dog distracted and hence make them drink water slowly.

Just make sure to keep your dog from swallowing ice cubes as a whole which will act as a choking hazard.

Place a Large Object in their Water Bowl

This is one of the most effective ways to keep your dog from drinking water too quickly. Simply put a baseball or any other similar object into your dog’s water bowl, having an object to play around in the water while drinking it will significantly slow down the rate of their water intake.

If you somehow are unable to procure a ball, a rock will work instead, that is assuming your dog doesn’t try to swallow it or bite. Do remember to clean the rock properly before placing it in the dog’s water bowl. A golf ball or even two will also work for dogs of medium or smaller size.

If you are unable to do either, try using a floater bowl. A floater bowl is what the name says, they are small bowls which you can put in your dog’s water bowl to slow down their drinking of water. 

If you can’t afford to buy one, try using a small plate instead, just make sure that either of those are able to create large displacements around the water to keep the attention of the dog around them and hence slow down their drinking of water.

With these ways, you now may know about how to slow down a dog from drinking water too fast and will attempt either of these methods to try and stop your dog from getting themselves sick by drinking water too fast.

Different Types of Bowls Slow Drinking

While we may live in an era of technology and therefore are able to access tools to enhance quality of life for all including pets, it will be important to know about exactly what type of bowl to get to know how to slow down a dog from drinking water too fast. 

Although the bowls might cost a bit of a penny as compared to before, they will be effective in stopping your dog from gulping down water in a haphazard way.

Slow Eater Bowl

Slow eater bowls can be used as an alternative to dog water bowls as, although mainly used for food, you may try a slow eater bowl to try and stop your dog from drinking water too quickly. 

Elevated Water Bowl

This is useful for dogs with either long necks or even long legs such as The Great Dane, the one primary reason as to why a dog drinks fast is because they are actively trying to defy gravity to get water up their mouths.

Hence this results in them gulping water too fast and in a frantic manner which results in them swallowing air. With elevated water bowls, this need of defying gravity will be more or less gone as they are meant to be elevated towards the dog’s stature. 

Elevated water bowls will also help reduce the risk of canine bloat as your dog won’t have to inhale too much of air as they won’t have a need to gulp down water too quickly.

No-Spill Water Bowls

The no-spill water bowls are meant to be slow drinking bowls, just do check to make sure that there is no chance for it to be something else. 

No-spill water bowls are best for dogs who like to drink in a quick manner along with spilling water on the floor. These bowls actively work to make sure that a limited quantity of water comes out of the bowl.

Keeping Your Thirsty Pup Healthy

While most have to deal with their dogs not drinking enough water, some may have to deal with their dogs drinking too much of water and in a very fast manner, it can present trouble. The good thing is that you can take measures to slow down how much water your dog drinks such as putting a baseball bat in their water bowl or getting an elevated water bowl.

After all, the health of your dog as a dog owner will always be at the top and therefore knowing how to slow down a dog from drinking water too fast should be a priority to keep your dog healthy.

How Does a Dog Drink Water

While knowing how to slow down a dog from drinking water too fast might be enough, it is still a much needed fact that one should know how does a dog drink water.

Dogs generally drink water in a very fluid manner, dogs lap up water with their tongues curled up backwards, since they lap very quickly, it creates a momentum which allows the water to go up their mouth.

In simple terms, dogs generally need to create fast movements with their backward curled tongues up and down to get water in their mouths. Just one misstep and the water will fall down simply.  Therefore, the next time you see your dog messing up your squeaky dry floor with water, appreciate their mastery of air dynamics before getting annoyed.

How to Get a Dog to Drink Water When Sick

If your dog has fallen ill and is not feeling up to drinking water to keep itself hydrated, you may try some of the following below:

  • Try to add ice cubes to the water bowl of your dog. If your dog is not up to drinking water and is refusing it outright, you may try adding some ice cubes to get them to drink up water. The ice cubes might just awaken the playful side of your dog and get them to try and lap up the thing.
  • Add some food to the water. Adding some food such as a small piece of meat on top of a water bowl might get your dog to sniff up and try to eat the food, this might just help with the dog ingesting small amounts of water altogether.
  • Get your dog treated by a vet. Like it or not, sometimes the only way to get your dog to drink water is to get whatever sickness is ailing them to be cured, doing so will help with the appetite of your dog and get them to accept water more easily.
  • Use a syringe. Do not fret, you don’t have to inject your dog. Rather, you can fill a syringe with water and shoot it directly into the mouth of your dog, make sure you do it in a calm manner.
  • Try cold water. Try giving your dog fresh cold water rather than warm water. They might accept that water more easily, cold water can also offer some health benefits for a dog too such as reduced risk of canine bloat along with being great to drink in the summers.

You may try the methods listed above to get your sick dog to drink water properly.

How to Get a Dog to Drink Water After Surgery

If your dog recently had a surgery and is unwilling to drink water afterwards due to either being under the effects of anaesthesia or general weakness, you may try the following methods below:

  • Use an elevated water bowl appropriate for the dog’s height. Using a bowl or an elevated water bowl specific to the length at which it can easily reach the head of your dog is essential to getting them to drink water after surgery.
  • Present your dog a tasty broth. A broth low in sodium might just attract your dog to try and drink it up which will help in keeping them hydrated. Make sure to consult with your vet before doing so regarding the ingredients of the broth.
  • Place the water bowl near your dog. A dog after surgery will feel fatigued and won’t feel like going out anywhere, in such a case, keeping a water bowl near your dog’s reach will encourage them to try and drink it up. Try to splash water on their face to get them moving a bit more.
  • Try wet food. Instead of dry food such as a dog kibble, you may try giving your dog a wet canned food or any sort of food that is wet. 
  • Give them ice cubes. If all else fails, try giving your dog an ice cube to chew upon, this will also soothe their throats as they might have a sore throat after surgery.

These methods will ensure that your dog remains hydrated and recovers from their surgery, if your dog absolutely refuses to drink water, doesn’t pass urine after 12 hours or more, then it might be time to call your vet immediately.

How to Get a Dog to Drink Water When Dehydrated

If your dog is stubborn and has refused to drink water till they have started showing signs of dehydration, then you may try the following tips below to get them to drink water.

  • Give them ice cubes. In the summer season, ice cubes are both you and your dog’s friend, offering your dog an ice cube may just allure them into taking it and chewing it to ingest some water.
  • Flavour the water. Adding a flavour to the water in the bowl may just get your dog to drink it up, add a low sodium broth or similar to lure your dog into drinking it up.
  • Try an elevated water bowl. If your dog is not drinking water due to them feeling slightly lazy, or are tall enough to feel uncomfortable reaching down to lap water, then you may try using an elevated water bowl reaching up to your dog’s head to get them to drink water.
  • Wet canned food. While not all canned foods are appropriate for dogs, you may try to get wet canned food specifically made for dogs or check them up to see what the ingredients are and give them to your dog accordingly.
  • Call the animal vet. If all else fails, contact your vet since that may be the last resort if your dog absolutely refuses to drink water.

With this, you now should know about all the ways a dog can drink water slowly, hence knowing how to slow down a dog from drinking water too fast.

Do make sure to always be on the lookout for what your dog is feeling like and keep them well hydrated accordingly.

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