Dogs love water, and if you’ve ever owned one, you know that they do whatever they can to play in the tub, toilet, sink, pool, or other body of water that catches their interest.
However, sometimes dogs bite water in what seems like an aggressive gesture, which can be very frustrating for dog owners. Why Does My Dog Bite Water? As with most canine behavior issues, the first step to solving your dog’s biting water problem is to understand why your dog does it in the first place.
The Root of the Behavior
Many dog owners have no idea why their canine companion bites water out of a bowl. However, there are several reasons that dogs bite the water.
Many pet parents attribute it to hunger, but many experts disagree with that conclusion. Your dog may be engaging in mouth play behavior or acting out due to stress. You should also consider your dog’s dental health if he is biting water.
If you suspect that your dog has an underlying medical condition causing him to bite water, contact your veterinarian immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment options. In some cases, such as tooth decay, medications may be necessary. If left untreated, your dog could experience serious health problems.
Make sure to visit your vet even if you think his water-biting habit isn’t related to his overall health—it could cause serious damage to his teeth and gums. Take a look at these other signs that your dog might need to see a veterinarian.
According to expert Dr. Steven Budsberg, director of behavioral medicine at New York City’s Animal Medical Center, when they drink from bowls, they usually just go up and down on their front legs like everybody else does when they eat soup.
But if you put a bowl of water in front of them, they will sometimes nip it with their teeth because that’s what dogs do with food. So, it could be a natural behavior for them to do that with water as well.
There are a number of things you can do to keep your dog from biting water in public places, like swimming pools or lakes.
First, make sure your dog is up-to-date on vaccines—particularly those that protect against rabies. Vaccines prevent a lot of nasty illnesses and painful health issues, including some types of cancer.
Second, teach your dog how to swim before taking him into any body of water. Dogs who know how to swim will be less likely to panic if they fall into deep water and more likely to be able to get themselves out safely.
Finally, bring along plenty of treats when you’re visiting bodies of water with your pup; it’s important for him not only to associate being near the water with positive experiences but also for him not to feel hungry while he’s playing around in it. If your dog has been attacking water at home or otherwise behaving aggressively toward it, there may be an underlying medical issue going on. In that case, contact your veterinarian right away so she can help identify what might be causing your dog’s strange behavior.
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Why Does My Dog Bite Water?
One theory is that your dog might be biting water because he is hungry or thirsty. If you haven’t given him access to fresh water for several hours before you give him a bowl, then he may think that he is being offered something new and exciting—food!
What to do if your dog bites the water bowl
If your dog bites or licks water out of its bowl, it could be suffering from an electrolyte imbalance, which may come from dehydration or a diet rich in sodium.
In some cases, dogs bite their water bowls to relieve tooth pain. Check with your vet to determine what’s causing your dog to bite its bowl. Once you’ve pinpointed the cause, make changes accordingly. For example, if your dog is dehydrated, provide more freshwater.
If it has high levels of sodium in its system, switch to low-sodium food for a few days before returning to normal food. If your dog suffers from tooth pain, schedule a visit with your vet to address any dental issues.
Your vet can also recommend alternative solutions, such as flavored toothpaste or doggie ice cream (yep!). Whatever your dog’s problem may be, providing fresh water and proper nutrition are essential to keeping your pup healthy.
Dogs often have sensitive teeth that can cause them discomfort when eating hard kibble. To alleviate pain, they might bite down on something soft like their water bowl.
Why Does My Dog Bite Water? – When to Get Help
If your dog seems to have an issue with water, it’s important to get help early on. A shy dog may just take longer to come around, but if there’s something that you don’t recognize or that scares you about your dog’s reaction to water, see a vet.
Many dogs react negatively when they fall into bodies of water or during bath time. As long as your dog isn’t showing signs of pain or discomfort, like biting at his paws, then he should be fine. For some dogs, however, getting over their fear can be challenging. Here are some tips for helping your pooch overcome his aversion to water.
You know your dog best, so trust your instincts. If you see him in any kind of distress due to his reaction to water, seek advice from a professional behaviorist rather than trying out home remedies yourself. A professional will be able to diagnose why your pup is having issues and recommend possible treatments.
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How to Stop Your Puppy From Biting Things
Teaching your puppy to stop biting may seem like a difficult task, but it can be accomplished in a number of ways. Learn how to train your puppy not to bite with these useful tips.
- If you have young children in your home, teaching them not to play roughly with your dog is also an important step in preventing aggressive behavior.
- If you’re having trouble stopping your dog from biting things, consider working with a professional trainer or behaviorist who can offer additional advice on dealing with canine aggression. And remember that most dogs do grow out of biting eventually—just give yours time!
- Puppies are inquisitive animals by nature and will want to explore their world using all of their senses. Unfortunately, what they consider exploring often involves taking everything into their mouths – shoes, socks, clothes hanging on a line outside – anything within reach will probably end up as a chew toy for some pups.