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11 Essential Tips To Get A Dog To Drink Water After Surgery

How To Get A Dog Drink Water After Surgery

Your dog’s surgery’s over.

Now, a new problem arises.

It’s become a challenge to make them drink water.

Something that’s essential – especially to recovering dogs.

Is there anything you can do?

Read on to find out:

  • 11 essential tips to get a dog to drink water after surgery.
  • The reasons why your pooch won’t drink while recovering.
  • Why it’s safe for them to go a day without water after surgery.
  • And this is just the beginning…

How do I get my dog to drink water after surgery?

You can get your dog to drink water after surgery by making it available anywhere within your house. You can also encourage them by providing a clean bowl and water regularly. Adding flavor to your pooch’s fluids can also help in making them drink more. Giving them ice cubes is a useful trick too.

11 tips to get your dog to drink water after surgery

#1: Make a bone broth mix

Make their water as irresistible as you can.

One way to do this is by making a bone broth mix.

Here are a few steps on how you can make it:

  1. Collect some bones that your pooch might like such as:
    1. Beef.
    2. Oxtail.
    3. Turkey.
    4. Chicken.
  2. Put these in a large pot with water and boil for 2 hours.
  3. Once done, use a strainer to remove all solid objects.
  4. Let it cool down enough for your pooch to drink.

You can also mix the bone broth with your pooch’s kibble.

Not only is this tasty for your fur baby, they’ll get a lot of nutrients, too.

Some of these are:

  • Silicon.
  • Calcium.
  • Collagen.
  • Phosphorous.

All these nutrients can help your dog build stronger bones.

It can create better joints for your pooch, too.

#2: Add water flavoring to their bowl

This is related to #1.

And this is for those who have limited time in preparing food for their pooch.

If you are busy and have a hectic schedule, that’s okay.

You can still make your dog love drinking their fluids.

An alternative would be to use water flavoring in their bowls. Such as the Nulo Hydrate for Dogs Water Flavoring.

This can help cover unwanted taste in their water (if your pooch is choosy).

I mean, dogs can be selective when it comes to the food they eat.

This shows when they nudge their food with their noses.

And when they sense something they don’t like in their water bowl, they walk away.

And we don’t want this to happen.

With the use of water flavoring, you can give a tasty treat to your pooch.

They’ll be hydrated in a yummy way.

And on top of that, these flavorings also contain vitamins and nutrients.

These can help your pooch live healthily.

The one I suggest from Amazon has the following:

  • B vitamins.
  • Amino acids.
  • Potassium electrolytes.

Awesome, right?

#3: Keep their bowls near them

If your dog’s water source is physically far from your pooch, it’d be a challenge for them.

Patients recovering from surgery shouldn’t walk around a lot.

They need all the rest that you can get to recover faster.

This is the same with your pooch.

It can be hard for them to move like they used to.

It’s not that they won’t ever go back to how they were before.

But for the time being, it’s tough.

That’s why it’s helpful if the distance from their water is short.

Dr. Barnette suggests that your pooch should rest a full week after surgery.

This means a restriction on these activities:

  • Running.
  • Jumping.
  • Pulling on heavy objects.
  • Other physically tiring activities.

Well, your pooch might not have to jump just to go from their current location to the water bowl.

But still, consistently moving can delay their recovery.

And that’s why it’s best to keep them near their bowls.

To do this, try to find out where they hang out the most inside your home.

These are the areas you should put your bowl in.

#4: Feed them crushed ice

Feed Your Dog Crushed Ice To Get It To Drink Water After Surgery

This tip is also helpful if you live somewhere hot and humid.

Feeding crushed ice to your dogs is a good alternative to making them drink straight from their bowl.

With ice, they’ll enjoy the cold sensation in their mouths.

And they no longer have to chew.

If their surgery is somewhere near their mouths, it can be painful for them to munch.

The way you introduce water to them should also be gradual.

If they take too much water, it can cause them to vomit and be dehydrated.

Licking on crushed ice can help ensure that your pooch gets water but at a controlled amount.

Vets even suggest giving ice to recovering dogs.

This would also help see if your pooch can handle fluids or not.

#5: Use a syringe to feed them water

If it’s still hard for your pooch to move, then using syringes would be best.

Through this, you can directly feed water to their mouths.

But make sure that you’re going to be gentle when you do this.

It can be a choking hazard if you immediately squeeze water into their mouths.

A fur parent suggested that when using a syringe, you insert it on the side of their snout.

As this can make drinking water simpler for them.

Your pooch will also be more cooperative.

If you don’t have a feeding syringe in your home, you can use empty bottles of eyedrops.

Just make sure you wash it first before using it.

#6: Feed them wet food

Another way you can get your pooch to drink more water is through their meals.

When their food is full of liquid, they incidentally take some of it.

If not, all of the water in their meal bowl.

What you can do is give them canned food. For example, Pedigree Adult Canned Wet Dog Food Chopped Ground Dinner.

Instead of the typical kibble.

Which is relatively hard and is dry.

If you don’t have access to canned dog food, you can also use kibble.

And you can put water in it.

Or use bone broth to improve flavor while hydrating your pooch.

Feeding your pooch with nutritious food is also important for their recovery.

Ideally, you should find something that has zinc.

According to research, it is an important nutrient for your pooch.

Because zinc can help improve the internal functions of your pooch such as:

  • Structural.
  • Enzymatic.
  • Regulatory.

#7: Encourage them to drink

Reinforcing desired behavior in dogs will be better with rewards.

Based on a study, negative reinforcement can increase stress.

This is in comparison to those who experienced positive reinforcement.

In this case, the action we want to happen is your pooch drinking water.

Sometimes, they just don’t want to do so.

But when rewards are given, they’ll have enough motivation to drink.

It’s just like training your dog where to relieve themselves.

Or making them stick to a routine.

And even altering unwanted behavior.

These can all be quicker with positive reinforcement.

“How can I do this?”

Here are a few steps you can try to encourage your pooch:

  1. Prepare a clean bowl with fresh water.
  2. Bring it near your dog and try saying vocal cues to make them drink such as:
    1. “Go on boy.”
    2. “Here, drink.”
  3. When they do try to lap up some water, give them rewards. You can use:
    1. Pats.
    2. Rubs.
    3. Encouraging words.
  4. Repeat this training routine until they voluntarily drink water on command.

#8: Keep their bowls clean

I think this is pretty obvious.

But it needs to be said.

Sometimes fur parents underestimate how dogs can be picky and hygienic.

When they smell something isn’t right with their food or water, they walk away.

That’s why it’s important to keep things clean.

Their bed? 


Their fur? 


Their food?

Most certainly.

You already know your pooch has a very strong sense of smell.

They can sniff out if their bowl is contaminated.

Or it hasn’t been cleaned.

And the reason why this happens is due to either of the following:

  • Mold build-up on the surface.
  • Small debris fell on their water bowl.
  • Animals such as rodents and other pests have crawled over it.

Keeping their water bowl clean will help keep your pooch healthy.

As they would be protected from bacteria that can be fatal to them such as E. coli and salmonella.

When you clean their bowl, make sure you don’t use a scrub.

This can damage the surface with scratches which is where dirt can be stored.

You can use a soft sponge or cloth to wipe the area using a mild detergent.

#9: Use your cupped hands

Another simple trick to get your dog to drink is to add a physical touch to the act.

By this, I mean letting them drink in your hand.

Wanna see how this works?

Watch this fur baby drinking from their parent’s hand:

Our pooches love to be near us.

I mean, how often do they cuddle with you?

Have you noticed that some dogs follow their fur parents around for no reason at all?

Other canines even follow a specific person only in their house.

This might be the reason why your pooch is closer to you than your partner.

If this is the case, then it’d be better if you’re the one to offer the drink.

Your pooch might see you as the leader and primary provider for them.

And you can use this fact to encourage them to drink more.

#10: Change their bowls

“Why, what would be the difference? It’s just a bowl.”

Canines, like humans, have their preferences, too.

And some might not even make sense to us.

They like smelling other dogs’ butts as a greeting to their friends.

Humans? We prefer hugs and handshakes. 

Maybe even high fives and friendly teasing.

As to scents…

Dogs like the smell of fox poo.

While we humans dread the day our pooch goes home smelling like garbage.

When it comes to their feeding tools, dogs may have different preferences, too.

So, switch it out from time to time if you have access to a few.

Generally, there are four types of bowl you can use:

  • Glass.
  • Plastic.
  • Ceramic.
  • Stainless steel.

You can also opt for different sizes and colors to try and evaluate which one your dog likes.

Some pooches might even like watching mini water fountains.

So much so that it motivates them to drink more.

Not only will it make water more appealing to them, it also has several other benefits.

Such as:

  • Having a filtration system.
  • Allows fur parents to put a higher amount of water.
  • Multiple layers to accommodate several dogs. This is helpful if you’ve got two or more dogs that went through surgery.

#11: Give them fruits (that are full of water)

Remember how slurpy you’d get when you eat watermelon?

All those tasty fluids can help rehydrate you on a hot summer day…

And it will help your pooch, too.

It can cool them down on a hot day.

And get them to increase their fluid intake.

Here are some fruits that you can give to your pooch:

  • Apple.
  • Mango.
  • Cucumber.
  • Strawberry.
  • Cantaloupe.

As much as possible, cut these up into little slices.

That way it’ll be easier for your pooch to consume.

How long can a dog go without water after surgery?

Dogs can go on without water after surgery for around 2 to 3 days.

But it all depends on the operation your pooch had. 

Their age will factor in on their recovery period, too.

Warm weather can also make them thirsty and crave water.

Is it normal for a dog not to drink after surgery?

It’s normal for dogs to not drink after their surgery. One of the reasons why this happens is because your pooch is experiencing fatigue. Canines might still feel groggy and nauseous.

Dr. Osborne says that you’ll notice that your dog will look sleepy within the first 12-24 hours after surgery.

How long does it take for a dog to drink after surgery?

It can take a few hours for your dog to drink after surgery.

Some might even go on days without wanting to drink.

And this is normal.

However, Dr. Barnette suggests giving water to your pooch a few hours after the surgery.

They might drink or not, but it is important to keep it available and accessible to them.