Dehyrdation - Dog almost refuses to drink the new tap water.

SO incredibly grateful that the folks at the top were able to get this site back up and running promptly; as I turn to this forum quite a bit in one way or the other….it seems lately that I've been having a lot of minor issues with Beo - which are obviously due to the move.

Separation/crate anxiety, a chipped tooth there's another issue that's popped up. Another unexpected surprise which I didn't even consider going in:

I've noticed lately that Beo is almost constantly dehydrated; licking lips constantly, his skin takes a full second to go back down, gum color is a bit off, and he dives for the mud puddles outside like he hasn't seen water in days (I haven't been letting him drink from them however).

The tap water here is fluoridated, and we moved from an area that doesn't fluoridate its water. I'm wondering if that could be why he isn't drinking enough? He will wait until he is absolutely parched and only then take whatever is necessary..... So he isn't allowing himself to get to the point of death, but it's still a concern. I keep waiting for him to just give in....

I have no idea what to do....should I buy a filtration system? Or would it be better to just let the taste grow on him overtime? Hoping to get some responses from individuals who have been in this same situation, but any advice is appreciated. I did try to put in some low sodium, organic broth...but he still only took a little bit of it.....he's gotten a bit better, but for awhile there I was giving him the water by hand (forcing him to drink it). I'm almost at the point where I'd like to give in and just let him drink out of the mud puddles....but around here there's all types of nasty **** in them, and it's not safe for him to drink out of these mini toxic waste dumps.

Filtering would be good, doesn't have to be very expensive. Google around a bit on 'filtering fluor tapwater'.
Otherwise: bottled water? A B doesn't drink much anyway.

Maybe start with a Brita water filter pitcher and see how that works?

When Ava hit about 8 months, she stopped drinking out of her bowl. She would beeline for muddy puddles, the scummy pond, the water hose and the toilet, but refused the clean, fresh water in her bowl. I tried different kinds of water and bowls, then I got a wild idea and bought a white porcelain soup bowl shaped vaguely like a toilet bowl. Ridiculous, right– but problem solved! I can relate to your issues-- Ava presents me with all sorts of new and unexpected challenges, and I have no idea where most of them come from.

You could also try adding wet food and water to his dry food. Or use water and a little of your organic broth (or pure, unsweetened pumpkin) to make gravy for his food. Or mix some veggies in his kibble-- they have a high water content and make a flavorful broth. (Ava loves broccoli broth.) I was practically turning Ava's food into soup to keep her hydrated for a while. She also likes watered-down orange juice and thinks it's a treat. I don't know if any of this will help-- hope so!

interesting. I know there are studies that link fluorinated water with hypothyroidism in humans, so personally, I think i'd try avoid it for my dogs if possible. I'd start by contacting Brita and other filter systems and see if their filter will remove fluoride.

otherwise, if you're not worried about the fluoride, you can start with bottled water and slowly mix in the new water over time.

My wife, an alternative health care professional saw this post and adds: don't drink the water yourself either! Fluor is very bad for your thyroid.
Check out this site - look for dr. Becker

Just a thought, has he had blood work up? To make sure that his not drinking is not effecting his kidneys? I not had this particular problem, so can't help with that, but I will say that I do not give my kids tap water. It is filtered or bottled, especially when we travel is a quack site, unreal unscientific pushing of stuff. Please avoid it.

I use filtered water for myself and the dogs.. bottled water is expensive and not really much if any better than your tap, so best to get a filter. We have used Multi-pure for about 25 yrs and love it but many are out there that can remove toxins, lead, etc, so just a cheap Brita-like filter for flavor may work to get him to drink, but why not get a healthy alternative.

That said, a dog going to that level of dehydration is a concern that I hope is not medical. Please get a vet check to be sure before spending a lot of time on filters in case there is some issue. If he is okay, then you can do things like really wetting his food to get more water if just filtering doesn't do it… give a cup of water with a little canned food or chicken broth, etc.

And just so those touting Mercola can not waste time arguing:

Oh I could give dozens, but if those don't turn the light on to his quackery, nothing will so I won't waste my time either.

There is some support for Fluoride and endocrine issues. I prefer not to ingest things I don't need, I have fluoride in my toothpaste, I don't need it systemically.

Watch adding things like chicken broth unless salt free

I started to use bottled spring water as Kaiser was licking a lot due to allergy and turning brown, 4 litre bottle last us about a month over winter. He gets raw so gets a lot of his fluid that way, I do add a little water with his meals just to mix his medicine in with it. He isn't the fussy one in the family, the cat is more fussy about water, he prefers running water than what's in the bowl. Beo seems to not be having a good time so a check up may be worth doing as Debra said and go from there. Good luck hope he gets back to normal.

Jolanda and Kaiser

At least we agree on the fluor issue - if I don't want it in my body, I don't want it in my dogs body either.
As to Mercola/Becker: my wife, who is well placed to make an informed judgment in this field, has referenced many of his ideas against research from other sources, and finds them helpful and valuable. This does not mean that she agrees with him on everything, nor that she endorses his business practices.
Let everyone decide for themselves.
And let's face it, people, mainstream science isn't everything, to say the least, and neither are mainstream blood tests. Both me and my wife have worked through serious health issues, and we both would be dead if not for alternative medicine.
We wish the same benefits for our animals.


I was absolutely devastated when I found out this community voted to keep fluoridation. I grew up without it, never had a cavity, and (all harmful affects aside) why am I paying for something I can do myself? I actually found Mercola’s references to be fairly tight; this is not to say I agree with everything he has to say, but he does back a lot of his information up with professional sources.
I recently was reading pro-fluoridation information which referenced Mercola “as a quack” and had a multitude of references to back this up; however, when I went to look over a couple of their cited sources…those sources did not support their argument whatsoever….I couldn’t believe that they would just blatantly lie about the nature of such content and not expect anyone to notice?
This article also completely poo pooed homeopathy and alternative medicine….so the pro-fluoridation argument lost a lot of credibility in my eyes. I was willing to consider their side of the argument, but it’s not remotely justifiable to me at this point. In Anchorage (AK) “anti-fluoridation” groups have been labeled as fringe elements of the political spectrum. The smear campaign against them was brutal – going so far as to claim that the council members feared for their lives.


I’ve been watering his food down a little more just to make sure he’s getting enough in. Thanks for the suggestion.
Brita filters don’t get rid of fluoride, so it won’t make him want to drink it anymore (I feel).


While I’m researching easy-to-install filters I’ve decided to buy store bought water – it really isn’t that expensive but he seems to like it a lot more. Thanks for the reminder.


As far as I can see he hasn’t been peeing any less or any more (oddly enough), so I don’t think I’ll have a test done yet. If something changes I’ll have it done. He hasn’t been acting lethargic, and has been playful. After getting the store bought water he’s seemed to have gone back to normal; no signs of dehydration at the moment.

Thanks for the tip on the broth…maybe I used it too preemptively. I normally wouldn’t give him such luxuries ( I was going to use that broth for soup) but I was freaking out slightly, and was concerned with getting water + electrolytes into his system. He never got to the point where I thought it was an emergency…but I didn’t want to wait until it got to that point, just in case.

Is there any other substance that you would recommend using in the future to encourage drinking + Na/K uptake?


While I can’t agree with you on Mercola 100% (though there are a lot of fringe elements I don’t agree with)…..absolutely feel the same way about people putting things in my water that aren’t necessary. It might not be harmful (though I believe otherwise), but so what? I don’t need someone to brush my teeth for me.

My roommate, a dental hygienist, and I are deeply divided on this issue 😃


Interesting that you mention raw, and that’s how your pup gets most of his fluids. I don’t feed raw primarily…but I’ve been kibble + some raw feeding lately, and didn’t really consider that it might be where he’s getting some of the water content from. Wasn’t sure how he was still peeing regularly. Beo, thankfully, is back on track after I bought the store water.

Timesthemyth, yeah I was amazed at how little water he drinks on raw compared to when I had him on kibble, actually same with the cat I actually never see him drink, so moisture in their food counts for quite a bit I would think. Glad to hear he has found his beverage of choice.

Jolanda and Kaiser

Kibble is a very unnatural food for dogs. There is a reason all the bags recommend supplying a constant source of water when feeding dry. Always a good idea to add moisture to it, IMO. Pretty much any real food has a lot more moisture content than dry dog foods.

Yeah, I mean he's never had trouble putting on weight (not counting that batch of tainted food from '12 that he wouldn't touch) but I notice that he's more apt to eat it when I put a little water on the food; after the early puppy stage I stopped putting water on his food but I think I'm going to follow your advice and add water in from now on. My parent's dog is the same way, prefers water directly on the kibble so there's probably something to this.

eeeefarm… just a heads up. While basenji are not prone to bloat, adding moisture to dry has been linked to bloat. I am going to post this here... newest info

I was surprised that many things every other site says, she said doesn't matter. (for example, doesn't mention moistening food or that raised food bowls INCREASE bloat)


eeeefarm… just a heads up. While basenji are not prone to bloat, adding moisture to dry has been linked to bloat. I am going to post this here... newest info

I was surprised that many things every other site says, she said doesn't matter. (for example, doesn't mention moistening food or that raised food bowls INCREASE bloat)

Thanks. I've certainly dealt with colic in horses, but never had a bloat problem with any dog, but know someone who lost a GSD to it. That particular dog had enzyme insufficiency and ate tremendous amounts of food without gaining weight, so I expect that increased her risk. Never been a fan of dry food, but when I did feed it I always mixed it with canned. Interestingly, a lot of people seem to think raised food bowls help, and withholding water helps. I don't subscribe to either of those things. As natural as you can get is my motto, and if I wasn't lazy, I would make my own food. Can't just feed table scraps (a dog's diet for most of their history with humans) as I am vegetarian. 🙂

The RAW diet website says to not feed a combination of raw and kibble as the kibble takes so much longer to digest and is likely to cause stomach upset.

I had a look at the sites Debra posted, plus did a little research on my own. The Purdue study appears a bit sketchy, given that their conclusions were based on statistical analysis and not clinical trials. e.g. more dogs suffering bloat were eating from elevated dishes, but the majority of people with bloat prone dogs tend to use those dishes. Cause and effect, or simply related to customs of people owning dogs prone to bloat? Feeding practices (moistening the food), ditto. It would be interesting to see the results of an actual clinical trial with subjects matched for breed and lifestyle in those breeds known to be prone to this problem.

I looked up some of this information as well….it is recommended that "low-end" kibble not be watered down, since there is a lot of grain products in these types of dry dog foods which can ferment inside the stomach and cause gas build-up. "High-end" kibble contains 'mostly' meat by product and isn't subject to the same guidelines (supposedly).

However, since veterinarians and the like don't claim to know the true cause of bloat, all we have to go on are the 'potential' correlating factors. It's really anyone's guess as to what works and what doesn't. They make it very clear that you can do all the right things and still have a dog go through bloat, while doing all the wrong things does not often result in GDV.

That's exactly the hell… they aren't sure.. so actually I have to say that after the Purdue study years ago, nearly all my Rottie, chow, Dane and other breeder friends got rid of elevated bowls as NO evidence they helped at all and some they might.


The RAW diet website says to not feed a combination of raw and kibble as the kibble takes so much longer to digest and is likely to cause stomach upset.

They do and it's silliness. Not one single shred of research, not one, backs it. Pseudoscience bothers me, especially pseudoscience made up to get you to feel bad about not doing things they way they want you to. Especially ALSO when that nonsense causes people to not TRY raw because they cannot do it all the time and are told it is bad. I fed both most the time for 15 yrs, as do most of my friends. I wish I had the time and money to have done nothing else back then. I cannot do raw now as I have one dog with autoimmune issues and another who, no matter the meat source, every time I try she gets diarrhea. Sigh. So I feed the $60 per 25 pound best dry I can, with lots of home cooked meat, salmon ears and US source/made chicken treats. But I believe in raw in any situation where you can.

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