Last Updated : November 12, 2022

Why dogs are afraid of the water bowls

If you are a dog owner, by now you might have at least for once noticed a change in your dog’s attitude. This change in attitude could come in any form, it could be a change in sleeping or eating habit. Although a change in habit is not only limited to dogs because every other animal, humans included, are capable of displaying an attitude completely different from what they are known for.

More recently, I noticed a change in my dog’s eating habits and I was forced to research “why my dog is suddenly afraid of his water bowl?” and I have decided to share my discoveries with you in this article. If you ever noticed similar changes in your dog’s attitude, then this is the best place for you to be, so read on to the very end.

Why dogs are afraid of the water bowls

Do dogs hate drinking from water bowls

No, dogs don’t hate drinking or eating from water bowls. Although at some point as a dog owner, you might have witnessed some changes in dog’s eating habits. For example, you might have witnessed him pee in his water bowl or see him claw at his water bowl and start to drink water from the floor.

Well, in reality, this is a strange habit but that does not necessarily mean your dog hates to drink from his drinking bowl. Dogs don’t have to bark all the time to communicate with us. They do express their feelings to us in the form of attitudinal changes and that might be the reason for your dog’s strange behavior.

Are dogs afraid of water bowls

No, dogs are generally not afraid of water bowls and whenever they seem to display such a negative attitude around their bowl, it is most likely caused by an external factor, not an innate attitude. In the later section of this article, I will discuss in detail, some reasons why your pet dog may exhibit such irrational behavior.

Is it safe for dogs to drink water bowls

Yes, it is safe for your dogs to drink from water bowls. However, you should refrain your canine companion from drinking from a public or communal water bowl altogether. Drinking from such bowls can leave your pet dog exposed to certain diseases.

Why is my dog suddenly afraid of his water bowl

Have you ever been left worried just because your dog keeps ignoring his water bowl? Well, you don’t have to call a dog behaviorist or psychologist, here are some likely reasons why your dog is exhibiting such behavior.

1. The sound of the water bowl

If your dog’s bowl is made of metal, it could be the sound of the bowl that is startling him and not the bowl itself. It is now general knowledge that a dog’s hearing range doubles that of humans. Therefore, they can hear almost everything that humans cannot hear, and that why hearing a loud noise at a close range can put them in an uncomfortable situation.

When you pour water in a dog’s metal water bowl, or you accidentally drip the metal bowl on the floor, they make sounds audible enough to put your dog in a state of panic. This might cause your dog to retract back a bit to gather himself.

2. Reflection of the water bowl

Yeah, dogs are brave! But do you know their bravery has limitations and would chicken out when they see shadows? Many people don’t even know this, but that is true. Your dog may be smart, but a typical dog does not understand what a reflection is. This kind of behavior is seen mostly in dogs that are not properly socialized. They see shadows as an encroacher and wouldn’t hesitate to attack their shadows.

When you serve your dog water in a metallic bowl, there is a tendency that there will be a light reflection and this may cause a shadow to appear on the bowl and this will r dog if he belongs to the category of dog explained earlier. He may even be startled when he sees his reflection.

3. Discomfort

When your dogs are in discomfort as a result of pain on any sensitive part of their body most especially the neck and the throat, they are likely to withdraw themselves completely from any activity that could further aggravate the pain. For instance, if your dog suffers from neck pain, it will be difficult for him to drink from his water bowl because that would require him to use his injured neck muscle.

4. Wrong choice of location

Your dog`s negative attitude towards his water bowl may be a result of the location you placed his water bowl and not the material the bowl is made from.

For example, when you place your dog’s water bowl close to your refrigerator vent, the air coming out from the vent may be directed towards him and this may make him uncomfortable and may cause him to draw back a bit from his water bowl.

Another example is when you placed his bowl in a place where he can be easily distracted. Some dogs don’t like staying in a noisy areas. If your dog has such behavior, you should refrain from putting his water or food bowl in areas where he can be easily distracted by noise.

How to help my dog overcome his phobia for the water bowl

Just like humans, dogs need enough water to survive. When your dog doesn’t drink enough water, this could cause dehydration and electrolyte abnormalities. Both conditions put your dog’s life at risk and you most definitely do not what this, the more reason you need to take urgent steps.

Here are a few steps that can guide you on how to help your dog overcome his fear of water bowls.

1. Change the bowl material

You should try to change your dog bowl from a metal bowl to a plastic or ceramic bowl. The point here is to help prevent your dog from reflections.

2. Take him for a medical examination

As stated earlier, your dog may be exhibiting such behavior as a result of pains. Therefore, you need to take him to your vet so they can determine whether the attitude is due to discomfort.

3. Change location

Your dog may particularly not be afraid of his drinking bowl, but certain circumstances around the location where his bowl is situated and changing the location may go a long way at changing his attitude.

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