A dog only drinking from her own dish - Would she die of dehydration

My friend has two dogs (pugs) and they have an issue with drinking from anything other than their own water dish. One day we took her dogs on a day trip. On the way to our destination she stated that she had forgot their water dish. I didn’t think this would matter. I was sure they would drink from anything.

Cut to a few hours later. One of the dogs is overheating and refuses to drink from anything (the other one refused too but wasn’t too hot). We tried cups and dishes. She would just look at it like it wasn’t even water.

My friend said that she always has to take their water dish everywhere or they will not drink any water. She even a had to drive home and get their water dish after they refused to drink for a day and half when she stayed at her parents one weekend.

They will, on the other hand, eat food from any dish or off the ground.

Is this normal behavior for dogs? Would the dogs go so far as to dehydrate themselves to death?

I don’t know, but I belive it is quite possible. My wife goes to a school for the visually impaired every summer. Foxie, our dog will not eat for three days after mistress/master is gone. She does drink though. It is obvious she is in distress. We now take a pillow case off one of my wife’s pillows and put it in Fox’s sleeping place (a blanket in the living room) when the wife is gone, and that seems to give some comfort. When traveling Fox will not drink, but when we arrive she will drink readily from whatever container available. I think the stress of the car ride has a major factor. The longest ride we have taken her is four hours. A break in the middle for streching legs, she tinkled and pooped, but would take no water. Two hours later, in strange settings but travel over, she lapped up that water like a broke sailor over a spilled bottle of rum.

Man, I have to stop my dog from drink out of puddles.

I have a pug who only drinks from certain types of dishes. She’s actually only half-pug, and she’s half peekaneese (spell??) but she won’t drink from anything that’s sat more than an hour either. Of course, she is spoiled. I mean, our pup has her own bedroom in the apt. and she’s only 6’ tall. If I want to get her to eat or drink, I have certain things that she catches onto. I pick up the food and pretend to eat it, then hold it in front of her. With water, I drink it from a bottle, and pour just a little in the cap so she sees it, then hold it close to her so she can drink from the cap. It usually works if she knows that someone else is (specifically me or the mrs.) is eating or drinking it.

I actually have nothing else to add, other than that story. Good luck with the puppy. I do love puggies…heheh

Six feet tall? Is that on her hind legs?

Some dogs are not very good at figuring out when they need to drink, and so even a minor conditioning to only drink from a certain dish could possibly tip the scales. Border Collies, for example, have been known to work themselves literally to death, and sheep herders have to actively lead their dogs to water at periodic intervals and command them into tubs of water to keep them cool while they are working.

Dogs need lots of water. If your dog isn’t drinking and it’s hot outside, you’ve got a problem. Until you can get the dogs to drink, you might consider soaking them down with water to help keep their bodies cool.

My dog, Bean, will only drink from her water bowl, and yes, she would sie of dehydration before she would change.

My husband and I once gave her one of those large waterers with a jug resivior on top. She refused to go near it. Hubby said that no dog would go thirsty if there was water available-- we just had to wait until she got thirsty enough. Three days later, we surrendered and gave her back her bowl, fearing that if we waited any longer, she’d really harm herself.

So basically everytime my friends picks up the bowl to fill it, she is risking their lives if she drops it?

Some dogs can be fooled by an identical bowl as long as it’s “prepared” properly. Wash the bowl and store it in the house for a week or two before trying a switch. It might even be a good idea to rub one of the dog’s favorite chewtoys all over the bowl so it smells like the dog. Feed the dog a big, delicious meal, like a can of wet food if he usually eats dry, and afterward, he’ll automatically want to drink. If he’s been distracted enough by the meal, he might not notice.

I repeat: Might. A friend with a picky dog used this trick and passed it on to me. My dog wasn’t fooled. I put down the new bowl and left the room, so she wouldn’t be able to pick up on any “the fur-less female is tense” vibes which might make her suspicious. I listened carefully for sounds of drinking. What I heard was the sudden ceasing of her tags chinging against her collar (you can always hear that when she eats) and then she came into the livingroom to get me, prancing in her “follow me” dance, whining. I followed her into the dining room, where she stared pointedly at her water bowl.

“Take it,” I urged, which is the command I give when she’s allowed to eat something that has fallen to the floor. I hoped it would encourage her to drink. It didn’t. With another frustrated whine, she sat on the floor and stared at me.

Once she had discovered the ruse, she refused to go near her feeding area until the proper bowl was put back in its place.

Like the dog in the OP, she will eat food from any surface, but not water. Nor will she drink “strange” water. Whenever we travel, I have to take along a gallon of our water to mix in slowly decreasing amounts with the water from the new location until she’s used to it. Whenever we return home, she always tears to her water dish and drinks like a camel after a long Sahara haul.

What you might try is to put a smaller bowl in her bowl and filling the smaller bowl with water. She might accept that smaller bowl - they at least you have 2 bowls.

A better idea is to just train your dog to drink from any water offered.

If you know of such a way, please share it. I have yet to find one.

And did you once, perhaps, build a Stonehenge prop for Spinal Tap…?

It may be too late now, but if you constantly switched bowls when they were a puppy, they’d never get conditioned to a single bowl.