Anyone who has ever owned a dog or has spent any time around them will know that dogs can be fairly disgusting in terms of their habits, with some of their favourite pastimes potentially including rifling through the bins, eating roadkill, rolling in fox pooh, or treating the cat litter tray’s contents as an incomparable delicacy! Another weird and totally disgusting habit that some dogs are prone to develop is drinking water from the toilet bowl in favour of their own bowl, which is of course even more vile when you think about how free dogs are with their behaviour when it comes to giving kisses!
If your dog is apt to drink from the toilet bowl, this problem is often easy to resolve by means of taking obvious steps such as closing the toilet lid, or keeping the bathroom door closed when not in use. But why do dogs drink from the toilet bowl in the first place, how harmful can this potentially be, and are there any sure-fire ways to keep them from doing this? Read on to find out!
The exact reasons behind why some dogs like to drink from the toilet can be as numerous as there are dogs, and it is not always totally obvious to owners why their dogs might be doing it!
One obvious answer to the question and the first thing that you should look at is whether your dog has constant access to fresh, clean water from another source, such as their bowl. If your dog’s water bowl is empty or dirty or the water is not fresh, your dog may look for other alternatives, and the toilet bowl, which is regularly flushed and potentially drips, may seem like a viable alternative.
Even if you do have fresh water down in your dog’s bowl, if they have taken against tap water for some reason or otherwise find it unpalatable, the sitting water in the toilet may seem like a more desirable option. This may mean that giving your dog bottled water, filtered water or collected rainwater can help.
Finally, if your dog has gotten into the habit of drinking from the toilet either in your own home or somewhere else that they lived before, they may simply think that the toilet is a viable and appropriate source of drinking water, as they have never learned otherwise! Placing a water dish in the bathroom itself may help to re-train your dog if this is the case.
The most obvious risk of your dog drinking from the toilet is that the toilet is of course, by design, a dirty place! Even regularly cleaned toilets harbour bacteria and other nasties that are found in faeces, which may not only be passed onto your dog itself, but also potentially to the rest of the family too through contact with the dog.
Additionally, toilet cleaners such as bleach, rim blocks and scented fluids are all potentially toxic, and ingesting these along with the water can make your dog very sick.
As mentioned in the opening section, the easiest and most obvious ways of stopping your dog from drinking from the toilet bowl involve either closing the lid of the toilet at all times when it is not in use, and/or keeping the bathroom door closed. However, this may not always be possible for all families, for instance if you are toilet training toddlers, or your kids cannot be relied upon to close the lid and/or toilet door after use.
Some dogs can actually successfully use their nose and paws to lift the lid of the toilet too, but investing in a childproof lid catch can usually prevent this!
Ensuring that your dog always has constant access to clean, fresh water from a clean bowl can help, especially if you make a point of showing your dog the bowl now and then and praising them for using it. If your dog isn’t keen on the water on offer, try filtering your tap water, or offering bottled water or rain water.
If you can’t keep your dog out of the bathroom, try placing a water dish for them in the bathroom itself, to provide an alternative to the toilet bowl.
You might also be successful if you can get your dog interested in their water bowl as opposed to the toilet bowl by using other methods, such as by providing a water fountain bowl that provides a constant stream of water for them to drink from, placing a ball in the bowl, or adding the occasional tasty treat such as frozen blueberries.