It’s an old trope – but it’s based in reality. Finding your dog drinking toilet water is never a pleasant experience. After all, we know what goes in there. But there is a method to the madness of mutts who decide to take a refreshing drink from the toilet. In this article, we’ll explain why dogs drink from the toilet, why drinking toilet water can be dangerous and what you can do to stop it.
Why Do Dogs Drink Toilet Water
Pet owners know that it’s never nice to catch your dog drinking from toilet bowls. But the reason why your pet loves your toilet water, is that animals love to get their water from the freshest source they can. Whether that’s a dog, cat or even smaller animals like rabbits (although they might struggle a little more to reach the toilet).
The truth is, your pet is simply after getting the most refreshing drink they can. To them, hearing that flushing sound is not the sign of water washing away our sins – but of running water, which appeals to their natural instincts. And, while their reasons may seem a little bizarre, it’s still a good reason to them.
The Dangers Of Drinking Toilet Water
Catching your dog drinking out of toilet bowls can have serious consequences. While some pet owners make the choice to let this fly – and are perfectly happy letting their dogs drink toilet water. However, others aren’t so sure. The truth, as always, comes down to different circumstances.
Is Toilet Water Safe?
While the running water itself may be perfectly safe, the problems come from both the toilet bowl and the toilet bowl cleaners. While it’s unlikely your dog will become severely ill after you catch them drinking from the toilet, there is always the risk. This risk increases depending on your personal habits.
Sadly, if you clean your toilet a lot, then this can cause harm to your dog drinking from the toilet. If you don’t clean it enough, then it can also cause harm to a dog drinking from the toilet. Whether it’s bacteria or cleaning products, there’s always going to be a risk of your dog becoming ill after drinking from the toilet. So, just what are the dangers of having pets from water from the toilet bowl?
Easily the biggest risk factor, when your dog drinks water from the toilet bowl, is E-Coli. Common in people, dogs and many other animals, the bacteria lives in the stomach. Most types are completely harmless. However, certain strains of the bacterium can be harmful and, because we pass this when we defecate, it can quickly cause problems.
What To Do If You Suspect Your Pet Has Caught This Infection?
If the toilet bowl isn’t cleaned properly, and your dog drinks from water from this, the pup may become infected. Once this happens, you’ll find that your pets may be struggling with diarrhea and vomiting. This will usually happen around 3 to 4 days after your pets have partaken in some water from the toilet.
It usually takes about a week for dogs to recover. Vets can only treat the symptoms of this, by ensuring your dogs are hydrated and able to recover quickly. Thus, prevention is better than a cure.
Dog owners will often find themselves cleaning their home more than those who aren’t pet owners. It’s simple math, that an increase in dirt from your dogs, will lead to more time spent cleaning up. Part of this includes keeping your toilet clean. Especially if your dog likes to drink from the toilet. However, even a clean toilet bowl can be dangerous to pets.
The chemicals in the products pet parents buy are often not safe for dogs. Sadly, this is the way of many name brand products, as they need to hold chemicals strong enough to beat the bacteria around the home. However, this means that when your dog drinks water from the toilet bowl, your pet is also lapping up those chemicals.
What To Do If Dogs Drink Water From The Bowl After Cleaning?
If your pet has drank from the toilet shortly after cleaning, we would suggest you get advice from your local vet as soon as possible. Any changes in behavior, in any way, including obvious discomfort, lethargy and restlessness are signs that something is wrong. If you can, find out what cleaners were used with the water, and how soon you used them, to give the vet an idea of
How To Stop Dog From Drinking Toilet Water
If you keep catching your dog drinking water from toilet and aren’t sure how to stop this, we’ve got you covered. There’s a range of different options available to you, so try a few to find which suits your dog best.
Keep The Bathroom Door Closed
It may seem obvious but – like switching off a light when leaving a room – it’s easily forgotten. If your dogs constantly have access to the toilets, then they’ll know to return here whenever they please. So, close your bathroom door after you visit the toilet. If your dog wants to get in, simply change the water in their bowl in response.
Refill the Water Bowl More Frequently
Since dogs will often seek out water from the toilet because they want access to only the ‘finest’. Which is dog speak for the freshest. If you keep their water bowl topped up and change the water bowl regularly, your dog will be less likely to drink from the toilet bowl.
Buy A Pet Water Fountain
A pet water fountain is a great choice for pet parents. It provides a healthy place for your dog to drink water, without any of the risks. Most commonly advertised for cats, these are actually a brilliant option for all pets.
By keeping the water oxygenated through constant movement, and the sound being naturally appealing to your pet, dogs will instinctively head toward this fresher, safer alternative.
Training Your Pet
Of course, there’s always the classic training, to help stop your dog drinking water from the toilet bowl. Simply distract your pet when they’re looking to go and get water from the toilet – and reward good behavior. This method, however, is best used in conjunction with the other options listed here.