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Train a Dog To Drink from a Portable Dog Water Bottle

Updated on August 12, 2010

Walking with Your Dog

When you go running by yourself, I'm sure you probably have a water bottle or gatoraid with you in the car or running in your hand so that you can keep hydrated. Well, it's just as important to bring water for your dog whether you go running, jogging, or walking in the park, around the block, or anywhere.

You want to make sure that you keep your dog and yourself hydrated, especially during the warmer months, when heat stroke is more prevalent.

But, when you bring your dog along, it can be hard to share your water bottle with him, and you don't want to bring along the full set of regular sized bowls. The easiest thing is to purchase a portable water bowl. There are tons of different options as seen below, and with each one, you dog may take to them differently, so if you can't get your dog used to one, you may have to change to another, based on your dog's ability to adapt to the portable water bowl for dogs.

Portable Dog Water Bowl

These are generally the easiest portable water sources for dogs to adapt to. They are shaped like normal water bowls, but they fold or collapse so that you can tote them in the car during travel or on the way to and from your walk/run.

When getting your dog used to drinking out of this type of portable water bowl, it shouldn't take too much time, since it is similar to a regular bowl, but if your dog is a little hesitant, you may have to start him off slowly, such as at home.

You can use the bowl for a regular water bowl, so that the dog realizes what it's used for. Some dogs just aren't adaptable to change that well, so by implementing the new bowl at home, the dog will figure out its use. When on the road or in the middle of your run, you won't have as much trouble getting your dog to drink out of the portable dog bowls.

But, because this isn't always the best solution, there are other portable dog water bottles that you can choose from, each a little different.

Portable Dog Water Bottle

These are the most popular types of water bottles for on the go. I have one, and love it, although it did take a while for my APBT to get used to it. Because it has the more slender drinking area, she just couldn't get used to it. Now, she's ok with it, but we have to hold the water bottle just right for her to really drink, and you'll find that a lot of dogs won't drink out of these portable water bottles if you point it right at them, so try holding the water bottle so that the base with the water in it is going left to right, making a wider drinking area, which is easier for the dog to drink from than the smaller width. (Of course, smaller dogs may not really care, but I've found more larger dogs just have a preference as to the space they have to drink from.)

Otherwise, if your dog is really having trouble getting used to drinking from a portable water bottle, you may want to work with him at home. You'll want to get some teeny tiny treats ready, or if your dog isn't a huge fan of treats, try a toy or just some loving.

  • Get the bottle ready and preparing it as though your dog is going to drink from it.
  • Get your dog's attention.
  • Try to get him to sniff the base of the water bottle by pointing or anything. Just don't shove it in his face.
  • The moment that the dog looks at and even puts his nose toward the bottle, treat him and tell him good dog. If you want, add a command to it, 'drink', 'bottle', something, and praise him with 'good dog, good drink' or whatever. In some cases, simple praise may be best, as you don't really want to get your dog used to being treated every time he takes a drink, unless your dog is really nervous about the whole ordeal, and in that case you can start with the treats, and ween him off as he gets more used to the portable dog water bottle.

You may not think that by praising and treating the dog when he just sniffs the base of the bottle, is anything special, but you want to take one step at a time, especially if your dog is really timid and seems fearful of the new contraption.

  • Keep doing this until you think that your dog may want to drink from it. The more advances that you dog makes, the more you praise him.
  • Eventually, you'll have your dog drinking out of the water bottle on the regular... Well, when he's thirsty that is.

Before you go on your first walk, you'll want to test out the bottle. Run and play with your dog in the yard, having the filled portable water bottle ready. Before you bring him in where he can drink from his regular water bottle, pull out the portable one and see what happens. If he takes to it right away,  then you've done the job, and your pooch is ready to go on a walk, or run, with you. Otherwise, you'll want to keep working with him, or try holding the portable water bottle a little differently, so that the base that he will drink from varies from wide and thin, or thin and long.

Portable Water Bowl for Dogs

Instead of the portable water bottle that is generally the more common and popular option, these bowls are nifty. They act as canteens to hold the water, but there's also a bowl that comes with it to pour the water into so that your dog can drink.

These are different than the other portable water bowls, as seen above, as they serve as holding containers for water in addition to a bowl.

When training your dog to use one of these, it's generally the same basic concept as above. You may have to blend a little every day use with reward training, when getting your dog to use one of these portable water canteens.

Durable Portable Water Bottle

Unlike the water bottles listed above, these water bottles have a round bowl at the end of the container, which make them a little more acceptable for the dog. Instead of having a thin drinking area, there's a wider round area to drink from. The container has a wide mouth opening which is easy to insert ice into.

But, like the above water bottles, you'll probably have to use a little reward and positive training with these, too. So, see above for a few tips for training your dog to drink out of a portable water bottle.

Dogs of all sizes and ages can adapt to drinking out of a portable water bottle. Some just may take time before getting used to the new water bottle.
Dogs of all sizes and ages can adapt to drinking out of a portable water bottle. Some just may take time before getting used to the new water bottle.


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