3 Reasons Why Pets Drink from the Toilet–and How to Stop It

Summer hydration is important for everyone—including our four-legged friends. Dogs and cats can get dehydrated just like humans. That’s why we’re extending our hydration post to talk about the best drinking water for pets. In particular, why is Fido lapping up toilet water?

1.  Their Main Water Bowl is Empty

Obviously the best way to encourage hydration for your pets is to keep their water bowl full and fresh. But with busy summer months—and pets drinking more during hotter temperatures—sometimes refills can get overlooked. If your pet’s bowl is dry, it’s only natural they seek out another water source. When a toilet seat isn’t down it can quickly become an attractive drinking option for a thirsty dog or cat.

2.  They Prefer Cold Water

Unfortunately, some pets prefer toilet water even when they have a full water bowl. What’s “clean” by our standards isn’t always the same for our pets. But it’s easy to understand that some dogs and cats just like a colder drink every now and then.

The bathroom’s tile usually helps keep that space’s temperature down. And the porcelain toilet bowl tends to keep water cooler longer that other plastic or metal water bowls we give our pets. If their water bowl is full of room temperature or warm water, it’s not likely to entice your pet. You can try throwing in some ice cubes to freshen up your pet’s bowl, but sometimes even that isn’t enough to keep them out of the bathroom!

3.  They Smell the Chlorine in Tap Water

Even if a bowl is full of cold tap water, your pet probably has their own opinion on what “fresh” means. Because dogs and cats are better equipped to smell the chlorine and other chemicals in our tap water, it’s often not enough to have cool water and a full water bowl. To better understand your pet, think of that strong smell of chlorinated pool water. Now try multiplying that scent by ten thousand—that’s what your dog is sniffing at his water bowl.

Cats and dogs would rather drink water that doesn’t have chlorine in it, so one easy way to keep everyone in your family happy and hydrated is to use filtered water. Whenever possible, pets will try to find water that is filtered.

They only settle for the toilet bowl water because the chlorine in that water has had time to dissipate. So while a toilet bowl is usually less repulsive to your pet than tap water, you can easily end this behavior by addressing your pet’s top three water concerns. When you give your pet a water bowl that’s full, cold, and fresh with filtered water, you’re sure to keep them out of the toilet bowl for good!