How to Stop Your Dog from Drinking Out of the Toilet

Despite their butt-sniffing, poop-eating, and toilet-drinking, dogs are still man’s best friend.

One of the grossest bad habits dogs are famous for is drinking water from the toilet. Talk about potty mouth! It’s that noisy “Slurp! Slurp! Slurp!” that gives your dog away, and it can induce bouts of laughter or your gag reflex. Even though the water in the bowl is “fresh,” there are plenty of dangers lurking, just waiting to be lapped up.

What’s so appealing about drinking from the toilet? Are dogs onto something that we don’t know about? Nope—it turns out that your pooch just wants some fresh water. Thanks to its porcelain enclosure, the toilet beckons to your pooch with its tempting siren song, offering him a source of cool hydration to quench his thirst.

Although this may be amusing (in an icky kind of way), there’s nothing funny about the possible risk factors that are swirling in the loo. The first is the potential of harmful bacteria, which can lead to messy gastrointestinal problems in your dog. But the most serious risk is the cleaning products you’re using to clean the bowl. These include residue-type toilet bowl cleansers that are placed in the lip of the bowl or in the toilet tank. If your dog ingests these chemicals, it can lead to an upset stomach or serious consequences that require an emergency trip to the vet.

How do you flush this nasty habit? Here are a few things to try to get your dog’s head out of the toilet and back to his own water bowl.

Close the Lid

This is the easiest way to get your dog to stop drinking out of the toilet but sometimes this is easier said than done. I mean, how long have you been trying to teach your husband this trick? Everyone in the family will have to be vigilant about putting the seat down after using the toilet in order to prevent access. If you’re having trouble getting the message across, put up a sign as a reminder to close the lid once they’ve finished up their business.

Keep the Bathroom Door Closed

Another slap-your-forehead, easy method of preventing access to the toilet is to just keep your bathroom door closed. Again, it takes a whole village to break a dog’s bad habit, so make sure to tell all of your family members and guests to keep the door closed.

Use Toilet-Lid Locks

They’re not just for children. Toilet-seat locks keep your dog from getting into the toilet bowl. Some dogs may be able to figure out how to open the lid and drink the nectar of the porcelain gods while you’re away from the house. That’s when toilet-seat locks come in handy. Inexpensive and easy to install, you’ll find them at your local home improvement or hardware store.

Keep Your Dog’s Water Fresh

Is your dog running out of water during the day, or is it warm from sitting around? When your dog runs out, it’s logical that he’d find a fresh water source—which just happens to be in the bathroom. Keep your dog’s bowl topped off with cool water and add a couple of ice cubes before you leave for the day. Better yet, you can get an automatic water fountain that does the work for you.

Meet the Author: Amy Tokic

Amy Tokic is the Editor of Petguide.com, the flagship site to over 70 different pet communities, which offers pet parents a one-stop-info-shop for all things dog and cat related. Amy's been with PetGuide since the beginning, guided by the wisdom of her Shih Tzu mix and furry roommate, Oscar. Together, this pet power couple has their paw on the pulse of the pet industry, sniffing out trends, advice, news, tasty treat recipes and other tail-wagging stories.

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