To people, a dog who drinks from the toilet is just gross. But to a dog, the toilet is a constantly freshened source of good water. This is completely understandable. Just think back before dogs had people laying out their food and water every day – they had to provide their own refreshments.
They developed a knack for choosing the cleanest, freshest water from the sources they had available. Those who didn’t were sure to get parasites or other water-borne diseases. With no veterinarians or medications in sight, these dogs passed away. Those who learned the ropes, on the other hand, lived to reproduce, and their puppies instinctively knew what they should and shouldn’t drink.
While their judgment certainly isn’t perfect, dogs have good reasons for choosing the toilet bowl over their water dishes. Consider how people like their water: cool, freshly poured, and out of a clean glass. The toilet is probably in the coolest room in the house. The water in the toilet gets changed more often than the water in their bowls. And porcelain make a nice goblet that doesn’t alter the taste of water like metal or plastic bowls may.
Dogs Love Bathrooms
People tend to be squeamish about bathrooms. We worry about germs. We scour and scrub to eliminate every last scent. We shut and lock the doors and demand total privacy. We do everything we can, in short, to keep our bathrooms separate from the rest of our lives.
Dogs, on the other hand, aren’t squeamish at all. Consider their usual habits. These are animals who will eagerly sniff, roll on, and devour month-old roadkill, who view cat boxes as convenient sources of takeout, and who greet each other (and people) by sniffing backsides. From their point of view, the bathroom is just an extension of their naturally earthy tastes. They don’t think about off-putting odors when they drink from the toilet. If anything, they probably like the smell.
There’s no question that toilets environments that do contain germs, but so does most everything else around us. Even an immaculate, freshly scrubbed bowl contains thousands, if not millions, of bacteria. But dogs don’t care. After all, they didn’t evolve in the dining room at the Plaza Hotel.
For most of their evolutionary history, they lived in pretty rough surroundings. As a result, their immune systems are remarkably sturdy. Toilets may not be clean by our standards, but for dogs they’re almost as hygienic as Perrier.
Why Creating A Water-Drinking Schedule Will Help In Housetraining Your Puppy
What Goes In, Must Come Out
Most puppies will need to relieve themselves within five to twenty minutes after eating and drinking. So be sure to keep to a strict schedule in the morning, afternoon and evening when feeding your puppy in order to create a regular elimination schedule.
If you can’t keep an eye on your puppy after she eats and drinks, then place her in the crate for five to ten minutes before taking her outside to relieve herself. In fact, whenever you can’t keep a close watch on your puppy after she drinks some water, place her in the crate for five or ten minutes before taking her outside. This way, you avoid any messy accidents in the house before you take her out. Also, by putting her in the crate, she will build stronger muscles for better bladder control.
If you can keep an eye on her, leave her out of the crate. But be forewarned because puppies tend to urinate rather quickly after consuming water. Watch if she suddenly sneaks off to another area of the house or starts sniffing along a baseboard – she may be looking for a place to urinate. I guarantee you that if you leave a bowl of water out for your puppy at all times and the puppy has the run of the house, she will urinate and urinate often.
Give your puppy water at designated times just as you give her food. This will get both of you used to a housebreaking pattern. All puppy owners need to remember that puppies thrive on a consistent schedule. When the puppy is housebroken and has better bladder control (3 1/2 to 4 months), then you can leave out a bowl of water at all times.
You may have to make adjustments to the schedule based on your puppy’s individual needs. Don’t crate your puppy for more than four hours during this period since she may not be able to hold it. To avoid an accident in the middle of the night, don’t give your puppy any water after 8:00 pm. But if you choose to give water freely after 8:00 pm, then be prepared to take your puppy out more often. You can give your puppy an ice cube to relieve her thirst at night.
This schedule is appropriate for a puppy or an older dog who is not fully housebroken. Of course you can adjust the feeding and potty times to accommodate your schedule, but the important elements are to take the puppy out before you feed and water her, and then twenty to thirty minutes after the feeding.
After a puppy is five months of age, you can drop the midday feeding, but don’t decrease the amount of food. For example, if you are giving one cup of food three times a day, then drop the midday meal, but give one-and-a-half cups twice a day. It is also a good idea to moisten dry food with warm water to prevent your puppy from getting bloat. Some puppies will eat their dry food too fast and the food will expand quickly in their stomachs, which can be dangerous.