Behavior, Blog

How to Train a Dog to Drink From Water Bottle? Quenching Your Pup’s Thirst

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Author: Jacob Kay

Teaching your dog to drink water from a bottle will greatly help you while on a walk or heading for a summer trip. Water bottles not only work as a great accessory or travel necessity but also as a step towards hygiene.

dog drinking from a standard water bottle

For places like hiking, neighbourhood walks or beaches, it is difficult to manage water bowls. Thus, training your dog for such practical situations is a responsibility as a pet parent.

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Reasons to Train Your Dog

As a pet owner, you might find it cool to see your dog drinking from a water bottle. But beyond that, there are other practical reasons for your dog to learn this. Your pet may find it challenging because that would be against the way a dog naturally drinks.

It is a perfect solution for outings, especially going for walks, in parks, beaches or for hikes. Taking along a water bowl can be quite messy and cumbersome. From bottles, safe and pure water is guaranteed every time.

Although, areas heavily frequented by dogs have water bowls, drinking from a personal water bottle would be more hygienic. This would decrease the risk of infectious diseases. Thus, for dogs who prefer outings, their owners must keep a water bottle handy.

Teaching Your Dog to Drink Water From Bottle

There is never a particular process to train your dog. It completely varies from one dog to the other. For your dog, you can try using a particular and switch to the other according to your and your pet’s comfort and convenience.

dog drinking water

However, you can follow these steps for better and faster results:

  • Introduce the dog with the bottle. Let him play with it and enjoy around it.
  • Bring the water bottle near the dog’s mouth and see his reaction towards the bottle.
  • If he tries to lick the bottle, show some excitement for his new learning and encourage him to do so. Show him the way how he could use the bottle to drink water.
  • Whenever he proceeds to drink water from the bottle, reward him. This will boost him to learn the process.
  • Once the dog is comfortable, hold the bottle vertically and let from dog drink a small amount of water.
  • Use your other hand to gently pat the dog to ensure his safety and make him feel comfortable. If everything seems great, gradually increase the flow of water.
  • In this way, he will soon adopt this method of drinking water.
  • If your dog does not show any activity towards the water bottle, do not force him. Have patience and encourage him through positive reinforcement.

There are different methods using which you can train your dog.

Using an Adaptor

This is the easiest way to teach your dog to drink water out of the bottle. This adaptor looks like a sports cap and fits almost all standard bottles. On top of it, the owner can entirely control the water flow.

You can attach the pet-top portable drinking device to a standard bottle. For unfamiliar dogs, open the cap just a little to drip a few drops of water. The dog can access the water when the bottle is held vertically by the pet parent.

dog drinking water using adapter

After some experience, you could gradually increase the flow of water by opening the cap a little more. After some days try without the adaptor. The flow can be controlled by tilting the bottle directly. By this, your dog will be perfectly trained to drink water from the bottle.

Directly From the Bottle

If you want to train your dog to drink water directly from the bottle without an adaptor, you should always consider some conditions.

Firstly, the water needs to be at the top for the dog to reach its tongue. Also, the mouth of the bottle should be wide enough for the dog’s tongue to fit inside the bottle.

Hold the bottle at an angle so that the dog could easily scoop the water out, just like a bowl. Make sure the bottle is clean and hygienic.

Pet-Friendly Water Bottles

There are water bottles available that are specially designed for your pets. They are available in various sizes and varieties. The most common of them is one with a ball bearing and another with an inbuild dispenser.

Bottles With Ball Bearing

Dog water bottles typically have a ball bearing. This bearing forms a vacuum with the metal tube present in the bottle, which creates a seal preventing the water flow.

When the dog licks the ball bearing, it breaks the vacuum seal and releases the water by acting like an opening and closing valve.

The ball bearing moves by your pet licking the tip so as they are licking the tip, the water is released, and your dog can re-hydrate. When they stop licking, the ball bearing stops moving, and the vacuum seal stops the water flow.

If your dog doesn’t seem interested in the bottle, try smearing a small amount of peanut butter or any other tasty treat on the ball of the adaptor. This will tempt your dog to lick the ball, which will lead to the flow of water.

Bottles With Dispenser

A bottle with a dispenser uses the natural habit of dogs for drinking water. It is a type of portable water bowl which is perfect for travel destinations. Generally, dogs do not require any special training to use these bottles.

dog drinking water from a dispenser

Some include a water container with a bowl attachment so it is easy to flip and squirt water into. Others can soak any remaining water back into the bottle, which minimizes the water waste. Many models include handles or clips that make them easy to attach to a purse or backpack.

Additional Tips

With the training for your dog, it is necessary you take care of some other issues to ensure cleanliness and hygiene for your dog.

  • Never use warm or luke water for the dog. They prefer drinking cool water.
  • Use a small bottle brush to scrub inside the bottle and rinse out the metal tube daily.
  • Keep an extra bottle handy that can be cleaned and allowed to air dry between uses.
  • Always air-dry the bottle completely to avoid bacterial harm.


  1. Should I let my dog chew water bottles?

    Some dogs love gnawing on water bottles, but water bottles aren’t safe for chewing. The cap of the water bottle can come off and the dog can swallow it. Also, dogs can tear off pieces of plastic, resulting in sharp, rough edges.

  2. Do dogs prefer flowing water?

    Dogs generally prefer running water, as opposed to stagnant as it is a primal urge they carry in modern times. Before, when they were in the wild, running water meant cleaner and healthier water and that’s why they feel compelled to drink more when they’re offered water in this form.

  3. Is it OK to give dogs plastic bottles?

    Plastic can cause a dog to choke. If the cap or ring of a plastic bottle is ingested or gets stuck in the mouth or throat, it could create a life-threatening emergency or at worse fatality. 


In a nutshell, training your dog to drink from a water bottle can be a great convenience, especially during outdoor activities. Always reinforce their interaction with the bottle positively, like giving a treat or praise.

Drinking from a water bottle is against the natural habit of a dog. However, with perfect training, patience and consistency, achieving this task is not at all impossible. Eventually, your furry friend will associate the bottle with a positive experience, making hydration easier on the go.

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Jacob Kay
Jacob Kay is a Veterinary Advisor and Editor at WWD. He’s also a dog lover and has two pet dogs of his own. He has extensive knowledge in the field of veterinary medicine and is always happy to share his insights with others.

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