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Why Do Dogs Drink Out of the Toilet?

It’s a sound that many dog owners are familiar with: They’re maybe in the kitchen making dinner or taking a shower and then they hear loud SLURPS coming from the toilet. Then you know it’s happening again — your dog is chugging water out of the toilet. So why do dogs drink out of the toilet? Is it safe? How can you get it to stop if your dog drinks out of the toilet? Read on to learn more!

Why Do Dogs Drink Toilet Water? 

Experts think that perhaps one of the reasons your dog drinks of the toilet is because they’re naturally inclined to seek out running water. This is an instinct left over from when dogs were wild animals, not domesticated pets. Back when dogs lived in the wild, running water was a healthier choice than stagnant water. This might also explain why cats love hanging out near sinks.

Another possible explanation is that dogs enjoy the quiet of a bathroom. This room is away from the general hubbub of the rest of your home. The solitude is peaceful and makes for a more comfortable place to have a drink.

Is Toilet Water Safe for Pets to Drink?

If your instincts are telling you to halt the behavior when your dog drinks from the toilet, then you should trust your gut. Toilet water isn’t particularly clean and it’s best to discourage your pet from drinking it. Unfortunately, toilet bowls might contain loads of bacteria, such as E. coli (yikes!). Dogs run the risk of infection, intestinal bacteria and parasites. Also if your dog drinks out of the toilet, they risk ingesting anything you have in your system, including chemicals that may be toxic for canines.

Arguably the most dangerous part of drinking out of the toilet is exposure to all kinds of cleaning products. Most of these contain harmful chemicals that are dangerous for dogs, such as chlorine bleach, sodium peroxide, hypochlorite salts, sodium hypochlorite and sodium perborate. Ingesting these chemicals can result in chemical burns, poisoning or death.

If you have a pooch who is known to drink from the toilet, familiarize yourself with the signs of poisoning. Also keep the bathroom door shut for several hours and several flushes after first cleaning your toilet. This will help prevent ingestion of cleaning products.

How to Stop Your Dog From Drinking Out of the Toilet

Since drinking out of the toilet can be dangerous, it’s best to discourage your pet as best you can. Here are several steps you can take to try to stop it if your dog drinks from the toilet:

  • Keep the toilet lid down at all times
  • Keep your bathroom door closed
  • Keep several bowls of cool, clean and fresh water around your home
  • Just in case your dog drinks out of the toilet, keep the bowl as clean as possible
  • Purchase a pet water fountain for your dog since this will offer the appeal of running water without the risk of infection or poisoning (just make sure to regularly fill it, clean it once a week and routinely change the filter)

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