If your skin crawls every time you hear that unmistakable slurping sound as your canine housemate helps him or herself to a generous gulp of tasty toilet water, you are not alone. It’s no secret that dogs have a penchant for some pretty nasty habits, but potty mouth has to take the cake.

If you have asked yourself “why is my dog drinking from the toilet?” lately, though, there may be a good reason. Read on as Union Lake Pet Services explores some possible explanations for your pooch’s not-so-sophisticated beverage choice.

There May Be a Good Reason…

Water is essential for life in all species, and it is good that your pet is drinking. Of course, we would prefer them to drink from a provided receptacle and not the bowl that collects waste in our home. If your dog drinking from the toilet is a persistent problem, especially if it is new, you may want to rule out an actual reason for the behavior. Consider:

Discomfort – Pets who are experiencing discomfort due to arthritis or other conditions may resort to the toilet bowl if it is uncomfortable or inconvenient for them to drink. Consider the older pet who would rather not walk up the stairs to get a drink or a pet with neck pain who hurts when he lowers his head to drink from the ground.

Polydipsia – Many health conditions result in polydipsia, the medical term for increased thirst. Diabetes, kidney problems, Cushing’s Syndrome, and even urinary tract infections can result in your pet wanting to drink more. If your dog is suddenly drinking more than usual, please call us so that we can check things out.

Problems with the source – Some pets may have an issue with the source of their water. Many prefer a flowing surface, so a pet fountain may be an acceptable replacement for a freshly flushed toilet. If you are adding anything to the water, your pet may not appreciate it either. Be sure that you are offering your dog fresh, clean, plain water at all times to discourage toilet drinking. If your pet doesn’t have enough water available, he or she may resort to whatever water he or she can find.

… Or Drinking From the Toilet May Just Be Your Dog

There are certainly some dogs, though, who just seem to enjoy taking their hydration from a potty.  If there doesn’t seem to be a cause for your dog drinking from the toilet, they may just simply prefer the taste and cool temperature of toilet water.

If you do have a pet who drinks from the toilet, trying to keep the lid down may be your only recourse. Luckily, other than not wanting many puppy kisses, a clean toilet really shouldn’t pose any health risk to your pet. In fact, your toilet is probably way cleaner than the door handle to your bathroom.

It is important for pet owners to remember, though, that toilet bowl cleaners and bleach ingestion can be toxic to pets. Never leave these chemicals in the toilet bowl.

Dog ownership isn’t always glamorous, but thankfully if you have a dog with a penchant for toilet water, you can rest assured that downing toilet water shouldn’t be harmful. It’s just one more reason to love our dogs.