Don't get me wrong, having a 7-year-old black lab gives me more joy than I ever thought possible. And while I love going on long walks with my trusty sidekick, it seriously grosses me out when he drinks out of the toilet. Yes, I know I could simply put the toilet seat down every time I finish using the restroom, but hey, humans aren't perfect! Curious as to why my pup beelines to the commode rather than his bowl of fresh water when he's thirsty, I asked a vet to enlighten me.
Why Do Dogs Drink Out of the Toilet Despite Having Fresh Water?
Although my dog is older, I still see his playful puppy streak come out often. Because he's sometimes downright naughty on purpose, I figure he's just testing me when he goes into the bathroom for a drink. But according to Bond Vet's Cofounder and Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. Zay Satchu, I am sorely mistaken.
"Even though you may have just changed the water in Fido's water bowl, it's likely that the water in the toilet bowl is actually just colder and fresher," she told POPSUGAR. "It is also part of their natural instinct to seek out a flowing water source, and seeking out a toilet bowl is feeding that instinct. The water in their bowl is a stagnant water source and this is something they naturally would try to avoid."
How Can You Get Your Dog to Drink Out of Their Water Bowl Instead of the Toilet?
Getting your pups to drink clean water from their own bowl is a pretty simple fix; all you need to do is switch up how your dogs stay hydrated in the first place. "Water fountains are a great way to provide well-oxygenated 'fresh' water to your dog throughout the day," explained Dr. Satchu. "The movement through the fountain is similar to new water entering the toilet bowl with each flush." This PetSafe Drinkwell Multitier Fountain ($30) is a great option for both large and small breeds.
Is It Bad For Dogs to Drink Out of the Toilet?
I never want to cause my pets undue harm, so naturally, I worry about my pup ingesting the chemicals I use to clean the toilet bowl once a week. "Cleaning products full of chemicals are a concern for your toilet-water-drinking doggo," Dr. Satchu confirmed. "If they are adamant that the best water comes from the toilet, I would recommend making the change to an all-natural, organic cleaning product (think: baking soda and vinegar), closing the toilet lid, or keeping the bathroom door closed." Additionally, pet parents can look into snagging an efficient Toilet Safety Lock ($8), which will definitely keep your pooches out of the potty.