Why Do Dogs Drink Out of the Toilet-Top 5 Reasons NOT to

Why do dogs drink out of the toiletSo you’ve caught Fido drinking out of the toilet – again! You immediately go grab his water dish because surely you must have forgotten to refill it……but, what the heck!!…..it’s already full! Why do dogs drink out of the toilet when they have a clean bowl of water provided to them?

Well, there are a few simple reasons…….

Water gets stagnant and stale after sitting for long periods of time. This means it is no longer cool, and fresh, which is what your dog prefers. When thinking about the choice between yesterday’s glass of water, or a freshly filled glass from today, most of us would choose the latter, and your dog is no different.

Water that sits idle can also begin to taste like the bowl that it sits in. In addition, when your dog eats his food, then drinks his water afterward, he transfers food remnants to his water dish. All of this further adds to undesirable, stale water, and the desire to look elsewhere.

On the flip side, water from the toilet bowl is fresh, and cool, since it is replenished every time we flush. Okay, so we know what goes into our toilet bowls on a daily basis, and to us the thought of drinking the water from our toilet bowl is a fate worse than death. But, dogs lack the basic reasoning skills that humans have. And, although their noses may have told them what goes on in a bathroom, it is really of no relevance to them. Their noses tell them a lot about the world, but they do not distinguish between something that is clean or dirty, gross or pleasant.

Is it Safe For Your Dog to Drink Out of the Toilet Bowl?

Toilet water is actually just as clean as the water that comes out of your sink. And, it is said that there is less bacteria in our bathrooms than there is in our kitchens (and, yes, this supposedly includes the toilet bowl). After all, when a toilet is flushed all the waste disappears and is replenished with fresh, and yes, drinkable water. I’m still not comfortable with kisses from Fido after a beard dipping in the toilet bowl, but the bottom line is, there really is no reason to freak out over your dog drinking out of the toilet.


Most people keep their toilet bowls very clean, and those cleaning products contain chemicals, all of which are not good for your dog. Chances are, most of those chemicals will be washed away by the time your dog drinks, but if not, it is not exactly something you would want your dog to drink.

Sometimes people insert chemical packets into the tank of their toilets in order to dispense cleaning liquid into the bowl with each flush. You’ve most likely seen these products, many of them can be detected by the blue or green water in the bowl. Your dog may not care one bit, in fact he may even decide he likes it. I would recommend to all dog owners not to use these products. Even if you think your dog never drinks out of the toilet bowl, he may do it on occasion unbeknownst to you, or he may pick up the habit at a later date.

If you’ve ever had to winterize a home you know that many people fill their toilets with antifreeze to prevent the water and pipes from freezing in the cold temperatures. When I was a child we had a summer home where we spent many family vacations with our Boxer. On our last visit for the year, my parents filled the toilet with antifreeze as was their usual winterizing routine. Dogs love the taste of antifreeze because it is sweet, but it is a killer. Dogs that drink antifreeze need to get to an emergency animal hospital right away for treatment, and even then, some cannot be saved. Our Boxer drank the antifreeze from the toilet bowl and became extremely ill. He was thankfully spared by a wonderful vet who was able to get him back to health over the next several days. Leaving antifreeze open to your dog is not only a costly mistake, but can also be a deadly one….please, please, never allow your dog near the stuff.

Top 5 reasons NOT to let your dog drink out of the toilet:

  1. The chemicals you use to clean your toilet can be toxic
  1. If you winterize your home and use antifreeze in your toilet, it can kill
  1. Small children that may put their hands on a dog’s beard or kiss a dog’s face
  1. YOU may kiss your dog’s face…..or receive an unexpected smooch from your dog – yuk
  1. Dog, or not, most people consider their dogs a true member of the family…..I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t recommend any member of my family drink out of the toilet! 🙂


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