Why do dogs drink out of the toilet? Because they can. No, realistically, they have many good reasons. Understanding some odd behavior in dogs sometimes takes dwelling into their deep mind and start "thinking like a dog." If your dog is fascinated by your toilet bowl, read on to learn what makes it so appealing despite the fact you are leaving ample of fresh water bowls around the house.
A Fountain of Youth
One reason your dog is attracted to the toilet is that the water is often flushed so it's fresher than water sitting all day in a bowl. To a dog's perspective a clean toilet bowl is like a fountain of youth. It's like a giant water bowl that keeps the water cleaner and cooler (porcelain does a great job in this) than the water bowl kept in a warmer, high-trafficked area. Given the choice, dogs by instinct choose running water over water sitting for some time. After all, in nature running water is generally healthier than stagnant water which may contain harmful bacteria, molds and algae. On top of that, consider that porcelain doesn't alter the taste of water as a water bowl made of metal or plastic does.
"Eau de Toilette"
Another reason to consider is that a toilet bowl is readily available. Your dog may visit the bathroom on a hot day and stumble on the toilet with the lid accidentally left up, and if by chance he's thirsty, as an opportunistic being, he'll of course take a sip. The height of the toilet surely makes it extra convenient and since it's sitting right there, the toilet is an object that cannot be ignored!
A Dangerous Practice
Water from the toilet can be fresh and better-tasting that water from the bowl, but it can harm dogs because of the residue of cleaning products, not to mention, the many chemicals found in tap water. If your dog regularly drinks out of your water bowl, he may accidentally stumble one day on water that was treated with chlorine bleach , Lysol and other harmful products such as antifreeze when a vacation home has been winterized. Several of these products can be caustic and cause chemical burns to the mouth, tongue and stomach, explains veterinarian Debra Primovic. In case of exposure, you'll have to rinse the dog's mouth to try to flush out as much as possible and then contact your vet immediately for further directions.
And what about those toilet tablets people use? According to the ASPCA, drinking water that was treated with toilet tablets when used as directed should not be causing major problems other than a minor stomach upset, but if you suspect your dog has ingested the tablet or a large amount of the cleaner, you should contact your vet, emergency center or poison control immediately.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
To keep your dog safe, it's best to keep that toilet lid down or the bathroom door closed. If your dog is a "potty mouth" who often enjoys "eau de toilette," consider checking if your dog has access to fresh water from bowl. Maybe it's time to fill it up or change it with fresher water. If you figure out that your dog isn't much fond of water bowls, consider investing in a pet fountain to enjoy. A pet fountain offers filtered, flowing water which adds to its appeal.
Did you know? When dogs drink they use their tongues in a conveyer-belt fashion transporting dollops of water to their throat.