Is It Bad If My Dog Or Cat Drinks From The Toilet?

To them it's the best drink in the house 🍷

Dog and Cat drinking toilet bowl water
Shutterstock

Ever find your dog or cat lapping away at the toilet bowl water?

It’s not that uncommon for pet owners to see — but it should still be avoided.

Dr. Andrea Tu, medical director of Behavior Vets NYC in New York City, doesn’t recommend allowing your pet to drink from the toilet on a regular basis.

“Aside from the obvious hygiene concerns, many commercial household and toilet bowl cleaners can be toxic,” Dr. Tu told The Dodo.

But why do our pets drink from the toilet in the first place?

Knowing this answer can help you understand not only why your dog or cat insists on being so gross — but also how to stop the problem from happening in the first place.

“You may find that your cat is drawn to drinking from the toilet on her own!” Dr. Tu said. “This is because cats instinctively prefer to drink from running sources of water as they are less likely to be contaminated than still water, and often the only source of running water for a housebound cat is the toilet.”

Similar to cats, dogs can be turned off by their own water bowls for the same reason: stagnant water just isn’t as cool or delicious as fresh, running water is.

Although humans typically find toilet bowl water disgusting, for our pets it can be the total opposite. This water is typically flushed multiple times a day, resulting in oxygenated and — to your pets — yummy water.

To help make your pet's water bowl more appetizing, make sure you’re changing the water at least two times a day. Or you can try different kinds of water bowls: You might find they prefer stainless steel over a ceramic one, for example (or the opposite)!

Or you can go a step further to make sure your pet always has access to fresh running water by getting them a water fountain.

“Many are available online — look for one that has a quiet motor so that the sound does not deter your cat, and one that is sturdy and cannot be knocked over easily (many cats like to stand on the edge of a water fountain to drink, and all it takes is one accidental dunking for some cats to swear off that water fountain for good!),” Dr. Tu said.

Similarly, if you find that your dog loves drinking from the toilet over his water bowl, getting him his own fountain might make him a very happy — and very hydrated — dog.

We suggest a fountain like this one:

PetSafe Drinkwell Cat and Dog Water Fountain — Buy it now on Petco for $44.95

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