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Dogs being afraid of water bowl

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Dogs being afraid of water bowl

Hi John,

I was reading on your website about dogs being afraid of their water bowls. You suggested sending a video. Here is mine.

My dog is a 12-year-old border collie. He always has had anxiety over different things but this fear of his water bowl is new.

It’s very strange. Any suggestions you can offer would be helpful. I do know that his eyesight is not what it used to be. He also has arthritis in all of his joints and his spine.

Thank you for your help.


Hi R.M,

Based on what I see in the video (below) I would have the vet do an oral exam. Dogs his age often start having dental issues and a tooth sensitivity could be sparked by drinking or eating. On the off chance there’s something arthritic affecting him it might be worth x-rays to see if there’s something going on in the neck or joints. I’d also stick a non slip mat for him to stand on when eating and drinking as that slippery floor combined with his unsteady gait might be having impact when he’s positioning himself to drink.


John Wade


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3 thoughts on “Dogs being afraid of water bowl”

  1. My 12 year old border collie does this exact same thing! He has been timid and anxious about his water bowl for the past month of so. Reading this post has made me suspect a dental issue. Please let me know if this was the case for your dog or any other update you may have.

  2. Vicki Gilpin

    I left a message recently, my dog will not drink out of any container, 3 year old. Just want you to know today drank 1% milk out of a bowl. Might have a uti, getting antibiotics tomorrow, but first time in a week. Tried everything, hand feed wet food. Just started not long ago.

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